Contradictions in our Lives
In the run-up to the New Year, intentions for the coming year start popping up in our conversations and in the media. With summer sitting on the horizon, many of us start thinking about a different set of intentions – a mix of work (“the weeds are taking over”) and thoughts about kicking back (“I’m going to spend my vacation sitting on a beach. Maybe I’ll read a book.”) From last winter to this summer, one connecting intention for me is a kind of remedial “Spirituality for Dummies” crash course reading binge.
You know how sometimes something clicks? I heard a big “click” a couple days ago when I read this in Richard Rohr’s “The Naked Now
“Without a doubt, love and suffering are the primary spiritual teachers
more than any Bible, church, minister, sacrament or theologian…
These experiences give us a privileged window into the naked now,
because impossible contradictions are staring us in the face.”
“Impossible contradictions” indeed. Between getting older and the nightly news, it’s not possible to ignore them anymore. But perhaps accepting — and in fact welcoming —the contradictions means living life as Jesus and other spiritual teachers instructed. I’m going to try to test that idea this summer.
I’m also going to test this. There’s a set of songs that I’ve listened to thousands of times. Now I wonder “why those songs?” Are they all about the mystical implications of love or suffering? First test: “Love Song” by Lesley Duncan and Elton John—the whole thing a beautiful reverberating click.
Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen
I may be onto something I was already onto but I didn’t know it. ;-)