Saturday, April 25, 2009
Life is Short - Go Ahead and Oscillate!
We are beings of oscillation. Off/On, Off/On. In fact, everything alive oscillates - from the subatomic level to the galactic. Oscillation is the essence of the rhythm of life. Sleep/wakefulness, happy/sad, inhale/exhale, work/rest. We need it all - the extremes, the mid-point, and especially the movement back and forth.
Sleep deprived people are groggy while "awake." Those who work all the time are stressed out and cranky, those who rest all the time are vague and blurry. People who live at one extreme or another are deprived of the spectrum of oscillation. The denial of the spectrum of oscillation sucks the life essence out of people. It does.
I am so uninterested in the idea of remaining fixed on a perfect point between the extremes. That's not oscillation, that's petrification. It's every bit as deadening, in my opinion, as staying fixed at the edges of the spectrum. Those who travel too far either this way or that way get disconnected from the idea of being centered, they become lost. Those who sacrifice the extremes in order to stay right in the center deny themselves the textures and colors of a life fully lived. Moderation in everything, say the great sages of Chinese medicine, including moderation!
Mastery of the dance includes the capacity to know when you've reached the edge of your oscillatory solar system, along with the ability to turn on a dime and move back in the opposite direction when you've gone about as far as you can go. It's a life-long art to learn, the dance of oscillation.
As you can see, I am in love with the pendulum, the turning wheel, the meandering path of the fully lived life. According to the cosmology of Reya: Work hard, rest "hard." Sleep well and then wake all the way up. Let yourself get really hungry, then eat a delicious meal, enjoy the hunger, then enjoy every bite. Don't forget to laugh, cry, love beyond all reason.
Life is short. That's what I've been thinking about this week as I rested "hard" and then launched into a serious work week. Vibro diem, ya'll. Oh yeah!
From the American Heritage dictionary:
Word History: The rather dry word oscillate may become a bit less dry when we learn its story. In a passage in the Georgics, Virgil applies the word to a small mask of Bacchus hung from trees to move back and forth in the breeze. From this word scillum may have come another word meaning "something, such as a swing, that moves up and down or back and forth." And this scillum was the source of the verb scillre, "to ride in a swing," and the noun (from the verb) scillti, "the action of swinging or oscillating." These words have given us, respectively, our verb oscillate, first recorded in 1726, and our noun oscillation, first recorded in 1658. The next time one sees something oscillating, one might think of that small mask of Bacchus swinging from a pine tree in the Roman countryside.