Creating Wisdom

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At Full Moon Cottage, we are turning from the energy of these troubled days, not in rejection of their importance, but in the need to listen and meditate on what must happen next, and how, in our seemingly powerless confinement, we can contribute to the changes that must happen. Weeding the gardens, watering the gardens, following our cycles, pondering our lives. What shall we do?

We can say, definitively, that standing in front of a church holding a borrowed Bible, is not a viable option.

Years ago, we each had vanity plates on our cars. My little Bug was branded with CREATE, and Phillip’s sweet Jetta drove around flashing the word, WISDOM. They were always parked in our garage inviting us to “create wisdom,” first thing in the morning and when we arrived home from work.

I’ve been pondering wisdom stories from many traditions, turning them over, seeking direction. A profound wisdom story is like a profound work of art, bottomless in the inspiration and sustenance it offers. We take in their good, startling, challenging news, and, after years of effort, we hope they become us and speak through us, that we become part of them, that our lives become wisdom stories.

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Halfway round the year from now, in the darkness of winter, many of us will speak of peace on earth and offer good will to all. In a boost of seasonal endorphins, we will forgive, connect, gift, and celebrate human communion. We will share comfort and contentment, as we gather merrily (virtually, or in person), to sing, and to invite greater light and love into our hearts, our lives, and the world. Borders will dissolve, arms will be set down, and truces called. We will honor stories of conversion from greed to generosity, and of welcoming strangers, and caring for the (otherwise) oppressed and neglected. So it has been, for centuries.

In spring, we’ll scrutinize injustice, death, and resurrection; we’ll celebrate earth’s and our own renewal.

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Do we believe these choices and behaviors are only true and possible, for a time, in December and March? Aren’t wisdom stories, from all traditions, meant to be digested and integrated for all time?

Either it’s always Christmas, or it isn’t: Either we’re always faced with welcoming the stranger and expected to respond in love or we’re not.

Either it’s always Easter, or it’s not: Either we are always meant to witness and expose the persecution of the innocent and prevent crucifixion; to seek the resurrection of love, or we’re not.

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We’re all the characters in these stories: we’re the innkeeper turning Love away or welcoming it in, strange and foreign as its presentation may seem to us.

We’re soldiers, crushing the life out of an innocent person, or animal, or earth, or we’re creating, sustaining, and celebrating the revival and renewal of life…

And we are also the victims, the strangers, the outcast, and murdered.

The changes that have to happen, that we march for and fight for, have to begin with each of us, every day. Who are we, at our core? Today? In this moment? What does our wisdom tell us? What wisdom are we creating?

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The current anger is both justified and a gift. A hierarchy that uses its power and authority to permit the murder of innocent people, repeatedly, systemically, and freely, is bound to blow up, and deservedly so. And, when an innocent person, from a long-persecuted group, is murdered, after weeks of the entire society sustaining confinement in fear of dying from an invisible, mismanaged threat, while the economy is not tanking but tanked, and prospects for food, shelter, healthcare, and safety are diminishing, then a human response of exploding rage shouldn’t be a surprise.

It is joined by scores of other pent-up, legitimate, and justified litanies of anger that have boiled over:

The continued caging of those seeking refuge;

The murder of our children and their teachers;

The destruction of the earth and our fellow creatures;

The destabilization of our healthcare;

The escalation of grotesque economic inequality…

And, at the core of all these challenges, there is a rotten corruption of leadership that cannot claim intelligence, coherence, integrity, maturity, or wisdom as among its guiding principles. Thinking adults, in possession of language, decision-making skills, and an appreciation of social contracts and the greater good have not been in the room for a long time.

If we’re angry that our species is so willingly capable of evil and so outrageously free to commit acts that reflect it, then the proper response is to change and remember we are also capable of love, that our essence is love. The proper response is to act from other than the evil that we, ironically, protest. It is to actively, outrageously, earnestly and with integrity, love. That is the steel beneath Christmas and Easter, the foundation of so many wisdom stories: the noble and hard work of loving, hoping, transforming, and of making and being peace.

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Controlled anger sparks a change in direction. Uncontrolled anger devours everything in its path:

This is how war begins.

We must stop.

Change course. Read our t-shirts and bumper stickers (co-exist; be the change you want to see; give peace a chance), and actually do what we say we are. Review our wisdom stories. Become them. Create new ones.

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Outrage and controlled anger are cold water in the face, the clap of the hands, the impetus for change, but the change itself is only accomplished by the hard work of love, the true steel of peace. Which means that humans have to undertake the slog, but also the gift, of earnest listening, intelligent argument, deeper listening, writing and rewriting laws that push ideas forward into reality. And offer each other more listening. When the excitement of outrage, the heat of anger, and the energy of protest end–and they must and will–the hard work of the peacemakers and the change-makers begins. New wisdom stories must be written. And that is the work of us all. Time to begin. Stay safe and be well.
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© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

18 thoughts on “Creating Wisdom

  1. Kitty,
    It amazes me how you manage to say the very things that are in my heart with such clarity and strength. This is an agonizing time for so many people, a time of feeling helpless and hopeless. At a time when we were already stressed with fear and anxiety over the pandemic, we have to now deal with this problem of disparity that has been simmering for generations. There are no easy answers or quick fixes and worse yet, no inspired leadership. Thank you for telling the truth about where we are and about what it will take to help us find our way, not back, but forward into a better America. Your words are a glimmer of hope on an otherwise dark horizon. Stay safe. Be well. Terry

    1. If you came here and gathered a bit of hope, that makes me feel like we’ve joined hands and lit our candles together. You’re right, too, Terry, nothing quick or easy, but so much is possible, and I look at all the young people standing up for what’s right…my worry is the crowding and lack of masks. We need these people to stay healthy and lead the world forward. But there is a lot that gives me hope.

