Buttoned up

uncontroablly shivering
photo at newhealthadvisor

Yes: I know it’s August the first, not January. But anyone reading the papers and online world news today might be forgiven for believing that we’re all caught up in nothing other – past, present or future, than a perpetually dreadful ‘winter of discontent.’

I say tosh to that!

Jack Kornfield’s vignette about his twin brother Irv touched a chord with me this afternoon.

When I was eight years old, on an especially bitter windy winter day, my brothers and I dressed in jackets and scarves and gloves and went out to play in the snow. I was skinny as a rail and shivering with cold. My twin brother, Irv, stronger, wilder, and more robust, looked at me, contracted and fearful, and laughed. Then he began to remove layers of clothing—first the gloves, his coat, then a sweater, his shirt, undershirt, all the while laughing. He danced and paraded around half-naked in the snow, the icy wind whipping around us. We were all wide-eyed, laughing hysterically.

Finding freedom is an active process that engages your intellect, your heart, and your whole spirit.

Jack Kornfield
No Time Like the Present:
Finding Freedom and Joy Right Where You Are

Who among us hasn’t looked in the mirror sometimes and encountered a buttoned-up-seen-it-all-done-it-all-already little caricature of themselves – ‘contracted and fearful’ – ?

Better to avoid gazing at our own reflection too much and see if there’s a bit of twin-brother Irv to be found in us somewhere. And – even if we’re not soon laughing hysterically –  we’re as likely as not to wind up wide-eyed. With wonder.

And breathe deep.