Katabasis: Ascending Time’s Grieving Sorrow

Time Tics to Sorrow's Grief
An acorn fell to the Earth, and lost its way in an endless sea...
Yet the rabbit runs blissfully cheerful towards the setting sun!

I originally penned a version of this prose for a colleague who had lost her husband. I was in my twenties at the time, and little could I understand the depths of pain she must have incurred, as she was notified of his untimely demise. I never saw her again after that day to give her the poem. It is not surprising. When your life gets turned upside down, how can you focus on a prescribed program of study? Yet, life moves on; but, do we?

Today’s thoughts are about procrastination. No, I am not talking about putting off that pesky chore of washing the dishes or folding the laundry. I get it; who wants to waste their time with that anyway. No, what I am talking about is the putting off for tomorrow, what should be done today attitude that plagues humanity to a life of suffering. Has your focus ever shifted helplessly to past hurts or future dreams not realized? Have you ever forget to pay attention to the present moment? Sound familiar? I believe it is the crux for the existential angst seen at the core of modern social dilemmas.

I have been absent for quite some time. I had to go on katabasis, the ancient Greek term for locking oneself in the cave. No, not literally. However, even that would be nice at times. Katabasis is the psychological need to lock oneself into the dark and dreary place of the soul. It is a drive to get back to the primal state that allows us to get things done without a thought of others’ reactions. In academic circles, this is called a sabbatical. It is a period granted to teachers for rest. Its origins are found in the celebration of Shabbat, for as we know, even the creator was allowed a day of rest.

I wanted to write today’s personal reflection as a means of motivation. Reflection is beautiful. It gets you to the point of today. Hopefully, that state is one of inner peace. Between my gratitude prayer this morning and this exercise in writing, my mind is now at rest, ready to observe and work with the miracles I am afforded this day. By merely being present, right here and now, our future trajectory is ours to create. Yet, it is always dependent on those simple acts of loving-kindness that we ourselves will show to us on this day.

Namaste, my friends. May blessings of peace and love find you on this day as you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.

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