Posts Tagged ‘space’

A Notorious Presence

August 24, 2017

We just think we know what will happen today.

We rely upon all of our yesterdays, our planning, our assumptions, and the sheep-like complacency of our fellow humans to make our day like any other day. Human survival depends on reliability and predictability.

And then some wayward ripple of Life comes along. That smooth boring surface of daily living becomes an unfamiliar landscape with a murky outcome. Some people are fine with the unknown. Others need to know the conclusion now. They turn to Life for answers. Sometimes, Life responds with possibilities or even solutions.

Other times, there is silence – an empty waiting chasm of nothing. No resolution. No advice. No insights. No path to follow.

That silence is a place for something more to happen. Something greater is being asked of me. I am being asked to fill the emptiness, to bring what I dare not be. When Life does not offer a solution, perhaps I am being asked to create it.

The poet Rumi wrote: “Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad.”

I want to be notorious.

Life has delivered me in the world with all of the abilities and qualities to live as fully alive as possible, to engage in spite of my doubt, to embrace the unknown without planning for every contingency. When Life is silent and not responding to my question, not resolving the problems surrounding me, not delivering me from my trials, I am being offered the opportunity to be notorious.notorious

The silence at daybreak is an open invitation to be more than was possible. I want to get up each day and square off with the mortality that is claiming the years of my life. I won’t last forever in my comfort zone of known outcomes.

I want to fear me in the mornings.



The presence of space

April 26, 2010

I am starving for some empty space in my life . . . not physical empty space but mental and emotional empty space. Meditation creates empty space in its presence. To get to a meditative space, I need to let go of my current collection of clutter.

How I fill the space in my life is my choice. What I am physically doing or mentally preoccupied with in any moment is the result of choices that I made in previous moments. One of the benefits of memory is being able to see how the past predicts the future. If I continue to choose to fill my life space with distraction and imaginary responsibilities (i.e., taking care of others’ wants), I will find myself always too busy to make space for what I really want to be and do in my life.

My intent is to become more mindful of making choices of what I will allow to occupy space in my life. Today, I will look at each moment, savor it, be with it, and trust that by being present, I will make different choices and open up my life space.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

The presence of holding space

April 6, 2010

This morning, I logged on to the Internet and was greeted by the default home page at MSN. I generally skip past this to my e-mail, but today one of the headlines read: “Tragedy Deepens in Rural West Virginia.” Then the headline flipped to tag lines about big spending in Texas, komodo dragons, odd car names, and something about basketball.

The family and friends of those 25 people who died in the West Virginia mines aren’t thinking about Texas, dragons, cars, or basketball. And most people probably are not thinking of those 25 miners.

But I will be.

I can’t physically do anything for them or their loved ones, but my presence can hold space to acknowledge the lives and deaths of those who died and those who remain in this existence. I can’t take away anyone’s grief, but I can understand and empathize with them. I can be that one-nth degree of energy from far away sending compassion and sharing a miniscule amount of the burden of their tragedy.

I know, as some of the miners’ friends and families know, that the presence of those who died continues. I also know it is sometimes nearly overwhelming to continue in this life when the physical presence of our loved one disappears . . . that life with all of its distractions about money, dragons, cars, and sports seems like a circus of meaningless activities. Suddenly, we are faced with what is really important.

We die.

In knowing that we die and holding that space, that eventuality, we can know to be fully alive right now, to tenderly care for this moment and the next and the next, and within those moments, care and love those close to us, and those far away from us. This is just one way of holding space to encompass all of life and being present. I can be present to my own life and within that presence, I can be present to the lives of others.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass