Drink in these rich words from ethnobotanist, mystic, and author Terence McKenna: “The main thing to understand is we are imprisoned in some kind of work of art.” Does that mean there aren’t storms, hurts, and hard times? No, of course not. Just watch the news for five minutes and you’ll know there’s plenty of pain in the world, and I’m willing to bet you’ve been through your fair share too. Art, especially great art, and I think life and this world are masterpieces of the highest quality, INCLUDES our pain and loss, TRANSFORMING it to benefit us and others.
I think my daughter, Lara, gives us a helpful example of what this looks like. As my wife, Lisa, and I left for an evening with friends the other day, I looked at the kitchen we’d just destroyed, and told Lara: “You don’t have to, but we’d be SUPER appreciative if you could do all the dishes and clean the kitchen.” It was bad enough that it took Lara 45 minutes, but the thing is she had FUN doing it. To start, she took a picture of the mess and posted how there were monsters lurking beneath the dirty water and how she was preparing to do battle. Then, after she finished she posted a pic of the wonderful job she’d done in celebration of her efforts and victory.
Pretty much all situations are what we make of them, and starting with an attitude of celebration and positivity will infuse even troubling times with a beauty and lightness. So, I invite us to let our starting point be Terrence McKenna’s observation, which Sufi mystic Al-Ghazali puts differently, but no less powerfully: “Know oh beloved,” he says “that man was not created in jest or at random, but marvelously made for some great end.” Beauty, amazing people, and love ABOUND in this world, so let’s celebrate THIS moment, THIS day, THIS life, and THIS world!
Grace and peace,