Hexagram 38 ... again!

In every heart there is a coward and a procrastinator.
In every heart there is a god of flowers...

(Mary Oliver, "The Kookaburras")

... Autumn is a season of such contradiction; here you see summer, there you see fall. Balmy light mutes to pommeling scuds of rain; you curse the sleet while a secret, sacred child in your mind calls out Snow forts! Christmas! One day, a tank top; the next day, a parka. You want to live in your bath and your bed until next May but you also want to prepare feasts with your kin and light a thousand candles for the bonds that you share. So much is fallowing, dying ... yet creatures are vibrant and quick with the need to survive.

Welcome to the autumn equinox ... a seasonal shift that startles the body to move and keep warm ... the body that just wants its bed and bath.

One arm in Summer; one arm in Fall ... and you know which way you'll get pulled.

We all fight the pull; how can we not? We are alive, and we want to stay that way.

The funny thing, I'm starting to see, is that we don't need to fight. It's pointless, besides. Autumn, then Winter, will have us in time ... and so do Summer and Spring. Colours emerge; they deepen; they fade; they disappear; they emerge ...

If we fight the cold, we also fight the warm.

If we fight the yin, we also fight the yang.

If we fight the yang, we also fight the yin.

... Hmm. If I fight the coward and procrastinator, I also fight the god of flowers ... and if I'm fighting that god, well, I'm also getting my procrastinator off her backside and my coward into some action. But we all know that it's futile to take on a god ... and who, really, wants to wallop a god of flowers?

I do! I do! I hear myself say, and on we go ...

It's no accident that we call ourselves and others "two-faced." That's how most of us behave most of the time to one degree or another ... The apostle Paul was spot-on in his understanding of our boing-boing contortions of mind; he lamented in one epistle that he meant to do this but he ended up doing that; he did the things he knew he shouldn't, and didn't do the things he should.

Sound familiar?

I love the wit of Hexagram 38 -- it always seems to be winking at me, saying You know better, you silly twit, in a kindly, sass-eyed way. You know there are other routes through this ... You persist in butting your head against the same old rock -- ! -- the same old crock, while the rest of reality is waiting to send you off on another, wiser way.

I'm thinking of our "two-facedness" in relation with the YinYang, which invites us to cast a merciful, spacious eye toward our inevitably paradoxical human nature ...

Stubborn, marvelous you, says the oracle; just turn your head another way ...

How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.

(Neils Bohr)

(Photo: "Human Nature," by Carlotta R, via flickr.com)


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