22 February 2010

what I think is true

I belong to a forum on Ravelry, Weekly Writers Wordshop, where we are trying to inspire each other and ourselves by writing to a weekly theme. Needless to say, the group just started, and I'm already a week behind. However -

Last week, the theme was "new beginnings." My first thought was, "insanity=doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results." It's one of those sayings that makes us all nod and smile, ruefully, and think about the areas of our own lives where we think we are stuck.

Today, though, I have a different perspective. Call it defensive, if you like, but I wonder whether maybe, just maybe, we sometimes repeat the same things over and over because we failed to understand them the first time.

Maybe moving forward is another name for running away.

Maybe by new beginnings, we avoid looking at where we are, and where we have been.

Maybe we are repeating the same things over and over because they are right.
I have thought about and said some things for decades, and I can say I've gotten nowhere - not because I think that what I say is wrong, but because some of the people I speak with don't listen. Will I ever change my mind about peace? Abortion? Human rights? Bread and roses? I hope not. Do I have a reasonable expectation of getting a different response? No. (Do I hope that I listen to the beliefs of others with openness and curiosity? I do hope so. And really, that's all I want, too.)

I wonder about the concept of new beginnings in the absence of new and attainable goals.

I wonder about respecting the desire to dig deep rather than spring ahead.

I wonder what "new beginnings" means to those who are repeating a mantra or praying a rosary or feeling the wind carry prayers from Tibetan prayer wheels.

Perhaps focusing on gratitude, close observation, a new focus on compassion, and tikkun olam will be my changes, my new beginnings towards goals that I think are eternal.

"They also serve who only stand and wait."


Nicole said...

You know, you're right. So many people speak of new beginnings in a way that does seem more like running away. Sometimes new beginnings are needed, though... I think the true lesson most people need to learn is which situation calls for starting over, and which does not.

Donna Lee said...

I guess it depends on whether you are beginning something new because you have completed what you were already working on or are starting something new to ignore the old, unfinished things. I don't think that there's anything wrong with staying put and just working on something from a new direction.

KnitNana said...

Excellent points and I think you're very wise. I always looked at that rather flippant reply and thought, "well, yes, for some, but there's much more behind it."

And here YOU put the proper logic and thinking behind my (quick, almost as flippant) response. Hmm...not repeating the same thing, are you? :)

Carrie K said...

I love that response to new beginnings. Where would be without old friends? The tried and true? The comfortable, the familiar. Newness has its place but it cannot and should not eclipse the old.

As for getting nowhere with some people, it may not be that they're not listening to you, they don't agree with your conclusions. Maddening, aren't they? Especially when they are so, so wrong and it seems so evident. Been there, banged my head on that brick wall.

Inkslinger said...

Wonderful thoughts!! Just what I needed to read today too (love it when that happens!).

adrienne said...

I love it. Perfect for how I'm feeling. Brilliantly well said!! :)

Mary said...

Very thought-provoking. I'm in the middle somewhere. My current adventure is nothing if not a constant stream of new beginnings but I never thought of it as running away. I'm a very introspective person and spend a lot of time analyzing why I think what I do and why I react the way I do and then trying to do better. That too is a new beginning!

~ Jinn said...

Wow, what a refreshing perspective. Sometimes waiting brings us to the right beginning rather than just any.
Thank you for giving me something new to think about. :)

Khadijha Caitlin said...

That was really beautiful - thank you, it made my night:)

Daphne said...

Love this post. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. In the past few years I have been going backwards in time, not forwards -- in a good way. I have been reaching back towards the things that always brought me comfort: old (worthy) opinions, books, art, being a homebody, poking about in old shops... rather than forging ahead with new. My life does not have room for very much "new" right now, and I think that's actually just fine. Things move so quickly these days... sometimes I think we have completely lost perspective on what a normal pace is.

Ruinwen said...

Loved this post! You have such a beautiful way with words. :)

Thanks for your lovely post on my blog.