...this feeling reminds me of times when I've done ocean swims and I've been heading back to shore and encountered a powerful riptide and been pulled back out into deeper water again. You can exhaust yourself, even drown, trying to fight the current head on...
Anyone who knows me well knows that I can be too philosophical and intense for my own good at times, but tonight I had this feeling, perhaps more than a feeling. If you don't like reading about feelings you can stop reading here, but I felt I needed to write and share this, for what it's worth.
This feeling reminds me of times when I've done ocean swims and I've been heading back to shore and encountered a powerful riptide and been pulled back out into deeper water again. You can exhaust yourself, even drown, trying to fight the current head on. You have to swim back in at an angle to the shoreline, and sometimes, after the current has carried you a ways, you come out of the water a significant distance down the beach from where you entered it.
I cannot think of a better way to explain this feeling. There are rip currents, under-swells, here in the US, but also sweeping across the globe, that are threatening to pull us into really deep water, far from land, and a sure and stable footing. I don't know specifically the origin of all of these currents, but neither do I feel fear. No matter where they come from, I've realized I cannot exhaust myself facing the power of these riptides head on, but have to be purposeful in my strokes, skillful enough to find the angle of approach and strong enough to make it back to shore.
Clearly this is metaphor but, in a very real sense, I feel that part of finding that angle back to the beach may require of us a rediscovery of what it means to be our brother's keeper; require us to know and care about our neighbor like their life actually mattered; require us to hold up those who cannot stand on their own power; require us to see beyond our own pain and comfort someone else in need; require us to speak for those whose voices are being muted or silenced altogether; require us to rescue those who can no longer tread water, in danger of going under; require us to rediscover our common humanity. And it could be that, after all is said and done, when we reach shore again, we will find ourselves farther down the beach, perhaps in a place we find unfamiliar, but at least we will have found firm ground on which to stand again.
I am neither prophet nor sage but The Times They Are a-Changin', and, whether we like it or not, we are going to have to change with them, or be swept out to sea.
Posted February 11, 2017
The Times They Are a-Changin' © 2017 by Kris Peterson. All rights reserved.