The solution of the problem of life is life itself. Life is not attained by reason and analysis, but first of all by living. – Thomas Merton
How will we live today? What food will we eat, what conversations will we be drawn into, what words shall we choose, what actions will we make, or not make? What feelings arise, what stories start to turn? Do we feel our feet open to the earth and our skin open to the air and our hearts pumping blood? Do we sense the person or tree or silence in front of us? Do we sense the silence or anxiety within?
There are many ways to give off light and many ways to rest in comforting darkness. There are also as many ways to be emotionally blinded by either dark or light. What scares us? What intrigues us? What reminds us we are whole? Seek. Learn. Taste. Gaze. Choose.
If the Sacred moves through all things, all things are tinged with the essence of the sacred. Do we choose to foster that sense, or crush it? What in front of us right now is a miracle, a wonder?
The solution to the problem is that it is not really a problem. It is all this, simply: life. Pain, joy, grief, hardship, plenty. The sacred whispers here. Do we choose to listen?
One action toward life I choose to make today is to send a package of warm clothing to the Lakota and Oglala people at Pine Ridge, and some money for propane fuel. They’ve been freezing all winter. Ice storms have knocked out power. Some of the elders have frozen to death. This is one of the poorest places in the US. They still need our help. Links for various places to send aid can be found here.
I recommend donating to the emergency assistance fund set up by the tribe that will be used exclusively for heating costs — electric, propane, fuel oil, and firewood. Donations in any amount can be sent to:
Dean Patton, Treasurer Oglala Sioux Tribe P.O. Box 2070 Pine Ridge, South Dakota 57770
[edit: being a Californian, I realized I didn’t have clothing that would really make a difference, so Solar Cross sent a check for $120 which is enough to pay for a propane fuel delivery to a household.]
Let us continue to live fully.