Archive for the ‘harmony’ Category

Rhythm

July 15, 2007

We were in Arthur’s Pass for six days. It was so cold each night the pipes froze up. The air was still and crisp in the mornings and the frost took till lunchtime to melt each day. For two days the power was out as the old black bakelite mains switch in the house gave out after 40 years or so of loyal service. I really enjoyed there being no power. There’s a small enclosed fire (like a pot-bellied stove but rectanglar) which you can cook on, and use to heat water.

Taking care of all the jobs required just to stay warm and fed gave a certain rhythm to the day. Get up, light the fire, boil water, pour hot water on the frozen pipes under the house, cho wood, cook breakfast, boil more water for the dishes, stoke the fire, do the dishes, and so on. There was still plenty of time for walks and playing cards and board games, but the day was measured and paced by the basic routine of survival.

You can’t hurry this. Everything takes as long as it takes. You can’t make the fire start faster, or rush the water to boil. It forces you to slow down, to move methodically through the day, and to go to bed early, when the light fades and the candles sputter out. There’s a sense of the eternal here. I can imagine my grandchildren and great grandchildren coming to this bach. It’ll be just the same in another 40 years. Just like these mountains, quietly measuring the seasons, sitting together in the stillness of the sky.

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Synchronicity

June 29, 2007

On Thursday night I was just leaving the back flat behind George Fox House. I’d been hanging out with Joe and Kate before my friend Tim, who I was staying with, picked me up. Tim called to say he was waiting out the front, so I got my suitcase, hugged Joe goodbye and went up the path.

As I passed the front door of George Fox House, John, one of the Resident Friends, was saying goodbye to a guest. “Hi” I said “I’m not staying this time”. “Are you getting a taxi?” John said. “No” I replied, “my friend’s giving me a ride”. “Where are you going?” said his guest. “Island Bay” I said. “Well, that’s exactly where I need to go” she replied. John then introduced us. “Oh” Marianne laughed. “We’ve just been emailing, I’m Louis and Pearl’s mum”.

We’d emailed just a few days before as her kids were coming to Junior Young Friends camp.  On the way to Island Bay we chatted about her kids, other JYFs and the upcoming camp. She asked me about my work, and it turned out she was going to Island Bay to stay with a school friend who just happened to be a client of mine, who I’d run a workshop with a couple of weeks before!

Sometimes random encounters like that make me think that it’s just too convenient to be coincidence.  I’m so resistant to the idea of fate, or an intentional God though, that I find this tricky. It’s easy just to say “it’s a small world”, and not think about it any more. I’ve had lots of seemingly ‘random’ encounters with other Quakers at GFH, which happen actually just because it’s a hub for traveling Friends.

Maybe it’s just one of the things about living in New Zealand, the degrees of separation are so low that those kind of ‘chance connections’ are fairly common. I can’t help feeling though, that sometimes synchronicity like that is a part of the wider beauty and harmony of the universe. I know that when I’m calm, focused, and in the flow, that sort of thing happens more often. Everything meshes and life becomes a smooth dance of joyous interaction with people and with the world.

To me this goes past fate vs determinism. It’s not a question of free will versus a supernatural being that has a plan for one’s life. It’s a deeper truth beyond that paradox, that when one is at peace, open, and present, the fact that everything is connected, that all is one, becomes more apparent. There is no intention, and no chance, only the flowing tides of a harmonious reality.