Today is the Feast of St Martin, traditionally one of the big feasts which defined how we should work with time and the pace of our lives. It marked the start of winter and signalled a change of tempo. From tomorrow, a forty day period of preparation for Christmas began, a time which recommended that we should slow down, simplify our activity, reflect and see what really endures.
Perhaps this is fitting at the end of a tumultuous and frenetic week, which caused a lot of uncertainty in many people, and made us all examine our values, and the different solutions to being human which are being offered. We need to see what will withstand the passing of time, the passing of empires and changing human paradigms. It reminded us to connect with a deeper wisdom in order to learn how to deal with the frequently moving and disappointing nature of life:
Whether we’re conscious of it or not, the ground is always shifting. Nothing lasts, including us. … It’s not impermanence per se that is the cause of our suffering. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our effort to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness.
Pema Chodron, The Fundamental Ambiguity of Being Human