It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written a blog post. Every year I take a month or so to stop writing, stop thinking, stop making lists of topics or outlining future articles, and just take in the world. I read what catches my eye, have long conversations with both loved ones and strangers, go to art exhibits, take walks in different environments, and just wait to see what has been trying to get my attention but which I have been too busy and preoccupied with my own thoughts to notice. I am always amazed at how new ways of looking at the world, unperceived perspectives, and unrecognized allies just show up during this time.
Coincidentally, two of the books I have read have talked about this very way of being. One was conversations with people who have thought deeply and acted forcefully to build bridges between humans and the natural world. The other was about how art heals. Each, in its own way, advocates just being with nature or with a piece of art. When we stop judging, analyzing, speculating, looking for symbols or archetypes, and all the other things we tend to do everyday, and just be with nature or art, we can listen to what it has to tell us, which may be quite different from what we think we will hear.
I plan to try to do this more throughout the whole year. This need to judge and put everything we come across into boxes so that we are comfortable with it cuts us off from so much beauty and wisdom. Just being with something or someone is such a compassionate, respectful, encouraging way of experiencing that thing or person. You accept whatever or whoever you are being with completely just for what it or s/he is — the tsumanis with the butterflies, the anger in the art along with the harmony, the cussedness along with the adorableness in human beings. How much would we, and all beings, have to say if we knew that everyone around us recognized our faults as well as our best qualities, and just wanted to know what message we had to give?
In that spirit, I offer you this photo I took a week or so ago of a wasp’s nest. I invite you to just be with it, to enjoy the geometry of it, to think about the wasps inside, to wonder at it, to hear what it may have to tell you. I would love to know what it has to say to you!