I don’t mean knowledge or facts. I’m not talking about words, labels or content.
I’m talking about perception. How do we perceive the world, at a level that’s most basic and raw? Without the steady stream of thought that continually tries to make sense of our perceptions. Or even ourselves.
I’m talking about the canvas, before we slather it with words and thoughts and worries and musings. A canvas that is ever changing, moment to moment, steeped in the restless world we find ourselves in.
Take this very moment. You’re reading words on a screen. Your brain is effortlessly crunching all those nouns, verbs, and conjunctions: framing them against your accumulated bank of knowledge, experience and attitudes.
But on another level, writing is just sticks and swirls.
So Dad decided to make a curry tonight. He called it “leftover curry” because he made it out of vegetables left over in the veg box that he didn’t know what to do with. Like swede. He reckoned if he put it in a curry, perhaps we wouldn’t notice. But when it’s big and orange and tastes disgusting, there’s no way we wouldn’t find out.
You see, me and my big brother are always one step ahead. Nothing gets past us. And if Dad thinks he can sneak onions into a curry, then he’s got another thing coming!
I was born by the mountains. I was born in the mist. Who knows exactly how or when I came to be. All I know is that it was long ago. And that time is best measured in generations and not in years.
I was born from people’s lips, as they gathered around the fireside, my words spilling out in the same breath as their old stories and tales. Words that mingle as they drift over the flames, forming and reforming. And in this way, I am forever being renewed.
And so it is. Generation to generation. From village to village. I am cast through space and time like pollen sailing in the wind.
There are times in life when it’s just you. Whether by choice or circumstance, you are going it alone. It’s how it is.
And then there are times when someone joins you for the journey. It could be a relatively fleeting moment, a momentary crossing of ways, a connection that somehow touches you and makes you take notice of something you’ve not noticed before, or helps you along your path, whatever that path might be.
And then sometimes there are those that are with you for the long haul. Through thick and thin. Through richer and poorer. Till death do us part. View Post
“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope, I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic, I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as if you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is.”
Greta Thunberg, Davos World Economic Forum, 2019
The year is 160BC. The temple is on fire. The Seleucid Army is threatening to annihilate the Jewish community in ancient Judea, whose existence is poised on a knife-edge. But then come the small plucky band of Maccabees. Through their dedication and self-sacrifice, they manage to repel the might of the empire. Yet when they discover the temple all wrack and ruined, hearts turn from joy to sorrow: there’s barely a drop of oil to keep the sacred flame alive.
But this drop miraculously ends up lasting for a whole eight days. And so this story is celebrated – year after year, century after century – as Chanukah, the festival of lights. To remember how a community saved themselves against extinction. And how one little light fought against the dark for so long. View Post