Thursday, September 11, 2014


Our eyes are not viewers; they are also projectors that are running a second story over the picture that we see in front of us all the time. Fear is writing that script. Now fear is going to be a player in your life. You get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment which are based in either love or fear.
~ Jim Carrey’s Secret of Life

Yesterday while we were at the park a few kids belonging to the construction workers of a nearby site turned up at the same time. There was an older boy and an older girl, both about 7 or 8 years old, apparently in charge of two little girls, barely past toddlerhood. Bright eyes, lithe brown bodies bursting with health through ragged clothes, radiantly alive, free. All of them made a beeline for the big slides and swarmed up the rungs. The big boy and girl, still children themselves after all, threw themselves wholeheartedly into play, calling out to each other, giggling and relishing the swoops down the slide.

One of the little toddler girls climbed the rungs carefully all the way to the top, some six feet off the ground, as I watched in amazement. She was no bigger than my own baby boy who has just learned to toddle around, and it was crazy to see that small a child making her way up, up, up, rung by rung, by herself. She reached the topmost rung and just stayed there, queen of all she surveyed, smiling at the older child working the slide, simply taking it all in from that precarious vantage position. Other kids coming up on the rungs eased past her as she held on to the top side bar with her fragile little dimpled hand. A hundred what-if scenarios were running through my mind - what if her hold slips, what if some kid brushes past and accidentally knocks her over, and so on and so forth. I almost felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, somewhat guilty just standing by and witnessing the whole thing without DOING anything - but - there was a flow to the situation that was quite indescribable. The entire scene - the blue sky filled with the early evening light, the colourful slide, the gleeful children in play completely at one with their environment, the smallness of the toddler's body perched on the top rung - all seemed to be unfolding in soft focus, permeated by grace, enveloped in a harmony more palpable and strong than any of the world's strongest security systems. Each kid seemed to brush past her in a dance orchestrated by the Isness of the moment which seemed to make any false moves or accidents an impossibility.

After a good long while the toddler started making her way down, carefully feeling with her tiny foot for each rung below her, the space between the rungs almost as big as her body. How does she know how to do that? Could all little people figure out how to take care of themselves if given the chance? Do we interfere with the actualization of their potential with our well-meant cautions and protection?

Could it be that the power inherent in the isness of the moment is not different from the essence of who we are? Could it be that all we have to do, like that little girl, is simply rest in the isness, the default habit of the mind of constantly interpreting and second-guessing everything?

That day I let my toddler wobble and wander where he would, roll in the dust and plunge his hand into the red earth and scatter it to the wind. Conspicuously missing was the ever-present commentary of "what if it gets into his eyes, what if he face-plants on the concrete walkway, what if he knocks out a tooth, what if, what if," ad nauseam. Witnessing the charmed existence of that little girl had rendered all that into a dim asterisk in the footnote of the mind.