I've been trying to wrap my mind around this idea of groundlessness. The last few weeks, I have found myself especially drawn to noticing and photographing trees. I have been particularly focusing on their groundedness...their roots, how they run deep and pierce the earth through this slow and rythmic growth, in order to survive, to thrive, to live. I think I have been wanting that, searching for it and reaching for similar security in my own life...being planted, rooted, into something so that the worries and the sorrow that floats around in the world doesn't lift me up and take me away. My sister and I have been talking a lot over the past few weeks about our desire to control our situations and our tendency to want to get in the midst of things to get our own understanding and perspective...to be grounded in our ability to somehow effect the outcome.
Interestingly enough, earlier this week I started reading this book that I had bought several years ago. In it, the author talks about this idea of groundlessness:
"When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something. We might realize that this is a very vulnerable and tender place, and that tenderness can go either way. We can shut down and feel resentful or we can touch in on that throbbing quality. There is definetly something tender and throbbing about groundlessness."
I think that when I come into that realm...where I can't seem to find ground...the panic of it all usually sends me searching for some kind of stability. And, if I can't seem to find it, or if I let myself feel whatever pain may be stirring about...I can usually start to view it all with a judgemental eye. It is bad. It hurts. Let's make the pain go away, yes? Let's grab some control. She goes on to say:
"Things falling a part is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy."
It is quite a challenge...to just give it all room. To not allow attachment to a specific way of interpretting it all. To not search for a way to escape or to assign our limited perspective as the "truth" to the situation. Really, it is just about allowing the moment to be what it is and not trying to make it something else. It's letting go of what we think it should be about or what we don't want it to be about or what we hope for it to be about...and then just making room for what it is. Because, really, what else can it be?
"When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don't know what's really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don't know. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don't know. We never know if we're going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there's big dissapointment, we don't know if that's the end of the story. It may be just the bginning of a great adventure."
I have been stirred and challenged by this reading. I've been thinking about how, in my own life or in the life of people I care for, I can look at situations and label something as "bad" or something as "good"...but really, I don't know. I'm exploring a bit more of the peace of groundlessness...and that, if I can look at the in-between state of affairs as a place where my heart can open wider towards myself and others..."groundlessness" is really the only place to be.