It takes three days to drive across the great State of Texas. We started with an overnight in El Paso, then drove to Fort Stockton the next day and then to Luling on the second day. Luling is about 40 miles east of San Antonio. Yesterday we drove from Luling some 350 miles or so to Lake Charles, Louisiana. Three days! We will likely drive all the way through Louisiana today!
Sometimes I am accused of painting a “bright” picture of the world in which we live and at other times accused of being pessimistic about things in general. I suppose I am both, as most of us are. Sometimes life’s stony paths hold my attention and sometimes (especially while traveling) I seem to spend much of my time looking at the clouds. In fact, this is why I think traveling is a good remedy for “what ails you” (which is usually a result of focusing on life’s stony paths). Here again, what is called the “holy conjunction” is important—we must watch the stones AND gaze at the clouds—and do BOTH at the same time.
When Nikos Kazantzakis was a young man, a neighbor said to his father, “…I think your son’s going to become a dreamer and visionary,…He’s always looking at the clouds.” His mother responded, “Don’t worry, life will come along and make him lower his gaze.” And his father had the last word, “Forget the clouds. Keep your eyes on the stones beneath you if you don’t want to fall and kill yourself.” In spite of life’s stoney paths and the necessity to lower one’s gaze so as not to trip, we must always make room to look at the clouds.
One of the benefits of being liberated (retired) is the ability to look back (and most older folk look back far too much) and realize that you have spent far too many days gazing downward at the rocks, and too many years letting life lower your gaze, when you should have been “looking at the clouds.” In every chapter of life we need to be “always looking at the clouds,” and “gazing downward at the rocks,” so as not to stumble and fall. We are capable of BOTH/AND—doing two things at once.
|Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ|