Friday, July 13, 2012

Haiku Healing

Each time the wind blows
The butterfly changes its home
On the willow. 
                        Basho

I recently heard from a few friends about their unexpected misfortunes, one so horrible and unthinkable that the usual words of comfort and assurance simply weren’t available. Of course, I tried to say something anyway, but each word fell so short of the deep healing that was needed that it felt hopeless to even try. Especially by e-mail, where  words minus touch and tone and hugs and the little details of caring that help us get through life’s large storms felt so small and impotent.

And there is a timing to words of comfort. No one wants to hear about life’s closed doors being another door opening or God/Buddha/Allah/Great Spirit’s etc. grand plan when the wound is raw and bleeding.

But this morning, I opened a book to the haiku above and when the time is right, perhaps years down the line, this might help somebody somewhere. Despite all our efforts to control our life and protect ourselves and our loved ones, we are ultimately at the mercy of the winds of Fate. If we can miraculously imagine that each gust of wind that sends us spinning simply blows us to another branch in our willowed home, it might help us accept what comes our way. I’m getting better at viewing the small gusts that way, but know I’d be hopeless with the large ones that wreak unhealable havoc.

Friends, step carefully through this world and be ready to help those fallen by the wayside.



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