I spend a lot of my time thinking about the Big Things. Wondering about life and death, the spaces in-between, and the meaning of it all. Those are the biggies that take up a lot of my headspace. Sometimes, I am able to pause and focus on the small things, the moments that are happening right now: the quick conversations and the warmth of the March sun. That is the stuff of which mindfulness is made. Often, though, it seems like I am just vacillating between the two, never fully committing to one or the other. And in the end I am left with the mushyness of both… I am left with no clarity.
Looking through these two lenses, simultaneously, feels like trying to count the stars to understand the universe. The stars, whose light is from the past –with some light coming to us from stars that no longer exist– are there for us to see when we pause to take that time, but they are already gone; the universe (and beyond) is so vast that it defies complete understanding and it is continually expanding (much to the dismay of Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer). It is a sisyphean quest that only the philosopher scientists will accept. It is like trying to hold water in your bare hands. It is like so many realities of our existence that force us to ponder our very existence. And then, in the pondering about the wonder, I am stymied. It all begins to make my head hurt, literally and figuratively. Mostly figuratively.
So, either it is all about the Big or it is all about the Small; it just doesn’t seem to be possible to hold those two things at once, although I have tried. God knows, I have tried. I have thought that perhaps the small things are big or that the big things are really small (medium does not seem to exist in my dichotomous brain) and I have thought that if I can just figure out which determines the other, then I will be able to take the next step, whatever the direcion.
But until then, I am stuck and unsure. I am stuck on the Big and I am stuck on the small. I am overwhelmed by the number of stars and I am in awe of the vast universe. I am exhausted and in danger of escaping into a myriad of likely unhealthy escapes. The questions about questioning are beginning to press down and I am even second guessing this…this word, this sentence, this paragraph, this post. But, like so many other moments and days (and yes, years), I will move forward, slowly, because that is really the only direction that is viable.