Tuesday, July 16, 2013


"Skagit River",  oil,
by Robin Weiss
     I’ve been battling a problem for the past few days, but I’m slowly starting to see that it’s not actually a problem, and definitely doesn’t require a battle. I’m disappointed in myself, because it occurs to me that I’ve been responding to this so-called problem in pretty much the same way I handled a problem when I was 12 years old – by seeing it as an adversary and forcefully fighting it off. Back then, I saw life as an almost constant contest between me and my multitude of enemies, from sickness to storms to darkness to countless possible catastrophes, and it seems I’m still, at 71, sometimes wrestling with life instead of simply living it. Recently, though, I’ve been seeing this current “problem” of mine as maybe more like a river to be floated on and followed than a battle to be fought and won. Maybe life isn’t so much a fight as a friend -- an unfaltering adventure instead of an endless struggle. The best way to work with a river, I hear, is to tell it to go where it will and you’ll follow, and perhaps I need to say something similar: “Proceed, problem. Take me to a truth I haven’t seen before. Let’s see what we can do together.” When I was 12 (and 30 and 60), I took on my problems like a prizefighter, and almost always lost. Maybe I’m finally finding a new way.  

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