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Yesterday, in my post, I made mention of the mobile that hangs on my porch. I wrote briefly of the way it speaks to me of grace in motion, the way the feathers pick up the slightest current of air, the way the rocks add substance and weight to the spiral, anchoring the feathers from drifting. So, when today’s word arrived I knew there was more to say, for while it is true that this symbol represents balance for me, the truth is that there is much tension in it for me as well.

It is not always easy to hold the tension in balance, and even when it is held just right … enough rocks on this side , enough feathers to pick up the breezes… a storm can tatter, a knot can come loose, and the whole thing is suddenly cockeyed. And during the frozen days of winter, it goes largely untended.

If I were to put it into the context of today’s word, I suppose the image for me, when the whole thing is working, is more like two arms in perfect tension or two beasts pushing with equal leverage. For indeed, I do wrestle, sometimes mightily, with the form. Whether the form be L’Engle’s sonnet, where I want to push the envelope with another syllable, please!, or with today’s feathers and stones, where, if I am honest, some days I want to untie all the rocks and let them drop, let those feathers take flight!

Does this negate the Freedom of yesterday’s post? I don’t think so. I think that life for many of us is often a struggle, a holding of the tension, between opposing yearnings and needs, dreams and responsibilities. Whether we are talking in abstract global terms of individual vs community, peaceful acceptance vs radical resistance,  stability vs change, right vs left or, more personally, relationship vs self, stillness vs action, self-acceptance vs desire for change, I expect that tension keeps things in check. It keeps acceptance from dropping into a thud of resignation, apathy and despair , keeps the desire for change from flying off into fits of self-righteous anger.

As for me, I wrestle each day with the ‘wild and precious life’ onto which I dream of gluing feathers of flight and the deep love I have for the persons in my life who keep me grounded in place. The struggle is real and sometimes the tension, great. But as I wrote yesterday, I do not believe that freedom at all is the same as escape. To be free in that case would be to be lost. No, I trust that somewhere in the middle of such opposing forces there is space, and that in that space between opposing arms, one lends a hand to the other….or holds the other up.

Within that space, just between heaven and earth, I am welcome as I am… with my feelings of longing for More (my humanity) and my compassion for all (my divinity?), which sometimes make the sky so gray that I cannot discern between the two. And yes, there is freedom in that, freedom to nest and to fly.




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