October 2011

Dear Friends,

It is a stormy afternoon here in Southeast Queensland today. As you know, storms happen everywhere and not only in weather. They occur in people; they arise in conversations. We see them in politics on our television screens or read about them in our Newspapers on a daily basis. Sport has also to do with wild actions: in Australia a well-known rugby team names itself Storm! Many of us even know of so called fights or storm clouds to appear suddenly and not always unexpectedly at so-called happy family reunions. Storms can also form anywhere else where energy or electricity is present and can be felt. A storm is “a violent disturbance of the atmosphere” to quote the dictionary. In weather, this often translates as rain, thunder, lightning, hail and so forth. When we talk about people, a storm would most likely be described as an outburst. Someone is “storming off”, is a common expression in the English language. That means that something in that particular person is being released. The discharge can hold words, emotions, convictions, judgements, actions and whatever else the person or persons involved can think of at the moment.

We could discuss at length whether tempestuous rhetoric and untamed actions are good or bad. We all know this: they are necessary in life. They are unquestionably just as vital as light and darkness or wakefulness and sleep. We live with opposites since the day we were born. We know some of them as hot and cold, peace and war, desire and satisfaction, father and mother. If this is true, if we know these opposites so well because we grew up with them, how do you explain that we react so negatively when we witness stormy outbursts? Are we unfavourable to change? Do we want what we cannot have? Luckily, we all know that life without changes is unbearable, just like a day without a smile!

In order to keep some comfort while fighting the odds in our life, we may have to get better at navigating. It could be a bright idea to learn to swim with but also against the tide. Another option is to try and foresee hidden obstacles on our different pathways or else just “go with the flow” and enjoy whatever is ahead of us. This particular attitude would consist of accepting unanticipated changes whether we like the idea of them or not. I consider it is worth it, like life itself. Seen we are here we might as well make the most of this lifetime by loving it unconditionally. What do you think of forgetting some of our “ifs” and other interfering thoughts in our not so “normal” lives? They will, by the way, forever be imperfect.

It is indeed a nice idea to aim at flawlessness in life but it would only be ours, never everybody’s. Most likely it will remain an inspiration.

So does all this mean, you will ask, that we should accept what is? There are as many answers as readers, I imagine. For me, it is a delicate balance or imbalance between change and our attitude to change. A very difficult task indeed. That is our blessing: having to cope with what is almost unachievable.

Here is a Story for you: THE STORM by Cat Dee

I had not slept all night. My bed was untouched and the window blinds open to the world outside. Instead I sat against the front door feeling the rain pound against it and listening to the wind rushing down the chimney, bringing with it gifts of leaves and soot. It was all so frantic, so loud and yet I was still. As my body sat rigidly wrapped around itself, feeling the vibrations of the house shaking through it, so did my mind. My thoughts had stopped. I was still. I was the eye of the storm. The storm which raged around me was mine and I was unaffected.

Usually when there is a storm during the night you wake up, amazed by the power and strength of some invisible muscle flexing itself outside. You lie where you are, send up a silent prayer that the house will stay standing and then you slip back into sleep; your senses no longer registering the show of brute force going on the other side of your walls. In the morning it would be over and you would barely remember the storm, it would be like a dream, until somebody reminded you of it. They would pass the news of it around like a tit-bit of salacious gossip and you would take strange pride in having experienced it. The storm. It just happened, of course.

Not this storm. This storm was my storm. I had caused it. It hadn’t been planned but I had lost my temper and it had just happened. Like the storm I had screamed and cried and taken my anger out on the world around me. Then it was too late: the damage was done and I like the storm died down. Now, in the middle of the night, a real storm raged around me and all because of what I had done.

A bolt of lightning struck the earth striking with it a bolt of fear in me. Despair and fear shot through my mind and my insides clenched in guilt but it was over as suddenly as the lightening and I was still again.

Then I just sat, listening and waiting. Praying it would end soon and hoping it would last forever. Tomorrow the aftermath of my actions would be picked over like the aftermath of the storm. Damages to be fixed, blame to be apportioned and prices to be paid. But it was not yet tomorrow. Not yet morning. Now there was just the storm.

And here is our Storm picture for today:

nl40

In love and light and storm
Mariana