Saturday, February 11, 2017

Old wounds

They say some wounds never heal, and this is likely true for most of us, but it hit me today that their texture does change, and that they are best viewed as a thousand mosaic squares--some of them black, and which will always stay black--but some of which are colored and interesting.  Scars--and I have more than my share--are not just indicative of pain, but of learning, of deepened experience, of potential wisdom.

Two thousand years later, Jews still mourn at the Wailing Wall.  The loss still stings.  But the question can and should be asked: who would they have been if that had never happened?  Not who they are, certainly.  It what ways did Jewish culture evolve for the better?  There is no more animal sacrifice.  That to me is good.   And they are a race of geniuses, having a share in something like a third or more of all Nobel Prizes, despite being considerably less than 1% of the worlds population.

I was contemplating my belly the other day--that is the word, regrettably--and I was suddenly aware that it had a thousand little communities, a thousand different, differentiable, places, contacts, textures, colors.  This image is where I pulled that visual from the first paragraph from.  I realized that far from being monolithic, all parts of me partake in this sensation of being composed of many small pieces.

For their part, the Buddhists break space, time, and self into small pieces as well.  Everything is both discontinuous and connected, depending on your perspective.  But so often you have to push things to one pole to see the other on a spectrum, or to see the spectrum at all.

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