Lately, I’ve been seeing things differently. Life, differently.
You could call it viewing the world as an outsider from the inside.
Or, fascinatingly enough, and equally as true, from the inside – out.
It may be a seemingly confusing concept to grasp, but, from my inside out, topsy turvey view, it makes complete and utter sense.
For, from this perspective I am able to simultaneously experience and reflect on my experience at any given moment. I am starting to see and believe that this is the fundamental secret to all of life, and sadly the most cliched one at that.
Carpediem. Seize the moment. “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”… Live in the moment. Be present… Let go of the past. There is only today. Live now… and probably another good one to remember: “memento mori” (remember that you are mortal)
However you word it it’s utimately all the same, continuously uttered, preached, referenced, (by myself included) however, very rarely done. For, living in the moment is way harder to do than it sounds.
Until – it’s not.
And then that’s all there is. Life – consisting of moments, flowing and blending into other monents only to create one infinite, continuous, unbroken, breathtakingly beautiful, unbelievable, incomprehensible moment – life.
And, like all things on the universal plane, we’re right back where we started.
Or are we?
Today, for example, I was on my home from work when it started to rain – no, pour – and my mind immediately started to click into action.
Bus – rain – geting wet – drop – drop – drop – rain – cold – wet – consequence – sick – work – no work – rain… catch the bus.
Inside out, the outsider on the inside shouts!
“Embrace it! Walk.”
And so, I did. And I loved every second of it.
The drips of water streaming off my nose, the goosebumps bristling on my arms… It was sublime.
And I realised a very important thing on that rainy walk home.
I realised that perhaps, as humans, this scenario could be taken as a prime example as to why we seem to always fail. To fight helplessly against the shifting, overwhelming currents of life, only to face disappointment and be dumped, miserably, flat on our backs on the edge of the shore of existence. (And, of course, soaking wet.)
Learning we call it. Life is a giant school in which we need to learn and study and grow until we have learnt and studied and grown enough, and then one day we miraculously find ourselves at the top of the class, passing with flying colours, graduating on… into… death?
And so, outside looking in, perhaps, just perhaps, life is not a school in which to learn about the very thing we are taught by society to avoid – life.
But perhaps it is exactly as we say it is – one infinite, continuous, incomprehensible moment, leading us right back to where we started…
I have noticed, that as humans we seem to possess the need to control things. Control our relationships, our circumstances, the environment, the world, ourselves…
If we were to take a few steps back and view our existence honestly, we might come to note that everything in our world is under some form or another of control.
The rainy scenario for example…
When it started to rain (completely normal and natural but unexpected, and nonetheless another thing that we humans hate and try our utmost to predict…) I noticed that the people around me changed. They quickened their pace, ducked into previously disregarded stores, or stalked beneath pigeon packed overhangs.
Some glanced up toward the sky in distaste before frantically rumaging through their bulging bags and whipping out their umbrellas like sheathed swords, fiercly piercing the surrounding air and retreating, relieved, beneath the safe, self- regulated capsule of dry space. Escape.
The less fortunate umbrella less souls furiously cursed the sky, not even bothering to look up, and immediately starting to fret about their clothes, their hair, their makeup.
Their once perfect appearances slowly start to melt and drip off their coats and boots and oversized bags to join the countless drops of rain on their streaming journey off the pavement, down the street and into the gurgling storm drains.
You’d swear that their actual lives had just joined the rain in the gutter the way their moods insatntly dim turning a pallid grey – mirroring the ominous clouds overhead. They way they claim their day has just been ruined by the benign and rather impartial weather, as once sleek, perfectly straightened hair is transformed almost instantly into a mane of untamable, uncontrollable frizz. (which apparently, although I’m not quite sure according to whom, is most unattractive. mmm…)
The way they see it, you’d think that the very sky herself – the eye of the world – was flooding the land with her dark, grief filled tears, splashing the land in a coat of deep melancholy grey and drowning its inhabitants in impenetrable gloom.
I look up, and stare thoughtfully through the cascading sheets of rain at the thick, swirling mass high above and begin to smile.
A fresh perspective begins to form in my mind’s eye…
The soft pitter patter of the rain dances off the pavement, and the people, trees, roofs, and shoes. The sound resonates and the air is suffused in a thick and alluring melody. Pitter. Patter. Pitter. Patter…
The storm gathers momentum, increases in strength: fueled by unseen, incomprehensible forces… The pitch, the intensity rises and rises, peaks and falls… Nature’s great orchestra. A symphony!
No. A lullaby.
A lullaby to the world, a thick grey blanket; neutral, soothing – wraps itself lovingly around the Earth. A refreshing shower before bed, a thorough cleanse to wash away the day’s dust and weariness. A revitalizing drink of water, a million gentle kisses falling softly on her brow, sending her to slumber and encouraging soft and lucid dreams.
How loved is the Earth! And how blessed are we – participators and spectators to this beautiful dance know as life.
We that need to learn from nature. To change and shift with the seasons, to pass passively from day into night. To flow with life and love and to learn to dance when the rain does!
Our rigidity and control cuts us off entirely from the environment and ultimately ourselves. We set up boundaries, both internal and external, our minds conditioned into a corner, victim to block after self-inflicted mental block. We need to embrace life, dance the dance, participate in the constant exchange and flow of energy on every level imaginable. (And unimaginable!)
For to remain rigid is to fail. For life is everything but this. It is constant, and changing, infinite and eternal… Oh, how I love the rain.