When I think of lessons learned during decades of living,
my reflections coalesce around dualities and complementarities:
yin and yang, obverse and reverse, warp and woof.
As I navigated the ebb and flow of life,
I wondered why
there is a time to lead and a time to follow,
a time to speak up and a time to be silent.
Perhaps the tension is resolved by realizing
To live is to embrace contradiction,
to transcend logic-locked polarities.
Teaching is learning
from the questions of those “taught.”
Believing is doubting
that this is all there is.
Laughing is weeping
at the absurdity of life.
Forgiving is remembering
our own imperfections.
Failing is succeeding
at recognizing new opportunities.
Hoping is stumbling with every tentative step,
yet trusting steadfastly in the next.
Nurturing is letting go,
Accepting is rejecting
intolerance that crushes understanding.
Loving is appreciating
that distance and mystery are inevitable.
Mourning is celebrating
a life well-lived.
Dying is living on
In the hearts of those whose lives we touched.