Psychologists who study empathy and compassion are finding that unlike our almost instantaneous responses to physical pain, it takes time for the brain to comprehend the psychological and moral dimensions of a situation. The more distracted we become, and the more emphasis we place on speed at the expense of depth, the less likely and able we are to care.
Everyone wants his parent’s, or friend’s, or partner’s undivided attention — even if many of us, especially children, are getting used to far less. Simone Weil wrote, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” By this definition, our relationships to the world, and to one another, and to ourselves, are becoming increasingly miserly.
“ In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
Storm clouds on a walk with amma (study break amidst the final set of finals). Surprised that a 5 year old iphone can still take pictures like this.
It was about to rain, we could feel a couple drops coming down but we both just sat there on the beach, our feet dangling in the sand. And then just like that, everything dissipated. Bright sky, no clouds. Then back at Manipal, a downpour just as we got home.
The weather is never in our control but sometimes I trick myself into thinking it’s comprehensible, that it can be understood if you observe the patterns enough. I don’t know.
“As I read it now, in the great silence of these distances, I am touched by your beautiful anxiety about life, even more than I was in Paris, where everything echoes and fades away differently because of the excessive noise that makes Things tremble. Here, where I am surrounded by an enormous landscape, which the winds move across as they come from the seas, here I feel that there is no one anywhere who can answer for you those questions and feelings which, in their depths, have a life of their own; for even the most articulate people are unable to help, since what words point to is so very delicate, is almost unsayable.
But even so, I think that you will not have to remain without a solution if you trust in Things that are like the ones my eyes are now resting upon. If you trust in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge. You are so young,so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can,
to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Perhaps you do carry within you the possibility of creating and forming, as an especially blessed and pure way of living; train your for that — but take whatever comes, with great trust, and as long as it comes out of your will, out of some need of your innermost self, then take it upon yourself, and don’t hate anything.”
“ I’m not sure what I’ll do, but— well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.”
We are all find she says
bonjour well because
well she is Chinese and anyway
we don’t use R’s
to think that I will never fall in love
is to be the me I was when I thought
I would never fall in love but I am now
this other me
in love and not too scared
I regret the heart we were captured in
in there I was not a nice person
in there I was a forgetful person
in there I required to know everyone
before anyone can know me
in there no one knew me
in there I was so alone
I might as well have been out there
which is where I am
out here and the deepness of my mother’s thoughts
so weighty and impressive
I nearly faint from the love I nearly was capable of.
From Dear Jenny, We Are All Find, Octopus Books, 2012.
imma try to swim from something (for something)
bigger than me
kick off my shoes
and swim good
and swim good
take off this suit
and swim good
and swim good