In Ireland today’s forecast is for sun, so we can sit outdoors or maybe even have a barbecue. We are always wishing for sun but in reality, we encounter clouds and bad humour, and rain has its uses in nature as in life…
Sunshine all the time makes a desert
I’ve always had the feeling that life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you, give you experiences. They may not all be that pleasant, but nobody promised you a rose garden. But more than likely if you do dare, what you get are the marvelous returns. Courage is probably the most important of the virtues, because without courage you cannot practice any of the other virtues, you can’t say against a murderous society, I oppose your murdering. You got to have courage to do so. I seem to have known that a long time and found great joy in it.
Maya Angelou, in Judith Rich, Conversations with Maya Angelou
It is sometimes through times of testing that we come to know what endures.
The Zen student, the poet, the husband, the wife — none knows with certainty what he or she is staying for, but all know the likelihood that they will be staying “a while”: to find out what they are staying for. And it is the faith of all of these disciplines that they will not stay to find that they should not have stayed. That faith has nothing to do with what is usually called optimism. The faith, rather, is that by staying, and only by staying, we will learn something of the truth, that the truth is good to know, and that it is always both different and larger than we thought.
How can you reach a pearl by only looking at the sea?
If you seek the pearl, be a diver:
the diver needs several qualities: he must trust his rope and his life to the friend’s hand,
he must stop breathing,
and he must jump.
See how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
than the simple, untested surface before.
Jane Hirshfield, For What Binds Us
A different way of seeing the challenges in life, and maybe a more helpful way of looking at the slow diversions which life obliges us to take:
Une difficulte est une lumiere. Une difficulte insurmontable est un soleil. Paul Valery
(A difficulty is a light; an insurmountable difficulty is a sun)
We tend to perceive difficulty as disturbance. Ironically, difficulty can be a great friend of creativity… I love these lines from Paul Valery: this is a completely different way of considering the awkward, the uneven, and the difficult. Deep within us, there is a terrible impulse and drive toward perfection. We want everything flattened into one shape. We do not like unexpected shapes… The imagination in its loyalty to possibility often takes the curved path rather than the linear way. Such risk and openness inherit the harvest of creativity, beauty and spirit.
John O’Donohue Anam Chara