Tuesday, February 28, 2006
I have not posted on this blog for some time, for my life has been full of changes and responses to change.
I love this quote from Denise Levertov's poem "Annunciation," which beautifully sums up how we may react to possibilities which open in our lives.
Aren't there annunciations
of one sort or another
in most lives?
undertake great destinies,
enact them in sullen pride,
when roads of light and shadow
open from darkness in a man or a
are turned away from
in dread, in a wave of weakness, in
and with relief.
Ordinary lives continue.
God does not smite them.
But the gates close, the pathway
So, the initial task for us all is to recognize the moment of "annunciation," the opportunity which arises when a new and important path opens for us, and not to turn away. Such decision requires great courage, for it demands the release of former, more familiar patterns, and requires that we disrupt our comfortable, established routines for unknown experiences. It can lead to deep transformation and profound growth.
However, sometimes even when all doors seem to open for us in an uncanny and even magical way to bring us into a new state of being, things do not work out. Our expectations are dashed by events outside our control. The landscape changes, and we realize that our venture is not to be completed according to our hopes.
At this point, we must become totally flexible, feel our way through the situation, and not let unfulfilled promise lead us into despair.
I have encountered similar situations several times in my life. Once, when I was much younger, I (along with a few friends) dreamed that we might together buy an amazing property in the Rocky Mountains, a house located in one of the most stunning regions in that whole area. Everything seemed certain about the deal, but at the last moment it fell through. What had seemed too good to be true, was just that. I was deeply disappointed, but thought perhaps something better would come along and--voila!--it did. The money I would have used for this attractive but somewhat iffy investment became the down payment on a wonderful house where I lived for many happy years. The fates knew better than I what was best for me at that time.
Twice I planned exciting trips to Europe, living for weeks in heady anticipation. Both times the trips fell through, once when a close friend who was to go with our group became seriously ill at the last minute. It was indeed a blessing that the trip could be cancelled just in time, and she could recover at home.
Recently, I experienced a similar reversal of plans when I contemplated a move to another area some distance away. Everything seemed to be all set, including welcoming friends and a wonderful place to live. I even traveled south to taste the new experience. But, once again, at the last minute, the situation changed, and I knew it was best for me not to attempt such a transition. I decided instead to seek new quarters in my familiar city of San Francisco. (I was already beginning to miss the excitement of life in this wondrous city, with its numerous ethnic restaurants, museums, bookstores, theaters, etc.)
And once again the goddess blessed me with a wonderful gift--soon I will be moving to a very special apartment, located in a pleasant, older building where the small number of residents are generous and kind. From my large bay window I will look out over the city all the way to the Golden Gate bridge. The location is perfect for me--on a major avenue with incredible bus connections to all parts of the city. A large grocery is located just across the street. Furthermore, only four blocks away is the Sea Cliff district, which is quite special. You can literally feel the sweet vibrations of this magical area when you walk there. A close friend has recently moved nearby, a real boon in a large city where friends are often separated by great distances. And, my apartment has large rooms with spaces for bookshelves and incredibly generous closet and storage space. Such quarters are a rare find in a city as expensive and crowded as this.
So--my ultimate conclusion is this: When things fall apart, you do not have to. Your immediate expectations may not be met, but something better, more beautiful may coming your way. Instead of attempting to control your destiny, move with it, and allow the fates to take you in the direction which is best for you.