Weeding – and shedding

Perhaps because I was born in November, I have always loved the Autumn when the trees shed their leaves like rags, revealing the essential shape and beauty of their trunks and branches. Jesus said ‘Look at the birds of the air!’ but equally he might have said, ‘Look at the trees!’. Indeed, in the story of the mustard seed, he does.

If we can learn to let go of all pretensions and illusions and see ourselves as we really are, and others as they really are; if we can let go of our projections onto others, making of them heroes and heroines or villains; if we can let go of prejudice and greed, even of our own achievements and possessions – then our essential nature will emerge and with it a greater lightness and sense of humour!

As Robert Frost once said, ‘you have to grow by shedding’. This is why we need to have periods of spring cleaning ourselves – what Frost called ‘time out for re-assembly’.

I am also convinced that from time to time we need to make bigger changes, to clear the clutter in our inner attics so that there is space for something new to take its place. A garden has to be weeded constantly if the most precious plants are to flourish.


2 thoughts on “Weeding – and shedding”

  1. Two nights ago I saw Lisa Dwan’s beckett trilogy. It was a kind of weeding for me. In the absolute darkness, the character on stage barely existing, and all the words become chatter, in an empty space of darkness, finally fading into the void. And through that, the existence on the other side of the darkness, mine, also became chatter for what it’s worth, as you say the illusions and pretensions. It was cleansing. I had the profound sense that what I know, how I dress to project myself favourably, what I want others to know about myself, don’t mean much. In fact, don’t really matter. And I had the profound sense that what did matter was preparing myself for the void. What mattered was that I note all else in the world, see it before it goes from me. See the human condition and human home of the planet before it disappears, over, no more, ever. Not be caught up in all my self-aggrandizement. You mention Jesus saying Look at the birds of the air. And it goes on, they are taken care of. It’s enough So then, escaping the illusions as much as I can allows me to take note of where I am and that I have but the slightest of a moment before falling back into the nothingness, just a fragment of time to take in this physical human existence, this planet for all it is. My illusions that become so huge and matter so much distract me from just saying hello to the world, see you there before me, as you, not my projection, you, you lovely thing, a glimpse of all the wonder of existence just before darkness becomes me again. All the colour, light, laughter away. No more. Yes. What does matter? What does really count? Hell with the attic. Hell with it. Bloody stupid nothing.

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