Small Good Things

“After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” writes Emily Dickinson.  “The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs.”

After a great shock, a stillness comes. We may be very busy outside, but inside we are still. The world we knew and the narrative we constructed about our future has been blasted away. We may be able to go about our days, but inside we are in a state of suspension. We are grieving, sad, and afraid. It is best sit ceremonious inside, just being. At such times, it is enough to be quiet and kind, to give ourselves the loving attention we would give a dear friend. This kind allowing, this not doing, not striving to fix or to know, allows us to touch the earth of our experience. You may feel completely lost in the world. But deep within, a new understanding may be taking root

Understand comes from an Old English root that means to stand in the midst of–not under as you might think but in between or within something. There is an understanding that comes from familiarity, from being with, the way the way a sailor understands the sea or the way you come to understand a friend.  To comprehend this way is not a matter of words, but a feeling of recognition and remembrance of the good. Sitting helpless by a window, we may suddenly remember the warmth of the sun coming through feels good. A cup of tea is also good, and a moment when we remember to soften inside, to open to receive.

There are times in life when we feel lost, unmoored, wandering in a desert. These are the times that reveal the power of the smallest actions: inner movements of availability, a willingness to be with our experience with an attitude of acceptance and self-compassion, trusting that as we do this a deeper understanding will come.

7 thoughts on “Small Good Things

  1. “Understanding will come.” Thank you! Some of my anxiety comes from the tension of not knowing what the good will be from this. We have an idea of the bad, but there will be some good. I will wait for that understanding, ceremoniously.
    Thank you.

  2. sitting
    with respect

    thank you, Tracy. Sending a soft hug of appreciation for your continuing ability to write so succinctly what needs to be recognized.
    – judih, Kibbutz Nir Oz

  3. Thank you for this Tracy. With love, Jennifer (the student from the yearlong class at insight that is part of the Gurdjieff work).


    1. Thank you, Jennifer : ) I hope you are keeping well. I have a Zoom meditation group you are welcome to sit with, if you wish. Sundays, 5:30-8:45 EST. The link is under “Events” : )

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