Tuesday, May 26, 2009

six words...& more

Living in Paradox
Integration is Hard

This morning I spent some time pondering the wonderful book, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs. The above words are what popped out for me today. I realize I could exchange the words “living in paradox” with “light and dark”; “full or empty”; “fire and water”; “me and God”, etc. I think you get the picture. Living a life of paradox is all of those things… “difficult and simple”… the list is never-ending.

My past several weeks have been all of the above and more. Lots of wrestling going on. In more than one context the question of whether or not it is “better” or “less painful” or “more glorious” to have insight has come into conversation.

While walking this morning these words came to me. “The bigger the light, the larger the shadow.” So, if I am indeed FIRE…BIG FIRE. What kind of shadow will I cast? If the pendulum swings far into sadness will not the law of physics swing it to the same degree of joy and back again?

So what of integration? How do we live fully into joy and sadness without getting whiplash from swinging back and forth? If our eyes are open, we see not only the amazing beauty of the simplest pleasure, but also the great depth of pain that pervades the world.

I sit in a time of letting go. Every birth is a death of something else. (Today is my beautiful boy's birthday). Every death means a new way of existing is being created. (Two weeks ago was the 5 year anniversary of my mother's death). Six weeks ago, I left a job I have loved. This weekend was shared with wonderful friends. Last week was time well-spent with amazing women including my fabulous sister. Like I said, lots of wrestling. Lots of joy. Lots of sorrow. Integration is hard. Six word memoirs? Six word responses? I’ve missed these conversations and look forward to hearing from YOU!


Brett said...


I can SO relate to your sentiments here. I feel I've been avoiding paradox for a long time. I first became aware of this in 2000 whilst soaking in a hot tub at Breitenbush. Talking to a friend, he suggested it is not so much living in paradox, but EMBRACING paradox. This has been my war. I have long been willing to recognize and battle paradox. Yes...integration is hard. Only now am I beginning to embrace and welcome the sharp edges of paradox. It is a life's work. I begin NOW. Thank you for helping me feel not so alone.



Kayce aka lucy said...

brett--hmmmm...i feel like i have been embracing paradox. how can we do anything but? both/and both/and both/and...thanks for helping me remind myself of that little mantra!!

and breitenbush?? the same i wrote of last summer? i am smiling broadly right now :-)

thanks for stopping by!!


Anonymous said...

Lucy, It certainly feels like this Spring there are a LOT of us trying to birth...something. Do you feel that?

Perhaps by Summer Solstice as the sun hits high noon and there is that MOMENT of no shadow, perhaps then we will see clearly some missing piece. Perhaps not... :)

Kayce aka lucy said...

CCR--the "birthing" you speak of ...yes, i feel it AND it feels like a very long labor!

Tess said...

Yes it is a very long labour for me too! (Excuse the English spelling...)

My six words?

An exploration of brokenness and light.

Karen said...

Equilibrium...loving happiness in every moment...

Brett said...

Yes...the very same Breitenbush. LOL! It's different when you're there with a group.

Hmmm...living in vs. embracing. THAT is the question. Acknowledging paradox seems somewhat inevitable, although even this can be denied or repressed. (Don't many Fundies pretend to live a paradox-free existence? "God said it, I believe it, that settles it!") For me, embracing and welcoming the p word is different than mere acknowledgment. It has been hard for me to express willingness for something my mind cannot grokk. It represents a surrender of my need to control. I like the way Ken Wilber puts it. He calls it "transcend and INclude" whereas humans like to "transcend and EXclude" and the blind lead the blind into the ditch. The very mortar of politics and religion. I am learning to love and embrace the paradox rather than resent its intrusion into my neat little story. ;^)

Kayce aka lucy said...

tess--as i've said before, we share many similarities throughout our journeys. i could claim your six words as my own. thank you! xox

karen--thank you for your beautiful words. "equilibrium" is powerful for sure!!!

brett--much food for thought in your words and wrestlings. you have captured the spirit of the "fundies" well, in my humble opinion.

i do imagine breitenbush would be a different experience with a group of friends.

Abbey of the Arts said...

great reflection and comments here. My six words at this moment -- monk in the world bearing witness. You'll recognize some of those. :-)

Abbey of the Arts said...

I realized I wanted to get "beauty" in there, so my new memoir is "urban monk bearing witness to beauty".

Kayce aka lucy said...

C--your six words are absolutely perfect!!! xoxox

roxanne s. sukhan said...

my six words:

a restless heart, a silent witness.

and yes, it does feel like some sort of birthing process going on in my life, too. It has been the most painful and longest of labours, for me too. Makes me think ~ breech birth.

Kayce aka lucy said...

tinkerbell--your six words are lovely and poignant. keep breathing!!

Dianna Woolley said...

Oh, I put my memoir over on the Abbey site - here 'tis -

Old dog remembering puppyhood's fearless freedom:)


Kayce aka lucy said...

SS--love the memoir (will try to forgive you for posting at the abbey first :-). hope you don't mind, but i borrowed it for my post today. xoxoxo

Gabrielle said...

I feel this birthing as well, or can I say, re-birthing - a re-releasing of creativity. I'd like to acknowledge that in part it is due to your reflections here, Lucy - your creative sharing, your soul-searching that I have read over the last couple of years, and to Julia Cameron and others who help us to see what is possible, still possible, always possible.

Kayce aka lucy said...

gabrielle--i so appreciate your words of acknowledgment for lucy's reflections. sometimes it is helpful to have someone remind us of what is possible. you have done that for me today! thank you & keep creating!!!