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The Colour of Days

Ever thought of using colours to describe your day? I’ve been playing with the idea and I’ve realised there’s a huge palette of shades from which to choose and every colour has at least two faces.

BLUE days can be sad days – when I’m ‘feeling blue’. But they can also be days that reach as high as the bluest of skies, in which I’m flying after my dreams.

RED days can sometimes be like huge, red STOP signs. Days when warning signals in my body or frazzled brain tell me I’m overstretched and need to take time out.  But they can also be days when I’m alight with red hot passion to change the world and the ‘fire in my belly’ is well and truly ignited!

What about BLACK days? Some of those are full of ‘grrrrr’ moments and dark thoughts. It doesn’t have to be a day of major disasters. Even a string of small frustrations can certainly add a charcoal tinge! But some ‘black days’ can be like the velvety blackness of a silent, moonless night. Those are days when the hustle and bustle of the world has faded away and I find time and quiet space for reflection.Color of Your Day

Not only these three, but many more colours of the spectrum are woven into life’s rich tapestry. And each colour also has its ‘upbeat’ and ‘downbeat’ aspects.

As I think about that, I realise both faces of every colour are equally important and often interdependent.  The bright blue of my dreams can sometimes be tinged with the more sombre hue of sadness or disappointment. A period of passionate, ‘changing-the-world’ days can take so much energy, that I’m brought up short by one of those warning stop signs and need time to rest and recover.

Athough it’s sometimes hard at the time to appreciate the darker days – to see the gifts they bring – they are also a blessing.

As Kahlil Gibran once said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

So I need those darker days too, if my heart is to ‘stand in the sun’.

Perhaps with the colour of my days I can paint the picture of my life. But I need all those subtle differences in shading – from light to dark – to give the whole picture dimension and depth.

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Fence Sitting

Why is it that ‘sitting on the fence‘ is so often considered a bad thing? When people talk about someone who is doing so, they often speak with a curl of the lip, a raised eyebrow, a roll of the eyes or a sigh of resignation.

It seems we’re always supposed to draw a conclusion, reach a decision, take a stand or choose a side.

But let’s face it, from the top of a fence you can see the horizon in all directions. You get a good overview of all the fields or gardens within viewing distance. Jump off that fence, and part of your view is obscured.

One of my favourite poems is by Michael Leunig:

Come sit down beside me, I said to myself.
And although it doesn’t make sense,
I held my own hand as a small sign of trust
And together I sat on the fence.

To me, this speaks volumes about the inner confusion and division that can happen when we’re trying to resolve two (or more) ways of seeing or being in the world. But it also speaks about a need to trust the process.

Not everything has to be an either/or issue and we don’t always have to resolve every division. It’s ok to ‘hold our own hands as a small sign of trust’ and stay right where we are – sitting on the fence. It’s a great spot from which to scan the horizon for those elusive both/and ideas.

So if there’s an issue for you in which the jury is still out, come and join me on the fence.

The view’s pretty good from up here! :)

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On Time and Tesseracts

time_and_tesseractsRecently, thanks to Daniel Brenton, I was reminded again of Madeleine L’Engle‘s book for children, A Wrinkle in Time – one that intrigued me as a child. Daniel also wrote a wonderful piece on Madeleine L’Engle and A Wrinkle in Time on his blog.

The title of the book refers to the ability to travel through space and time by means of a ‘tesseract’. This is described as a ‘fold’ in the space-time continuum – as if a piece of cloth were folded so two segments usually some distance from one another are adjoined.

The idea of being able “to tesseract” (for some reason the concept stayed with me as a verb) has continued to fascinate me.

As a child, I thought wistfully of the tesseract on many a weary walk home from school. Even as an adult, it’s jumped into my mind when there when there have been far too many things to do in too short a time. The idea of being able to complete different tasks synchronously within parallel universes definitely holds great appeal!

For the curious who are unfamiliar with L’Engle’s books … the dictionary definition of a tesseract is the generalisation of a cube to four dimensions – a hypercube. It comes from Greek – tésseres meaning four and aktís meaning ray.

A web search for “tesseract” produces a large number of maths and science websites, amongst others, as it is primarily a mathematical concept.

However I discovered it is also the name of a progressive rock band from the San Francisco Bay area, currently on ice, and of an Australian company called Tesseract Research Laboratories which was an artistic collaboration exploring electronica + visual media within environments and performance, from 1997 until 2004.

Amazing! I’m sure you’ll be as fascinated as I was by that that information. :)

But for me, under the influence of L’Engle’s books, the whole concept of the tesseract remained as a way of being in two places at once – of exploring parallel universes in space and time.

I find myself reflecting that perhaps the fantastical and magical sense I had about the tesseract as a child has been transferred in adulthood to discovering magical parallel universes in different people and places. That fascinating experience of both similarity and “otherness”. And who knows, maybe web travelling is also a kind of tesseract into a parallel universe? :)