WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

CONTROL

            In my youth, I often heard phrases like ‘control yourself’ and ‘have a little self-control’, and it used to make perfect sense to me that I can control myself, as if  ‘I’ am over here and my ‘self’ is over there, and all I  have to do is preside over that ‘self’ and everything will be fine. Happily, though, I realize now that life is far more complex than that – and far more beautiful. Being able to control things implies that life is composed of countless separate ‘objects’, some of which are stronger than others and therefore able to exercise control over them. I spent probably 50 of my almost 80 years fully believing that, and therefore trying my best to hold sway over as many ‘objects’ as possible in the whirlwind of a power-struggling world. Gradually, though, I have come to see that there are actually no separate objects anywhere, and therefore there is no need for – and no possibility of – gaining control.  All of life – the entire endless universe – is like an infinite wind, and I am simply, and luckily, a wonderful breeze in that wonderful wind.  I can no more control anything than a breeze can control a wind, or a ripple can control an ocean. I can just be the perfect breeze, the flawless ripple, that I always am, and let the wind and the sea of life do its breathtaking work. 


CONTROL
(Patricia F., 46, Blessings, CT)

She sometimes feels out of control, 
but then she says to herself with kindness 
that that's impossible,
because nothing's ever out of control, 

not the sky in storms above Blessings,
since all storms
are spanking new and perfectly flawless, 

and not the sea,
since it always sings an unblemished song, 
even when it seems to be screaming, 
because the screaming has a secret synchronization, 

and not her life,
which blossoms, yes, in slapdash ways, 
but the slapdash is always 
under clandestine, quiet control.

Here’s a snapshot of a beautiful wildlife preserve called ‘The Great Swamp’, which we passed through on our lovely 12-mile bike ride this morning on the Amtrak Rail Trail in Kingston, RI….

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