both | and

As I drove into work Monday morning the sky was so strange and interesting that I had to snap a photo.  Too bad this little iphone photo doesn’t do it much justice (thankfully I was more focused on driving!).  The sky was split right down the middle.  To the north and west was a perfect blue sky, pushing into what was an entire wall of clouds to the south and east.  I don’t know that I’ve ever noticed clouds like that, with a perfect seam.  What also interested me was that this intersection was not violent; there were no thunderstorms making way for clearer skies.  They both just seem to co-exist and allowed me to drive concurrently with the divide.

As I drove along/under this weather anomaly, I listened to the weekend’s stories about the Connecticut shooting punctuated with Christmas interludes.  Paradox.

The holidays in general always seem to have such forced ‘happiness’ (i.e. consumerism) that it’s all too easy for my inner cynic to rear her mouthy head and to be grumpy about unmet expectations; simultaneously however, spontaneous acts of generosity, love and authenticity pepper my advent days.  Paradox.

This is the reality in which I live, in which we all live: murder and compassion, grief and joy, consumerism and truth.

I sometimes think living in an “either | or” kind of world would be easier; but “both | and” has it’s place.  I guess my lesson is that I need to remember that I (and others!) am constantly experiencing the paradox — and to embrace it rather than try to have an all or nothing attitude.  This is a good reminder as we prepare to enter the darkest day of the year, the winter solstice, while also embracing the coming Light of December 25.