Small, Shiny, Serene, Blue and White – April 30 2021

I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles, their outlook could be fundamentally changed. That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced. The tiny globe would continue to turn, serenely ignoring its subdivisions, presenting a unified façade that would cry out for unified understanding, for homogeneous treatment. The Earth must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied.


Small, shiny, serene, blue and white. Fragile.

Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut


When we find ourselves irritated by the world and the people in it, angry about the unfairness of it all; when we are locked down in our thinking, stuck in the weeds of how ‘they’re’ not doing it right, how I can’t be happy until I have (fill in the blank), or until you apologize for (fill in the blank); when we’ve had it UP TO HERE!; it’s time to take a slightly larger sample size. Pull back. Look at the bigger picture. Recognize that in a week or a month or a year this irritation won’t matter at all. Look five years in our future to see if we’re still holding onto this resentment even then. Imagine ourselves in our 80’s, looking back at this moment and asking ourselves how would I like to see myself behaving? What would let me think, ‘Good for you! You let yourself be the bigger person there!’


Not all of us get to see the earth from space, see clearly the insignificance of our plans and schemes and desires and troubles. But we have imaginations. We can imagine how surrender might feel, how grace, freedom, joy might feel. We can imagine how it might feel to love, in spite of our spite. We can imagine it’s a choice, always, to be our best version of ourselves.


We lose nothing by trying.


Today I will imagine myself as someone who can transcend the difficulty and irritation of being a human, and I will try it out, just to see if it might work. Muir Woods, Mill Valley, CA

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