Lightly Child, Lightly.

“Life will eventually bring you to your knees. Either you’ll be on your knees cursing the universe and begging for a different life, or you’ll be brought to your knees by gratitude and awe, deeply embracing the life that you have, too overwhelmed by the beauty of it all to stand or even speak. Either way, they’re the same knees.”

Jeff Foster, Falling in Love with Where You Are: A Year of Prose and Poetry on Radically Opening Up to the Pain and Joy of Life


Notes:

  • Jeff Foster quote via Whiskey River. Image Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”
  • Jeff Foster (wiki) Background: Foster was born in 1980 in London, England. He studied Astrophysics at Cambridge University. At the time he was overwhelmed by feelings of despair and loneliness, which eventually led to physical illness and a personal breakdown soon after graduation. He was convinced he was going to die. Foster returned to live with his parents, reading and studying for a year on spirituality, searching for relief from his depression. This ended in 2006 with the dissolution of the sense of separation, which he understood to be a spiritual awakening:

    As the story goes, I was walking through the rain on a cold Autumn evening in Oxford. The sky was getting dark; I was wrapped up warm in my new coat. And suddenly and without warning, the search for something more apparently fell away, and with it all separation and loneliness.
    And with the death of separation, I was everything that arose: I was the darkening sky, I was the middle aged man walking his golden retriever, I was the little old lady hobbling along in her waterproofs […] I was the raindrops falling on my head (although it was not my head, I did not own it, but it was undeniably there, and so to call it “my head” is as good as anything).

Comments

  1. powerful

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I totally agree, that the awakening is simply understanding our sacred union with everyone and everything. And yes, plenty of knee drops along the way 😬

    Liked by 3 people

  3. If the last year has taught us nothing else, it is a greater appreciation for what we *have* versus what we don’t. Feel as though I have seen many things for the first time that were really there all along…..

    Liked by 4 people

  4. How crazy that someone born in 1980 is calling himself middle-aged. Then I realise that it is 40 years ago. This sounds like a fascinating read.

    Liked by 3 people

    • So CRAZY!

      Like

    • “How old are you?” “Fifty.” This is a dialogue that has kept being repeated today. The number of years I had lived represented important information for the doctors. I had the feeling that, in this way, for the first time—in this long life—my time was being accurately measured. This meant that today all my illusions of youth vanished. We rationalize our experience of time, but beyond the givens of the calendar, we are not conscious of it. Because “in spirit” we stay the same. “In spirit” I was the same person I had been in my twenties. That’s how it is, probably, with everyone, it’s a characteristic of our species. That’s how we protect ourselves from death. Western cultures see man in his asymmetry and disharmony, so they separate him into a body that ages and a soul that doesn’t age. Apart, presumably, from Dostoevsky.

      — Semezdin Mehmedinovic, My Heart: A Novel. Celia Hawkesworth (Translator). (Catapult, March 9, 2021)

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  5. And as is typical of my struggle with paradox – is it either/or? Perhaps it is both..it is for me…moments I have been felled and times I have knelt in breathless gratitude. Sigh..no wonder I can’t write a damn thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living”
    — e.e. cummings

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Even though suffering has far richer and deeper reaches into the depths of body and soul, which perhaps gives it a certain sacredness, it’s still a hell place.

    Perhaps the most profound idea attributed to Christ is to love our enemies. I suppose suffering can be felt as an enemy if measured by our emotional response to it.

    But honestly, I can only love suffering through the appreciation of the serenity that healing brings. And unlike so many wise saints whose stories of deep suffering have inspired me to see the gifts as redemptive, I cannot love suffering, and yet, in spite of my inability to make peace with it, I know the gifts will come!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “Life will eventually bring you to your knees” … and more! — Jeff Foster, Falling in Love with Where You Are: A Year of Prose and Poetry on Radically Opening Up to the Pain and Joy of Life.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Gratitude for everything. Incredibly profound, David. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ohh that’s pretty deep and yet simple! Such a quote 🤩💜

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Both. Always both, if we pay attention.

    Liked by 2 people

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