Fight And Flow: Pebble

Adapted from
The Work Of Being Your Self

We like to believe we are in control of our world, captain of the ship of our life, and responsible for our self. There is great beauty and power in this orientation. But it also minimizes the fact that we participate in a greater drama and that we are deeply affected by forces beyond our control. We often rile against the world when the illusion of control collides with the greater forces and when life, or society, or our own unconscious, block our way or disrupt our routines.

Most of us avoid thinking about all these greater forces because it is simply overwhelming. Its much easier to find a good rut to live in and hold fast to the illusion of control. But the only way to live a genuine life is to engage the greater forces in ourselves, to dance the delicate dance with society, to choose at times to go with the flow and, at other times, to stand up against life and the world. Whatever choices we make, we all must come to terms with life and accept our place in a world that is greater and grander than each of us.

Pebble was inspired by the image of a white foamed wave flowing over a tiny pebble in the sand posted on Facebook by a friend, Frances Lilian. The image offered an apt metaphor for my life, because I have struggled to come to terms with the greater forces over which I have little or no control and that carry me along whether or not I choose to be carried. The world sometimes does not go the way I want and delivers conditions that upset my apple cart, challenge my understanding, and test my mettle. 

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How high the tiny edge of shallow water
to the pebble in the sand; the pebble
that endures the inevitable onslaught of life
hundreds of times per day, tossed in the waves,
washed by the sea, worn by the tide.

Imagine the white foamed wave towering
and tumbling over you while you stand
fearless in its path because you know
it is what brought you here and what will take you
on the next leg of your journey.

You would welcome the rush of coolness
peeling at your surface and the pull and lift
of the current wanting to claim you,
to carry you along, outward or inward,
as if you are lovers finding your place
with each other; and the lettering
of your movement across the wet sand
is your sonnet to the sea that calls the waves
back again and again because you know,
even though you are tiny,
your love is as great as the ocean

and your love will go on even after
you have been worn down into sand
and the ocean leaves the white foam
of its tears glistening on your surface.

Questions To Ponder:

What elements of chance “brought you” to where you are now?

Where is the momentum of your life carrying you? If you change nothing and life continues as it has, where will you end out in five years? Do you like where you are going?

Complete the prompt below with free writing. Write whatever comes to mind using the prompt as a start point. It’s best if you don’t edit and just write from the heart.

It is my fate / destiny (choose one) to…

Please share your comments below!

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