O: OBSTACLES & OBSTRUCTIONS
I’m interested in people who have to overcome obstacles, people who are not sheltered by the umbrella of the establishment, marginals.
As we age, obstacles and obstructions are prevalent and harder to bear. We trip over a blade of grass or slip on wet ground and our healing happens slower. Our partners and friends die … We’ve stiffened our spines before yet, paradoxically, made them more flexible; and continue to do so as we observe and digest and make our way through this particular stage of our lives.
We hit brick walls which cast their shadows –
Leonardo da Vinci ‘Shadow is the obstruction of light … necessary …’
Life continues to throw us slings and arrows even as we age and as they have throughout our life span. We feel at times as if this ‘opposition’ will never lessen and we will never be free of it.
Obstruction – of justice; fallen trees in the road; burning tyres on roads in protest of bad service delivery; our work colleagues obstruct us in some way; our partners oppose or friends ostracise us; ideas meet opposition; we find something objectionable in what so-and-so said or what we ourselves feel ..
Obstacles – can they be stepping stones as we tackle and manoeuvre through them? We learn how to manoeuvre around obstacles and obstructions with our knowledge gained as we age along the way. We know that each manoeuvre will be different to the last. Each experience and manoeuvre brings forth a new attitude, a stripping away or an adding on.
The lotus flower emerges so beautifully from the mud (its natural and fertile habitat) and its petals open slowly one by one, a thousand of them. We can be like the lotus flower emerging from the mud of our past and present obstacles and open, one by one, like the petals, in the moment, as we learn to live with ambiguity, uncertainty and paradox.
‘Certainty’ has no movement; uncertainty allows for possibilities of the unknown.
We can write about the mud, dance about it, paint it, cook it, heat it up, shape it, observe and engage in it, wonder about our reaction to it and how we overcame it, what opportunity actually arose from being in the mud.
We can be like the orchid, which can even thrive on neglect; sometimes it needs dryness. Yet, it needs an occasional drop of water to feed it. We can add that drop of water to what has been neglected within, and let ourselves continue to blossom, until we fall back into the earth, to be renewed yet again. Like the rose that in order to be complete, has and needs thorns on its stem.
Do you think shadows can provide stepping stones? Are we sometimes our own worst obstruction?