The Pantheon of Smallness was a way of thinking about smallness differently. Sometimes we make small things, sometimes there are small bird songs, but it can have an enormous impact. Sometimes you have to whisper to be heard. Our culture is very much one of “bigging it up,” always upping the noise level in order to produce a louder signal. What you see in the bird world is sometimes that the smallest tweet can actually pierce through the cacophony in a different way. That became a metaphor for thinking about art. Emily Dickinson did quite miniature work that had a very profound, almost epic, impact, culturally speaking.
Time – a word used in so many ways. We run out of it, there is too much of it – the world moves at a pace beyond our understanding and yet we are driven to “keep up”. There is never enough time in a day. Twenty four hours are stretched and modern calculations try to explain how we can multitask, adding extra minutes to our already over scheduled days.
We are to believe that time is like property, owned by each of us to manage and arrange as we will. It is what we are taught and often how we structure our lives. Using it so quickly and efficiently, its passing is only realized when we feel the stress of needing more – as if we have ‘run out’ of time.
Really?! For all of the hours and days we fill planning the future, there is little doubt that the best of plans would be tossed aside if a crisis of the heart or faith arose. Standing in a moment awakened by focus, all other time with its finally tuned schedule fades into the background. In an instant, priorities are re-set, the only thing that matters is “now”.
(borrowed from Lisa Richey at lisa’s Cheap Therapy Blog
Our lives are filled with projects. We awaken each day to schedules that pack the minutes of an hour and never feel like there are enough hours to complete our tasks. We pride ourselves in the ability to ‘multi-task’. Still, we lay our heads on night’s pillow unsettled and stressed – one more call should have been made, one more task was left hanging.
A story is told of a Zen master joining his student in a cafe for a morning meal. After quietly gaining perspective on his surroundings, he noticed a woman alone at a table. She was drinking a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. With concern in his face, he turned to his student: ‘See this woman – she cannot be conscious of her actions. When you read the paper, only read. When you lift your cup, only drink. To be mindful, one must do one action at a time. It is enough.’
One action at a time. This is so contrary to the pace our culture has set. A simple statement that rings so clear – One action at a time. Maybe it is goal to be reached (we all need goals) yet for now allow yourself the gift of closing today with the thought – what was accomplished this day was enough.