I did something last week that I rarely do. I took a vacation — a whole week off, with no plans. Well, the only plans were to drive to my beach house, where I would spend the week relaxing, taking long beach strolls, reading, writing, and just being. Life is funny…it always has other plans. It tends to hit you hardest at the worst of times, as if to test your strength and resilience. And when it does, every time, we amaze ourselves again and again with just how strong we really are. My week off may not have gone as planned, but it just may have been exactly what I needed. When we go through difficult times, we really get down to the bare bones of who we are. We discover things we didn’t know or think we could ever be capable of. We unlock hidden creaking doors of the mind that may not ever have been opened, suddenly giving us the courage to try new things. We become empowered by these discoveries, and we come out stronger and fuller people. I was back in the city one day last week, taking a walk, and passed a tattoo parlor. I’ve been wanting to get a new tattoo for some time now, but just kept putting it off, waiting for a good time and a good friend who could go with me. But on this day I stopped and just went in and did it, by myself. And it felt really, really good.
A friend of mine loaned me a book that has really been helping me discover this new side of myself – The Wisdom of Insecurity, by Alan W. Watts. It offers some truly incredible insights, some of which I’ve included below, interspersed with photos from the beach. There’s a beautiful stillness to the beach in fall… everything has a washed out quality, as if you’re looking at it through a cloud. The only trace of other people are in the footprints you come across in the sand.
“As the years go by, there seem to be fewer and fewer rocks to which we can hold, fewer things we can regard as absolutely right and true, and fixed for all time.”
“Paradox as it may seem, we likewise find life meaningful only when we have seen that it is without purpose, and know the ‘mystery of the universe’ only when we are convinced that we know nothing about it at all.”
“It is of little use to us to be able to remember and predict if it makes us unable to live fully in the present.”
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
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