Haida Gwaii :: SEP -- OCT 2002

Subject: On Being Supple
Date: Thursday, September 19, 2002 10:40 AM

8:12 Kin Beach Park; Comox, BC :: WED 11 SEP 02

The sun rose a couple hours ago. It's bright and warm in the cool morning, but still too low in the sky and too weak after its summer exertions to raise the dew from grass and picnic tables. But it's sun, glorious sun.

I sit in the sun a dew shade of a craggy old spruce. A tug pulls a train of three barges noorthward, up The Georgia Strait. Across the Strait, sharp peaks pierce the low cloud and fog stirred up by the rising sun.

A moment of reflection. The first on this trying journey that feels as though it has not yet started. Or perhaps it has, just now.

A sign yesterday, outside a Pender Harbour business read: "What on earth would a man do/if nothing stood in his way?"

Is that what life is? Obstacles to overcome? Struggle?

"Life is suffering," Buddha said. Life is a struggle. Challenge, perhaps?

We thrive on challenge, on struggle.

17:12 Christian Science Reading Room (Front Steps); Courtenay, BC WED 11 SEP 02

But we thrive too on peace, on tranquility, on balance. These uses of 'thrive' share little in common. One nurtures, the other tempers. One bends, the other forces.

These are the drives in my life. I'm not certain they can be reconciled. One is going to have to give. One cannot struggle and let go in the same motion. One cannot forge ahead while flowing with the current.

Or are all these metaphors?

I am sitting on a corner in a small town a little like the small town I grew up in. It's a four-way stop at 5th Street and Ferguson. A busy corner at the edge of the downtown business district on a summery day. People in their cars honk at each other and wave. How many times I have marvelled at this sense of community. I see only the peace, not the struggles underlying the lives lived y all the faces so anonymous to me.

I talk in metaphor but I live life, and it is hard to bring these metaphors into it.

This all seems so far removed from a day I lived a year ago today. That was a day for struggle, for force. Force against force. Power against power. Strength against strength.

20:24 Kin Beach Kottage; Comox, BC, Canada :: WED 11 SEP 02

When the only tool available is a hammer, every problem begins looking like a nail. When we seek the unyielding, we either find it, or create it. What a shame to create struggle to give ourselves something to do.

Exerting influence; national interest: these concepts give rise to the motivation and action of national foreign policy. It's all about economic growth. Growth. Growth as struggle.

18:05 Queen of the North; Prince Rupert bound, BC :: SUN 15 SEP 02

Strive, achieve, build, progress, convert, evangelise, develop. We don't leave anything alone, leave it just the way it is. When we try, the best we manage is 'conservation.' That is, we actively interfere with a natural process in an attempt to correct our incursions into it. We create a problem.we correct or solve it.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we've reached a point where the only corrective action is to stop. It is our turn to bend. All that we've struggled with and against has bent as far as it can go. If we don't bend, something else will break.