Thursday, September 29, 2011

"In Reality the Wind Never Sleeps"

Wind as metaphor, reflected upon in an article on spirituality in the Korean Times, can help us, the writer says, in dealing with the 'tempests' in our lives. He was walking with a priest friend on the day that a typhoon hit Korea. Though they had advance notice of the storm, they decided to go for  a short climb at a nearby mountain when the wind started up.

"Gosh! the wind makes us humble," he remembers his friend saying. "It makes us  bow our heads." He also remembered that persons wearing hats kept their hands firmly on their hats, and walked with their backs to the wind.

Koreans often say, "In reality, the wind never sleeps," meaning there will always be something unexpected awaiting us in life. In the present and in the future, as in the past, these unexpected, wind-like moments will be there. At times it will be a typhoon wind that will shake us, its harsh wind bringing sadness into our life; and at times another wind will bring joy or anger, sorrow or pleasure.

Sometimes, there is no sign of a wind and life can seem peaceful or insipid. At other times when the unexpected comes, it allows us to ruminate about the meaning of life. And with bowed heads and humbled, we are given the opportunity for inner growth.

In John's Gospel, Jesus  tells Nicodemus, "The wind blows where it will."  Our spirit is moved by such winds, by the unexpected events that occur in every life, and that can be the motivating force moving us to greater self-growth.

Recently, the words of Simone Weil were remembered as particularly relevant to these reflections of the writer. Her words on the value of personally painful separations in life to be similar to the unexpected, wind-like events in life: "Two prisoners in adjoining cells communicate with each other by knocking on the cell wall between them. The wall, the thing that separates them, is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and God. Every separation is a link."

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