Monday, April 18, 2011

flux

It is an unsettling day today. The weather has been windy, rainy, sleety and much colder than normal. I am unsettled as well. An important meeting that was supposed to happen this afternoon was cancelled. I am in limbo about how things will unfold in the next few months as I finish my degree. I just received a second offer of admission for doctoral studies, which probably won't change my direction, but it adds another factor to the mix. We are in the process of moving my work space to the guest bedroom (which doesn't have a lot of traffic these days). Also, any vacation plans we have tried to make in the last month have all fallen apart due to scheduling conflicts or unique opportunities that keep popping up.

Unsettled. The path is not clear ahead. I cannot step forward decisively. I must wait until the things that are in flux touch down. Flux. That's an interesting word. It means 'flow' or 'moving across' and has a dynamic quality to it, like a river which is always in motion. Despite feeling a bit like I am going 'round and 'round in a washing machine today (as my clothes have been all afternoon), being unsettled is good for me. If I go with the flow of life as God allows it to unfold (as I prayed this morning), I find myself listening more closely. I often see things I had not noticed before. I remember to hold things lightly, and make time for contemplation and rest.

If I fight against the current of the flux of life, I tire quickly, because despite my best efforts, I don't get anywhere. I cannot make the skies clear and the clouds stop hurrying across the landscape. I cannot force a meeting when numerous other people are involved. I cannot control the speed at which institutional administration decisions are made. I cannot transport furniture from one room to the next and conjure up new furniture out of thin air (though I would love to be able to do that today). I cannot inject extra days into a calendar. All these things are feeble attempts to fight against flux.

Aside from being a term used in physics to denote magnetic and electric flow, flux is also a word that refers to the turnover of molecules in the body. Like what is happening right now as a cut on my finger heals. Flux is the movement of life. It is necessary not only for healing, but for growth and progress. It keeps me buoyant and moves me along from one place to the next. If I embrace it, there will be no painful wrenching or uprooting.

I read something today that reminded me of this type of fluidity in the context of living by the spirit: Let prayer become life and life become prayer.

This is a photo of the rope that holds the drumhead taut on Dean's djembe - an example of well-placed tension that allows small movements to become become beautiful sound.

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