The wind rushes to meet you across these wide open spaces, taking your breath away, slicing into you. Break you open or tear you apart - is there a difference, except in the words chosen to describe it? Is the harsh wind to be viewed as aggressor or as an exciting, provocative companion? - asattacker or merely as pushing you hard, to a place beyond resistance? Attracted, repelled, reminded of all the other conflicting forces that buffet you, you hesitate. Hover long enough in the doorway of new experience, and the wind will take you anyway. Fly with it, then - or turn and run for your life!
I found great resonance in Isabel’s comment here yesterday: “I […] moved to a wide open landscape in middle age and found it both exhilarating and intimidating to relearn how to live without cover… exposed.”
In a long, intense meeting on Sunday with my companions in this possible venture to make a new home, I pushed myself, full of trepidation, to express my discomfort with the overexcited and inconsiderate way we had been exchanging views, interrupting each other. Didn’t say it especially well and soon after I said it I, in my turn, forgot myself and spoke roughly in just the way I had drawn attention to. But I was glad I had spoken, felt exposed, but also held and appreciated by the group - the tight, closed feeling of discontent replaced by honesty and warmth.
This is the way I want to be. If being in a wide open, windy place were to prove a support to this, I would be glad of it.
¶ 2:26 pm
This sounds wonderful, that dream move away from the city. All sky and air, breathing space. Hope it works out for you!
By the way, I know fens - "Finland" comes from "fen".
Jean, the way you describe your companions: ..."held and appreciated by the group - the tight, closed feeling of discontent replaced by honesty and warmth" ... then the venture is worth it right there!
I've been in groups in which we established a rule that there had to be a space of a couple seconds between one person's speaking and the next (I suspect this is modelled on Tibetan custom -- it's considered rude there, I've heard, to speak right after someone else has spoken, without leaving any pause to show that you've absorbed what they said.)
It can make a big difference. You'd think it would enable the habitual interrupters, because it gives them more opportunity to jump in, but in practice it doesn't seem to do that.
Another common rule for us to have in various sangha committee meetings is that anyone at any time can "ring the bell" (figuratively or literally) -- meaning all talk ceases and we sit shamatha for 5 minutes.
They're both nice ways of opening space and stopping certain kinds of railroading.
Richard, you posted it on the previous post - that's what I get for not changing the subject! I've never seen the Mid-West, but I imagine East Anglia is not dissimilar in some ways, though on a much smaller scale...