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May you doubt your doubts,
These are trying days. These trying days are the days of our lives.
These are January days. January is named for Janus, the Roman God, protector of gates
(beginnings!) and doorways (transitions!) which symbolize beginnings and endings (gateways!) into our life and times. Images of Janus depict him as having two faces, one looking into the past, the other seeing into the future.
“We are creatures made, again and again, by what would break us. Yet, if we only open to the fullness of the reality of what goes wrong for us, and walk ourselves with and through it, we are able to integrate it into a new kind of wholeness on the other side...our collective need for a new kind of wholeness might be the only aspiration we can share across all of our chasms right now.” Krista Tippett, On Being.
And, as days in January let a little more light in and lengthen each day, I am ever inspired by my cousin Andrea: “I, DO live in the light but honor and cherish the darkest moments as they are when you are able to see the light at its clearest and brightest.”
I believe we don’t control what happens or comes into our lives. I believe I can doubt, I can challenge, and I can dream because ‘we never step into the same river twice’. Heraclitus
“The precious pot containing my riches becomes my teacher in the very moment it breaks.” Milarepa
I don’t know if I am dying fast or living slow these days but I try to keep showing up. I try to keep listening. I try to keep holding space for myself and for those who are also trying to make the best of these days.
These are trying days. These trying days are the days of our lives in January.
A Wish to End Where We Begin
Through my toddler’s eyes,
The very best part of a package is the paper it is wrapped in,
The most wondrous discovery at the museum is the dried leaves that scatter the sidewalk in front of the entrance,
The best route from A to B is not ever a straight line,
And sometimes one handful of sand can hold more treasures than every structure on the playground.
One day, when I near my own death,
When I feel the constraints of time,
When I feel the constraints of space,
When I feel the constraints of a failing body or mind,
Perhaps this is just the magic I hope to rediscover.
The wondrous tingle that comes from a gentle head scratch,
The floating release of a good laugh,
The deep comfort of a body breathing in sync with your own,
Losing one’s self in the journey through a piece of music.
To rediscover what my eyes naturally knew to see at the very beginning: all of the wonders that can hide in a moment.
Danielle Chammas, MD (@ChammasDani)