Loving What Is

I was in Florida last week. On Wednesday I woke up before dawn and on the spur of the moment headed to the beach. I don’t usually plan any beach time when I’m working, but I’ve been trying to be more mindful of my own self-care when I’m away and water is a healing force.

Off came my shoes. Toes dug into the sand. The morning was cool and the tide was high. Majestic waves rolled onto the glaze of sand at my feet. I skirted a string of seaweed at the water’s edge and squinted into the sunrise. Light sparkled like diamonds on the water. As each wave crested and broke, the smooth water behind it transformed into gleaming liquid gold. I wanted to dive into the water and shoot straight up, coated from head to toe in a wet suit of gold.

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It hit me that the gold on the water was real and also an illusion. What I saw was real. It was water. It was golden reflection. It was the light of the sun gleaming on the sea, but I couldn’t save it. I couldn’t capture it. No matter how hard I tried, I’d never be able to bottle it and take it home.

I was struck by the paradox of all things real and knowable that will never be fully seen or truly known. The air is there. We know it in the constant rhythm of in and out. Perhaps we appreciate it most when we can’t. Breathe.

Gravity is there. We know it as rootedness. Security. We appreciate it most when we least appreciate it. The thud of a fall. The bruise from meeting pavement unexpectedly.

Creativity is there. We know it when we drop self-consciousness and engage with our true selves. Tapping the creative energy that surrounds you as surely as air and stabilizes you as reliably as gravity is the secret to unlocking the parts of life that are pleasurable and yes, fun. It’s fun to think up new ways to solve problems. Any old problem. It’s fun to mess around with paints, or embroidery threads, or old book pages or a camera. And the more fun you have the better things get. Pretty soon you’re swimming in the liquid gold sea of your life. And troubles get easier. Things smooth out.

That’s what creative strength training does and that’s why it’s so important to me and to everyone else who has been or will be, on the path with me exploring. If you haven’t considered joining us in 2019, I hope you will.

A James Taylor lyric comes to mind:

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

Any fool can do it

There ain't nothing to it

Nobody knows how we got to

The top of the hill

But since we're on our way down

We might as well enjoy the ride


The secret of love is in opening up your heart

It's okay to feel afraid

But don't let that stand in your way

'cause anyone knows that love is the only road

And since we're only here for a while

Might as well show some style


Isn't it a lovely ride

Sliding down

Gliding down

Try not to try too hard

It's just a lovely ride


Now the thing about time is that time

Isn't really real

It's just your point of view

How does it feel for you

Einstein said he could never understand it all

Planets spinning through space

The smile upon your face

Welcome to the human race

Some kind of lovely ride

I'll be sliding down

I'll be gliding down

Try not to try too hard

It's just a lovely ride.