Remapping Our Web of Relationship

Remapping Our Web of Relationship November 1, 2010

Nothing stands still. Not us or the Universe we wake in. Everything is shifting—breaking through, growing, blossoming, shedding, turning to mulch, and breaking through again. Our biology teachers were all misled. We can’t know the life of a frog by pinning it to a board. Anymore than we can know the life of a person by naming their psychology.

We need to look for other models. Consider how birds sing at the sign of first light. By itself this is remarkable, in that light causes the heart of what is living to sing. But if we look further, it becomes clear that this is also how birds re-map their web of relationship each morning. By voicing and receiving their individual songs, birds relocate each other anew. Their maps stay current. They begin freshly with each appearance of dawn.

This holds a powerful instruction for us as we try to evolve our understanding of what it means to stay in true community. It all hinges on our commitment as individuals to voice our song at the sign of first light. When we can do this, we, too, can re-map our web of relationship to what is real and true. Otherwise, we are drained by responding to tracers of relationship that no longer exist.

For human beings, though, the listening and receiving of authentic life involves perceiving and feeling things as they are; that is, engaging things as they are with both clarity and compassion. When we can penetrate the cloud of only seeing what we want, this clarity of compassion allows us to know the living thing before us as it is. Not in the abstract way of an observer, but in the felt way of a participant—as one body of song fluttering before another. Each of us bowing to the ever-shifting fact that we are all connected. Each of us listening for the sinew of that connection which keeps flexing and relaxing with every new moment.

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