On the Necessity of Kindness


(WORN Smooth) It's the same as being worn down, except it's more...perky.

(WORN Smooth) It’s the same as being worn down, except it’s more…perky.

So yes, I disappeared again.

I’m slowly getting  the hang of being picked up and whirled around by life. The centrifugal force doesn’t upset or disorient me as much as it used to. The chronic frustration has given way to a kind of resigned wistfulness that manifests as a nostalgia for predictability and routine—a yearning that’s remained immune to all the practices of letting go and letting be.

(If anyone bothered to do a content analysis of this blog, they would find a multitude of variations on essentially the same themes. We spend our lives working on the same things—what some of us would call the same “issues,” though I hesitate to use the word as it’s so negatively fraught—and the work constantly evolves. It’s less about moving in circles as it is about moving in spirals: we find ourselves in the same places but at slightly different altitudes. The minute elevations in height afford an increasingly larger perspective, which makes all the difference at every turn.)

Another metaphor I’m fond of is the image of a stone being gradually worn down by water. Edges get chipped away and resistance wears down. It’s not that the water stops rushing, but that time and erosion whittle away the causes of turbulence, until eventually the stone itself disappears and there’s just the water rushing, flowing, and endlessly streaming.

The point is: everything that comes up in life is an opportunity to work on softening our edges. The work is seldom easy, rarely lyrical, and all too often just b—-y inconvenient. Which, I suppose, is why we have to be kind to each other. Only kindness softens the softening. Only kindness makes the endlessly rushing water a cool and merciful balm.

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