AND Suddenly

September 27th, 2015

The illusion of sudden happenings fascinates me. I watch as we are shocked by a storm that seems to have approached suddenly, an age that seems to have happened to us over night, or a reaction from someone that we were not expecting.

I guess the question for me is how awake are we? If we stop to really focus on what appears to have occurred suddenly, there are warnings, early indications that such an event or reaction was at least a possibility, if not highly likely.

We don’t control what happens in life. We do get to choose how we respond. If we respond with surprise, is it because we like to be surprised so simply show up in circumstances expecting nothing, determined to by surprised by what we find?

Or do we not pay attention to the clues because we do not want to face what we know is coming? Or are we so preoccupied with our own inner world that we fail to acknowledge the contexts in which we operate and the people affected by us? Or…

Whatever the reason, at whatever point we wake up to what is going on around us in the wider context, we can learn something about what it takes to get our attention. If something needs to reach a pain point or dramatic level, how present are we in our lives? How much beauty do we miss, preoccupied as we are with our own little worlds? Are we lulled into familiar patterns, operating on auto-pilot until something unfamiliar finally causes us to pay attention?

In a funny way, everything could be seen as sudden, in the sense that each new moment of now is different from what was. In that regard change is happening all the time. On the other hand, if change is so gradual in each moment to appear to not be changing, what level of change needs to have happened for us to suddenly perceive a difference?

The warmth of summer days has given way to cool nights, and a cooler undercurrent in the air during the day. It’s been happening for a while in small ways. Suddenly this week, fall arrived. Really?

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