I just finished reading Grace and Grit by Ken Wilber. (Yes, it took a while, but it was worth the lingering. It felt like I was reading just the words I needed just as I was reading them.) Being/doing is a major theme in the book, an account of Ken Wilber's walk with his wife through cancer.
His wife, Treya, comes to learn the balance, to appreciate the being that is so difficult in our world, to share with others the wisdom she gains from being, to live "both/and."
That summarizes her entire life. Grace and grit. Being and doing. Equanimity and passion. Surrender and will. Total acceptance and fierce determination. Those two sides of her soul, the two sides she had wrestled with all her life, the two sides that she had finally brought together into one harmonious whole.
So, I have been thinking about this being and doing a lot lately.
On Monday we began a transition at daycare, my ministry. As the season ended for families in the East Coast Migrant Head Start Program, classrooms were joined together. My group of 18-24 month-olds came together with the infants, babies between 6 months and 12 months. Well, there is a big difference between those two groups. Today I was able to identify it: being and doing.
The infants just are. The toddlers just do; they have entered the world of exploring, running, jumping, and playing. The infants will simply and peacefully sit with a toy just so long as they don't get hungry or sleepy. No wonder it can get a bit challenging with both age groups; I can barely manage the balance myself!
Then, because everything connects, someone sent me an email with a quote and a reflection today. The quote is from Pablo Picasso:
I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
And the accompanying reflection:
Sometimes life seems like a never-ending battle between doing and being. If I wish to be present, I need to turn my attention toward myself, but most of us lose our connection with ourselves as soon as we go into movement. Yet as we watch great dancers, great athletes and great actors move, we can't help but see how deeply connected they are with themselves, seemingly listening to themselves while giving a superlative performance. What's their secret? It clearly has to do with attention, with focus. They offer hope that it's possible to do and be at the same time.
Clearly there is a call to sit more deeply with this balance in my life!
Let us walk in the holy presence.
Lingering signs from yesterday's vigil in support of the children and DACA.