For a few days, I have been thinking about arch bridges, remembering how the bridge is made strong as the two sides lean into each other. I consider it a metaphor for how the masculine and feminine can lean toward each other, how the head and the heart can find a place in the middle.
On an arch bridge, the last piece that goes in to fill the gap is called the keystone. When things get too emotional and the head with its logic can find ways to “prove” either side, I live with the question, “What is the keystone?” An answer came – respect for the dignity of the individual and the honor of living in community. So as I drove past the political signs in my neighborhood, I remembered the keystone and went to vote.
And when I wake worried in the night, I re-visit this poem by Wendell Berry.
The Peace of Wild Things
By Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Writing inspiration: When worry or concern edges in, spend some time in nature, slow your breath and your pace. Notice what captures your attention outwardy (perhaps a bird, a squirrel, a dog) and notice how you feel inwardly – Can you allow a feeling of spaciousness and freedom to surround you and the animal? Write from within this space – word associations, random impressions or whatever flows – it might be that from within this space your heart can enter a needed conversation. (for more on arch bridges, visit this site science.howstuffworks.com)