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A Confession of a Struggle

It was a bit windy and chilly but I needed a walk. I went down to the Glatt river just five minutes walk from my house where the water is always willing to carry my heaviness for me.

The white empty path along the river probably allowed me to notice in the midst of my distractedness a duck standing on one leg on a big round stone in the river.

“Is his other leg folded inside his feathered body or did he actually lose it?” I thought to myself.

I stood still because I didn’t want to scare this picture of tranquility away. He looked so confident and balanced resting his heavy, round body on one short, orange leg.

Sometimes I feel like I’m missing a leg. Like when I want to move forward towards a goal but feel I’m limping behind it. Or when a troubling feeling conquers my day and I can’t move towards an island of rest.

Pausing by the duck I was reminded of the irony that pushing ourselves away from where we already stand is what tramps our balance. And that in making the effort to stop the fight we find a balance that doesn’t make a fuss about what we have or don’t have, which ground is better and what the original plan was.

I confess to the river for all the ways life seems to flow in an unseen balance:

The lonely bird surrenders to one leg as a wavelet in the water disperses my favourite worry;

A broken branch enmeshes your yearning heart as a moment of tenderness passes between us;

And the damn door rings as I bleed my unborn child into the toilet.

How do we answer to both yearning and exhaustion; care for the need to be honest and the fear of hurting others; harmonise between the need to be seen and the habit of hiding our fulness?

Balance is beyond negotiating opposites. Balance is a home with enough rooms of all the forces in need, where opposing streams learn to merge in a hospitable neighbourliness, where one breath is enough to witness everything at once.

In the spilt of a second the duck spread his wings to fly, crumpling all my theories into one absolute trust:

Which one of our wings did we forget about—The ones opening in the heart as we stop or the others that swan-open in the mind when we cruise lightly on the wave of a breath?




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