Thursday, August 03, 2006

Coming Back to Earth

Slowly I’m settling back to earth after my Boxwood-induced high. When I was in Nova Scotia, I did take a real break from my normal life. I did not take my laptop; I never touched a computer; when others said they had to go find a way to check e-mail, I looked at them with amazement. For me, it was such a relief to ignore all of that, as well as the news, and immerse myself totally in the music and in hanging out with the people immediately at hand. I lived purely in the present.

I am more convinced than ever before that there is a deep, ever-playing music that holds the world together. Whenever musicians play, they tap into this and activate it for others to hear. I had the sense that we were all doing very important work last week, by strengthening our own connections to this great power, absorbing it more fully into our souls, and refining our abilities to share its inspiring and healing power with others.

Now I return and slowly bring myself to face the full complexity of my life again. It is August. At the end of this month, a new school year begins.

I find myself not as disappointed by the approach of a new school year as I might have thought. I feel ready, and almost eager. I want to check into where my students are, how they are reacting to this ever-shifting world. I want to inspire them and reassure them. I want to help them find meaningful ways to engage the world, both in terms of finding connection to what is splendid about our world, and in terms of learning how to effectively address some aspect of the world’s problems.

Humans are problem-solving creatures. We derive great satisfaction from finding ways to solve real problems. But that is not all we are. We are also playful creatures, and need to find and nourish sources of joy and creativity as well.

As I flew back from my trip, concerned, as always, about what my own flying was doing to further global warming, I was also amazed: at the ingenious creativity of human nature that made it possible for us to do this; at the beauty of our planet as seen from above the clouds; at the beauty even of many of the visible changes we have wrought upon the earth's surface. I found myself praying in a new way. I found myself full of compassion for this remarkable species called homo sapiens.

"We don't mean the harm we cause," I was explaining to God. "Have you really created a world that transforms our own restless energy into irreparable damage to our home planet? Have you really given us that much power? True, we've created systems that we don't really understand, and those systems have gotten a little out of our control. Ok, a lot out of control. But can't you see that we need your help in this? We really haven't meant the harm we have caused. It's really not easy for those who are concerned and want to restore a sustainable balance with the natural world to know how to engage the systems of power in order to do so. What are we to do then? So many of us are willing, even eager to help, but just don't know how. We need your help!"

The plane touches down. I've been transported from an idyllic land of perfect summer temperatures and sunshine, music and sparkling laughter, now through bumpy clouds into the unusual heat and humidity and grim seriousness of my life back at home.

I re-enter the complexity of my own life, clearer now than ever before that each branch of this complexity is a lever of engagement, with power to shift and change the world. If I play this instrument well--this complicated instrument that is my life--I can help activate the deep great music that has the power to heal the world.


  1. Sounds like a blissful vacation. Living in the moment, not beating yourself up for the condition of the world. Love is the ansewer.


  2. Wow! What a coincidence. I went to Boxwood too! I found this site looking for pics from this year-but it is probably a bit to early for that. I wonder if anybody will pst their pics, and if so how one can find them...

  3. GMC,

    Yes, it was wonderful. And I agree: love is the answer. We must trust in love, and keep trying to live true to love, not letting fear discourage or overwhelm us. By living true to love, we bring goodness more fully into being.

  4. To the anonymous Boxwood attender,

    Wow, we probably saw each other, maybe even met and talked!

    Several years ago, someone started a Boxwood group (I think on Yahoo Groups) so that people could share thoughts, pictures, sound files, etc. It would be good to do something like that again, or even maybe revive that old site. If I find that anyone has set up anything like this, I'll post a link here.

  5. I just learned that there is a Boxwood blog! Here's the link: Boxwood NS 2006