      Thank you for your visiting and sharing your thoughts and kind words. Be well, Terry, and stay safe.

      1. Today I stopped looking at social media .. too much uncontrolled anger .. I needed to pause , reflect , find truth … and I found your blog .. reminded of your pandemic poem & finding hope .. I found these pages .. my spirit wept with relief as I read ‘now is a fitting time to go into silence’ witnessed that same beautiful energy you described and then this .. a call to wisdom stories .. more here than I can articulate .. thank you , from the UK x

        1. You are so very welcome, Emma; it touches my heart to hear you’ve found some peace and respite here. That means everything to me. Please take great gentle care of your heart and spirit, and I hope you have ways to use your gifts that also give you joy and take you to the deep place of healing beyond words. I agree with your wisdom of turning from the noise and the speed of it, from all the anxiety (so we can better manage and hear our own), and just resting in silence.

          Be well and safe, Emma, and gentle peace to your spirit.

  2. Dear Kitty,
    I would love to be in contact directly with you from time to time.
    Perhaps we need to start engaging in the story of regenerating humanity; and with new (rejuvenated wisdom from the wisdom stories of our past) narratives… live into them and re-play them to the world.
    I am Irish, living in Germany. Looking to find creative ways to shaping the future together, and raising consciousness..

    1. Hi, Maura, Thanks for writing. It sounds like you have some wonderfully creative and inspiring projects ahead! By all means, share them when you are underway; this sounds fascinating! I think all art has the ability to regenerate our spirits, but using old stories and reinterpreting them could be such fun! Can’t wait to hear how this develops.

      I can hear your enthusiasm, Maura. Be safe and well as you create. Gentle peace to you.

  3. Thank you for your kindness, Joanna. I feel like we have much to be hopeful about, if we can keep the engines stoked.

    Be safe and well, and gentle peace.

  4. Well, isn’t that a lovely thing to read? Thank you; it’s very kind of you, and encouraging, too. Keep taking good care of your heart! Be well and safe. Namaste, yes.

  5. Aloha, Kitty! My name is Nelinia Cabiles, editor in chief of Lana’i Today, the newspaper of record for the island of Lana’i, Hawai’i. I came across your poem, “In the time of the pandemic” on the NPR website. I would love to run your poem in the June edition of the paper. May I ask for your permission to do so? May you be well. Much mahalo, Nelinia Cabiles.

  6. Oh, brilliantly written! I nodded in agreement throughout this. Loved the photos too! I have never known the entire world to be so unstable, this virus has shown the cracks in all countries and no sticking plaster will make them go away. The world needs to move forward, united and with fairer policies towards people, animals and a will to end pollution and climate change. How I wish a leader could stand in the vacuum and lead and unite people and the world. Like you, I see all these protests worldwide and worry about a second wave of the virus, we don’t need that! I also pray this doesn’t all end in war. Love and hugs to you all.xxxx

  7. It is a shaky time, with so much possibility for light, if we allow our better angels to guide us instead of our egos and anger which, I think have done the work of opening our path and now need to take a seat.

    Love and thanks to you, as ever, dear one; know you and your beloveds are much in my heart and energy. Sending gentle peace. Be safe and well, and as merry as the moment allows. Xoxoxo

    1. Hi,

      I hope that you and yours are staying safe in this difficult time.

      Our family (living in Dublin and Wexford, Ireland and North Carolina and
      spanning three generations) has been holding a daily poetry recitation
      via the internet in an effort to keep our spirits up.

      One of us picked your poem ‘In the Time of Pandemic’.

      We call the collection “Poems of Confinement” and would like to have
      it printed and bound so that we can share it with family and close
      friends. This would not be sold commercially – it is purely a private
      printing for ourselves – there would be no profit involved – in fact,
      we’ll be out the money it costs us to have it printed and bound!

      Even though this is not a commercial or public use of your work, we
      still wanted to behave correctly and ask permission to reprint
      copyright material.

      I was hoping that you could grant permission for the use as described above.

      Respectfully,

      Aideen Dennis

  8. Dear Kitty,

    I let out a guffaw when I got to your second paragraph. My husband wanted to know what I was reacting to and so I read your whole piece to him. When I got to the end, all I could say was, “Wow!” You have nailed it! Love is the answer, but it’s not about looking for love. It’s about bringing it, sharing it, seeing it in people, increasing it by paying attention to it, not being distracted by all the nonsense going on.

    I don’t know if your writings come flowing out of you in one sitting or if you have to work at it and spend time “fussing” with it until it’s right, but I’m in awe of how accurately you describe our collective situation and our collective way forward. I will be sharing this as far and as wide as I can. I think there are a lot of people who know exactly what you are saying and agree wholeheartedly. It’s up to us, it’s up to me, in each moment, each conversation or opportunity, to make that choice, to choose love over hate, kindness over criticism, understanding over dismissal. Let’s find the ways to create our new world and it WILL take work.

    Blessings to you and your family, all of them!
    Susan

    1. Oh, Susan, I am so sorry that your comment has been overlooked by the blog fairies (or ogres?), but I sure am happy I found it today…perfect timing. Your kind words have been an utter blessing; thank you. And I’m always glad to hear when readers guffawed at something I wrote…the power of laughter to heal and steady our spirits is greatly underestimated!

      Thank you so much for your kindness in sharing. Please be well and safe, Susan, and gentle, merry peace to you and your husband, and all your beloveds.

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