Monday, October 31, 2011
Tonight I was watching a movie on arm wrestling, don't ask! It gets to this point in the movie the Russian phenom starts talking about an ancient Chinese fable. I found a retelling of it and want to share it with anyone who might find this one day....
A monk walks alone in a forest. The leaves rustle in the wind. The sun penetrates the foliage and lies dappled on the forest floor. The bushes, trees and wildflowers give off a fecund musk. He is happy as he slowly makes his way home. Suddenly a tiger springs out on the trail behind him and snarls, leaping. He runs. The tiger gains on him. Now sprinting, his mind a torment of fear, he crashes through a bush and reaches a precipice. The tiger is right on him. He leaps. Twisting, he spies a cliffside bush. A thorny blackberry branch meets his hand. He grasps it. A thorn pierces his palm, and he cries out. Looking down, he sees another tiger, circling far below. Despondent, and in pain, he moans, uncertain whether to let go, and face the tiger below, or pull himself up, and risk the tiger above. Suddenly, he spots a blackberry, large and luscious. His fears immediately dissolve, and, captivated, he reaches out, plucks it, and savours it.
After losing someone you love, one of the hardest things that you will ever do is to truly savour that blackberry. Our pasts have overtaken us, our futures seem to be more than we can handle and the future becomes a blur.
There's so many people who never move out of the past. Their loss come to define them. The birthdays, the anniversaries, the holidays are all just one more reason to mourn. There's no more rejoicing. Another reason to wake up the day before. You're haunted by the unanswered questions. The maybes. The what-ifs. The might-have-beens.
The inability to move out of the past really just puts extra emphasis on the future. The focus on the tragedy overwhelms the capacity you have to live or love the present. There is soooo much fear that something bad can and will happen again, you're handcuffed to really live.
That's where you find the bereaved. Hanging on onto a blackberry bush, staring, trying to decide which tiger is the lesser of two evils. The REAL difference is their failure to appreciate the blackberry that hangs in front of them. I think it so far beyond appreciation. I'm not sure most of us even recognize the blackberry. There's so many of who have grown to hate the blackberry.
What is it going to take for you to learn to savour the blackberry that hangs in front of us?
All of this makes me think of another great movie. "There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present."" ~Master Oogway