Wednesday, December 30, 2015

In the Moment

While I was walking home, in a near-perfect Hallmark moment, a monarch butterfly fluttered past. It perched upon a flower, lazily and poetically opening and closing its wings. I almost continued on my way, but paused. 

Cherish the moment

I knelt down, face inches away, to watch the butterfly eagerly jab its proboscis into a pink bloom, absorbing the white-spotted abdomen, the stunning delicacy of the winged patterns.
It then took loopy flight. I walked on

The next morning I yawningly padded outdoors to the garbage. On the bushes next to the can, awash in dawn light, sparkled the ethereal tendrils of a fresh spider web. 

I bent over to observe a tiny arachnid patiently march in circles, laying down the gauzy outline of its net. I didn't realize that my breath caught, watching the creature given praise for saving Dovid HaMelech.
Via Kevin Anderson
The following night I heard the distant boom-boom of fireworks. I raised the shades to see spewing sparks across the sky, brilliant and vivid. Eventually I was tired of standing, but told myself that it won't be here for another year. Savor it now
I watched until the end, soaking in the loud hues, awash in my own childish glee.

Months later, on a frozen morn, I awoke to find the grim winter-ravaged surroundings being gently dusted with fluffy white confetti. I eagerly tied on my boots and with a wide, goofy grin, merrily tramped out as the leafless trees were adorned yet again. I savored the descent of each snowflake, remembering that each vary with artistic precision.
Don't read, I admonished myself when ensconced aboard. Look out the window. Who knows when there will be snow again? I gazed upon the whizzing white, a glowing in my chest.


Mr. Cohen said...

No doubt you have read this famous prayer:

“G_d, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

One of the first times this prayer was seen in print was in [year] 1944 [CE], in a book handed out to [USA] Army chaplains and soldiers fighting in the Second World War.

But the basic thought, the necessity of accepting the pain in our lives, goes much further back. There is a version of the prayer in Arabic, written in medieval Spain by Solomon ibn Gabirol, a Jewish scholar and poet. He taught that wisdom and peace lay in “being reconciled to the uncontrollable.” Ibn Gabirol knew tragedy: sickly and orphaned at a young age, he lived to see the assassination of his closest patron and mentor.

SOURCE 1: A Choice of Pearls, chapter 17, translated from Mivchar Peninim into English by Benjamin Henry Ascher in London in year 1859 CE, published by Trubner and Co.

SOURCE 2: Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life (chapter 4, page 37) by Eric Greitens (Navy SEAL), year 2015 CE, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers.

PS: * * * * *

Mr. Cohen said...

VeHaIkar Lo LeFached Clal

(Breslov Jewish music video, length = 3 minutes 36 seconds)