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Breaking Ropes

“If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive
do you think
ghosts will do it after?”
– Kabir

When the world is upside down and stress boils up inside you, how do you set it free? I release it slowly on long walks, or feel it melt away listening to immersive music like the album Beyond The Missouri Sky (Short Stories) by Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny, or reading some Mary Oliver poetry (Thanks, Mary for the Kabir quote). I don’t often get stressed out, but the world can creep up on you sometimes. Tonight after a day of work and a few home renovation hurdles I was about at my limit. So I made mine a double: poetry and music. I listened to Missouri Sky twice before I forgot what I was stressed about. Turns out it wasn’t anything all that important.

So back to Kabir; Part of my stress is a desire to get out and see the world, but blocked by ropes of my own making and a few that fate threw at us all. Seeing the world shut down in profound, unprecedented ways is a bit of a curveball, isn’t it? London, Scotland and even Nashville seem a long time ago. But this is no time for casual travel. No, not right now. Now we collectively try to flatten the damned curve. But there are other ropes to break besides travel. And it turns out those ropes are best broken with time and effort and isolation and thought.

Life is short and unpredictable, and who can’t see that now? Given that, when else are you going to step up and break a few ropes that are holding you back? Seems now is really the only time to do it. Those Northern Lights and the Southern Cross will have to wait for healthier days. And my God I hope they return soon, I won’t waste a moment getting to them given the opportunity. Until then, break those writing ropes. Break those learning ropes. And let yourself free.

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