“Barn’s burnt down — now I can see the moon.” – This evocative Haiku was written by Mizuta Masahide, a 17th-century Japanese poet and samurai,
The great thing about change is it brings new opportunities. Don’t be so focused on what is, that you forget to imbue the future with what can be. The world is your oyster. That is why I call this, the barn burns down.
I had an art teacher in college, that I hated at the time, but now have realized that he taught me not one but several gifts. In drawing class, I remember he would have us draw an object with charcoal for about 40 minutes. Then he would announce that we had to wipe the paper clean.
That was incredibly hard. Unless you felt your drawing totally sucked that day, you were into it, liking if not totally loving it. You had decided a plan in how you were going to finish the drawing, and you might have a place in it that you think “This could be a once in a lifetime piece of artwork“. You had to not only let it all go – you had to destroy it. All that work you did, you were going to have to do again, if you even could, which it seemed you absolutely couldn’t! It was painful. You HAD to do it. If you didn’t, he would wipe the paper clean for you.
After several weeks of this, how I felt about it changed. I learned how to go into the darker paper, and pull out better hi-lights. I realized that usually the part I thought was most “precious” I COULD create again, and it would look even better because of the practice from the first time. I started to learn that there was a freedom that came from wiping the paper clean. I didn’t have to be ATTACHED to it. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t a “precious piece of art that totally defined me”. It was something I had done and could do again or do something totally different. Wiping the paper was FREEDOM from clinging.
“The root of suffering is attachment” Buddha
The economy, events, work, lifestyles may change drastically after COVID19. It may take a while to get back to “Normal”. My belief is there will be a “New Normal”. Like the second sketch on the same paper, we have a clean slate. We have learned what we like about working at home, what we like about watching stuff on TV or Zoom versus being there in person. We also KNOW what we miss from Pre-Covid19 times. So what we create next will be amazing. The only mistake would be to sit in the current situation and NOT move forward. To give in to the clinging.
The situation is changing. It is in flux, up to us to create the next best version of ourselves, our lives. If we give in to fear, to worry, we will create a fear-filled future. Be stronger than that. Know your worth. Know that the Universe really DOES have our backs, that God loves us beyond measure and that there is no source of darkness only lack of light.
(If you don’t believe things in that last sentence, just sit with them. Mull them over, use them as a mantra. Because I promise you, they are true.)
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Thank you Ann Marie for those beautiful and inspiring words!