I was talking with a friend who has been undergoing treatment for cancer. She commented that it's been hard to reconcile the polarity that everything has changed and yet nothing has changed. Everything--her perspective, her sense of herself, of security, the new focus on healing--has changed. Yet she looks out her window and kids are still going to school, the seasons change as always, life goes on. Living with both realities, she said, is difficult but comforting.
She said it reminded her of "an old midrash [a rabbinic story...she's Jewish] about a sage who always kept two notes -- both quotes from scripture -- on his person...one in each of his coat pockets. The first one reminded him that "the world was created for you" -- God set this glorious table of creation, all the wonders of the world, just for humans to experience and enjoy.
"The second one reminded him that "from dust you came, and to dust you will return" -- individuals are so terribly impermanent, inconsequential... they come and go in an instant of history."
Shy/friendly. Adventurous/homebody. Confident/insecure. Serious/silly. Worrier/laid back. Planner/procrastinator. Hopeful/pessimistic. Wishy/washy. Mother/student. Seeking/content. Reverent/raucus. To name a few.