#510 Chuck’s Place: Flowing With The Changes

Welcome to Chuck’s Place, where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences!

I know that when we leave, when the usher’s gesture is final, we are offered the option of love to loosen our grip and flow with the changes. Shells are cracking open everywhere. The other night I heard a crash in my daughter’s room. She soon appeared bearing the fragments of a shattered Cookie Monster, a sacred container from her childhood.

Yesterday, I felt sadness welling up in me. My daughter was leaving for Portland, Oregon. How would I greet that moment of change? We met in a still moment and opened to a knowing, loving embrace. Off she flew to new life and adventure; the broken fragments of the beautiful blue shell, which once contained her, now ready for the dump, or perhaps a fragment saved to become part of a new work of art, a mosaic of lives lived.

Moments after she left, I watched my step-son cross the bridge into professional musicianship, his first paid gig. It wasn’t about the money, it was the ability to improvise, seamlessly, with but a few moments of practice with a group of seasoned musicians he’d never played with before. They rocked! He earned his wings, no longer just a talented kid, now a musician-man, a welcome addition to the band.

When sadness would well up in Carlos Castaneda, don Juan would, seemingly harshly, confront him with indulging in self-pity, accusing him of secretly protecting his own attachment to an unchanging world. My own sadness in yesterday’s moments was the usher’s call to drop the veil of the familiar, and experience family from a new vantage point. If I am to be completely honest, when I gazed into my daughter’s eyes I saw someone I didn’t know. Was I ready to allow her to become the stranger she’d always been? Was I ready to take on Kahlil Gibran’s challenge, to acknowledge that we are but facilitators of “life’s longing for itself?” And what does this require? Detachment; taking back the projections and expectations that the unfolding life before us is a continuation of our own lives, letting go of familiarity and set roles. It is opening to love in its highest form, granting another being total freedom to be.

As always, I am open to discussion or comment. Should anyone wish to write, I can be reached via email at: chuck@riverwalkerpress.com

Until we meet again,

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