Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Lesson of the Hoops


Bureaucracy. Red Tape. Problems to be managed. Hoops to jump through. Roadblocks.

They are all the same thing. They are all steps toward the goal. The steps lead us to where we want to be. They are the reminder that we are forgetting the now and focusing on the future. They teach us to wait, to create patience in ourselves, to listen to the quiet around us - if we can dull the rush of noise in our own heads. I've a number of hoops to jump through, hoops for others to jump through. In the end they add up to one thing. Trusting the process.

Each hoop feeds my hopes. Each hoop brings one more fear to the surface. Each time we say yes to one thing, we are saying no to another, to many others. This yes is big. It is exciting and thrilling. And disturbingly simple. Trust. Faith. Trusting the place I'm going to, trusting the research I've done, the people with whom I've talked, the courage in my gut to go someplace so amazingly different and gloriously unique. It is trusting myself in the day to day as I move through the world here in Ohio and then day to day as I move through the world there. It is trusting the person that I will become.

There was a time when most things were done in this slower pace. Letters arrived weeks after being written, dinners were simmering for hours, the harvest was brought in one field at a time by large groups of people. We as people knew time in a different way, experienced ourselves in a slow wiggle to be who we are, to fit within our world. And now we have instant. Instant messages, instant rice, instant relationships, instant
authorizations, instant everything. And perhaps we have not remembered to value what we have because it is so readily, so quickly available.

The Quakers believe in simplicity. One step. Then the next. And the next. Much like my hoops. One step toward the land I will be shifting my life to - a land of shifting sands. A slower pace is natural for me. It is when I move too quickly, try to follow another's rhythm that the fear rises up. But as I quiet myself, listen to the wind, watch the corn sway, and make this phone call, and then that, I find the calm that I need to live in this new life. I trust this travel. I trust the people I am working with. I trust my future self.

There is only a hoop or two left. And then an airplane or two. And then a whole new world. As much as I love the one I am in, as much as I will miss the familiar, it is in the newness, the excitement of the difference, in the learning and teaching that I find my passion. And in passion, I am true to myself. A slow burn, that passion.

What is your quiet, true passion?
n.b. the photo above was taken by my dear friend Alana when I returned from my trip to Argentina. She is a great photographer. She also took the photo I use in this blog as my primary photo, upper right. I have her permission to use these photos.

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