Thursday, February 24, 2011

Drafty Window

"Other people's pain is the wind on our house(s)." -- Betsy Pearson

The favorite room in my home is my studio and office. It is painted a brilliant color that brightens my day every time I see it. The walls are adorned with art and artifacts I've intentionally collected and each piece holds significant meaning. My studio is a place I can get messy, play and also work very hard. It's a place of comfort and rest, so it's ironic that it also encompasses one of my least favorite things - a drafty window.

Pondering this window with a friend, it came to represent a powerful metaphor in my life. The window has its special qualities which make it hard to replace. It folds gently in the middle thus allowing fresh air to pour in during the warm months while also buffering the wind which can be too chilly in this Northwest climate. There is a certain amount of protection and control from the climate. In the winter, however, the North wind blows stridently and seeps through the broken seals. Even as I wrap myself in cozy quilts, the air is chilled and impacts my warm heart. It's like the whole world is coming in through the cracks and there isn't enough heat to warm us all. It is the blessing and curse of having a heart broken wide open. There is a crack in everything that's how the pain gets in. Sometimes there is enough warmth and compassion. Other times the draft chills me to the bone.

• Step outside and feel the air on your skin
• Imagine each breath of air contains someone's pain and another's joy
• Breathe deeply and experience the connection with the whole world
• With your out-breath, send a warm blanket of love, joy and compassion into the Universe

8 comments:

Maureen said...

Such an apt metaphor!

Tess said...

Beautiful. This reminds me of the unusually emotional and open words written by our Queen Elizabeth and read at a memorial service following the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington: "Grief is the price we pay for love".

claire said...

You seem to describe tonglen breathing, lucy, something I like very much, breathing in pain, my own or others, and breathing out peace, light... I find it opens the heart :-)
Thank you.

lucy said...

thanks, maureen


@tess - queen elizabeth's words do express that i was feeling throughout this pondering. xo


@claire - i'm not familiar with tonglen breathing, however, as you describe it... yes, i believe we're on the same page. blessings.

Anonymous said...

"Even as I wrap myself in cozy quilts, the air is chilled and impacts my warm heart. It's like the whole world is coming in through the cracks and there isn't enough heat to warm us all. It is the blessing and curse of having a heart broken wide open"
so beautifully spoken... i think of the seed falling to the ground. your heart, broken wide births beauty, life like a mountain meadow spreading further year after year.
potter

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

What a brilliant, beautiful post.

The Pollinatrix said...

A blessing and a curse indeed, and a tricky thing. This is very timely for me, as towards the end of the day yesterday, I realized I had spent a good portion of the day listening to friends talk about their drama and suffering. In each case, there was a great deal of pain apparent. I was happy to listen, but finally reached a limit, where I just felt I couldn't absorb anymore, and I know it's because of how I was connecting the person's pain with my own. I just couldn't process anymore.

This post makes me think of a quote I used in a collage once, I believe from Sharon Salzberg: "The feeling of the heart being so open that the wind blows through it - I think that is the way it's supposed to feel when you're in balance."

lucy said...

i am so moved by all of these responses. you've each helped me reminder why it is i write :) xoxoxo