Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is skepticism; bewilderment is vision.Rumi
My intention is not to confound you, for that was in the hands of Rumi when he wrote the two short lines of his poem, speaking volumes in its brevity. We have an overabundance of cleverness in our world and a lack of bewilderment: inspiration, magic, wonderment.
Cleverness surrounds and bombards us in the news, peoples’ opinions, inequalities, and hatreds, with an addiction to a hyper-focus on negativity, fear-based headlines, and soundbites. Yes, we grieve as we must, and there is much that needs mourning and healing in our country and globally, given the harsh realities in which we live with others who share our planet.
Bewilderment is about vision coming into view from not knowing. Our egos fight confusion, not realizing the stress resistance creates. Some people choose denial, while others seek clear waters for truth and reality. In Hermann Hesse’s seminal work, Siddhartha, Hesse’s Siddhartha decided to embark on a challenging journey during which he was bewildered and resistant, experiencing cycle after cycle of Samsara. At the end of his life, Siddhartha discovered clarity and truth:
It seems to me that everything that exists is good—death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depth of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary world, some imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it.Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
Of course, we will stand and speak out for truth and justice. However, we might consider losing our cleverness and snarky attitudes. Instead, let us invite wonderment in the face of these realities, bringing curiosity rather than suspicion, and create visions that inspire and incite the best part of ourselves to serve well in this human dance.
(I humbly add that this is a personal aspirational journey, and I rarely succeed and often fall short. Nevertheless, I continue on this path, for it is my dance in this lifetime.)
A major storm system approached and landed several weeks ago. I adore BIG WEATHER so I couldn’t resist. I stood on the Riverfront walk and photographed its arrival and, eventually, its departure. Fortunately, I took shelter at Athens Rooster where I sipped a mocha latte.
I walked past the sweet scent a dozen or more times. I looked for fragrant blossoms and saw nothing that would emit this heady, sensual fragrance. The mystery lived on a patch of grass bordering the sidewalk. It was milkweed. Beautiful, wondrous, ordinary milkweed.
I ventured into the Rural Cemetery of Athens, now a part of my daily walk. There is peace among the gravestones resting in lush greenery and shaded by tall, ancient pine trees. There is one that stands taller than the others and its bark and roots are strong, communicating with possibly every other tree in Athens. Its bark tells of its age but the tree does not reveal its stories of the souls that passed on, some before the Civil War.
Every so often a flower weaves itself into my soul. For me, I see and feel the energy of my subject through my camera’s lens. This flower was in its own realm of joy. It gave itself total abandonment.
May this day bring good memories. May each moment be cherished. There is beauty all around to soothe the soul, inspire bewilderment, then magic with a finale of vision!
Thank you for visiting with me.