Stopping: The Cessation Between Outbreath and Inbreath
From the PanTimes talk on 03 June:
Stop. How do we stop, or what stops us? This applies as much to ending a relationship, as finishing a painting or poem. Cezanne says that a painting is complete at every stage of the work, even if it is never finished. How then do we know when it’s enough, or we’ve done enough, or it’s done with us? And, sometimes what is seen as ending, is new life attempting to break through and what is seen as continuous, is the need for a full stop.
How do we exit elegantly and find a movement towards the next unfolding? Especially when we’ve had enough of ourselves and it’s time to move on. We tend to drag the old habits and behaviours into the next landscape, only to discover, everything is tinctured the same, and we are who we’ve always been. Maybe that’s correct, and we never change. Which parts of us stop, and who carries on?
That’s probably the hardest one. If we knew our edges, we might know better where everything else begins and ends, our arts, relationships, business dealings and our service. Timing seems important. Ending a situation before it has reached its fullness is premature, and staying too long leads to spoiling.
Perhaps nothing ever stops. Quantum physics only repeats what Heraclitus proposed 2500 years ago, that everything is in flux, and is part of an infinite cycle of change, transformation and rebirth.
Pictures are framed. They stop at their edges. Boxes stop whatever is inside from being contaminated or influenced by the outside, and protect the outside from exposure or infection from the inside. After lockdown, some are asking if they want to go back to how they were before. Despite the difficulties of isolation, there has also been pleasure in being autonomous, and not having to play into proscribed social roles.
There is another sort of stopping. When your life as you knew it comes to a sudden end. It could be a big aha or a spiritual awakening. It might be the loss of a significant person. Either way, happy or sad, whatever happens after that, it’s as if your previous life had stopped. And then the next thing happens, and a new life is started.
This PanTimes, let us consider stopping. Anything. Pause, catch our breath, find ourselves right here and now, and then consider what we would choose, and where to place our foot, as we take our next step.