Simply Strung

At the end of last year, I grabbed my empty journal, a book with little use, other than a few torn pages for the odd supermarket list and work schedule… and set out to one of my most favourite places in Auckland… Piha Beach… a short – yet somewhat time consuming – journey to the West Coast of the land I call my home. A place I now frequently visit, where my feet sink into a falling foundation of black sand, and my lungs fill with an air so pure, my mind is left numb, in an all consuming silence many only dream of experiencing. Without sounding like some sort of hippie, who, without notice suddenly decided to live off the land and join the Green party, I, Emma Smart have found my place of zen…

Just as a little side note… Zen is in fact a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasising the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or study of scriptures… clearly I should have been born Japanese, because these people know how to religion…

So… after winding my way through the small gravel roads along the coast line, burning my clutch out at least three times due to lack of skill when performing a hill start and finally reaching the little corner store for a morning ice cream… I was ready…

Ready to sit and think and hear and dwell and dream and plan and do everything your supposed to do when you are sitting on a beach, with the wind in your hair, holding a journal and some pretty coloured gel pens… I waited… Waited for the universe to tell me I was heading in the right direction…waited for my life to play out before my eyes so I could plan and prepare my wedding…waited for the waves to change direction and form a path to another land, preferably Greece…. However, nothing… no voice bellowing from the heavens, prophesying a rugby team of children and a sexy husband…no commandments etched in stone on how to pass my degree with flying colours and in half the time… Instead I was left waiting…

Holding that journal today, I flicked through the empty pages of attempted moments to rekindle my relationship with Him, half completed devotions and long lost memory verses, repeatedly written in some hope of falling back into the ‘good Christian graces’…however, when I fall onto the page that was written the day I sat on that beach and waited for a sound, a movement…anything… I find myself holding my breath, in awe of the accuracy of what a few simple words strung together on a page can hold, supporting where I have come from these past six months…and where I stride towards over the next half of the year…

These past six months of my life have been what I can only describe as life changing…major shifts in my religious understanding and moral grounding have left me making decisions based entirely on my own foundational beliefs… However as I have most recently found, it is never really that simple… To think you, yourself have formed an idea or a belief is crazy, for all we do it adapt and develop and reform what we already know to be true and false…we pick and choose what suits our lifestyle in that particular time… We justify our way through ‘developing’ a new understanding on a certain topic…or avoid the topic all together, hoping that those close to us wont question or challenge an area in which we once felt a certain way…

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for development of understanding…and its only normal, as we age to see things from a different light, a new angle and a matured response connected with age and life experience… yet I cannot help but wonder, where do we draw the line from simply developing an understanding, to changing our whole point of view and potentially compromising what we have always known to be true. I find at my ripe old age of twenty-two, I daily face the opportunity to choose between what I have always known to be true, and what I could adapt to be true, or mature to understand…or justify to fit my life circumstance… Have I lost my moral grounding because I have ‘opened my eyes’ to seeing things from a different perspective… or have I simply widened my acceptance of living in a contemporary world where ‘old school traditions’ no longer stand a chance in our society. A place where love and acceptance overrule the need for traditions and commandments…

Isn’t it funny how in a moment of zen, thousands of questions and uncertainties flow in a flood of confusion, seeking the answer to a fully centred self… Visiting this beach almost every week, I still find myself at a loss when organising my life and making decisions for the better of not only me but those around me. I truly believe the worlds greatest gift is the opportunity to wonder… a place to stand in awe and complete misunderstanding…not knowing the how, the why or the when…in a place that is constantly seeking answers, we will be forever be at a loss for words… This planet will never comprehend or reach perfection…we will never have a complete understanding…which is why this very post poses no need for a conclusion…yes, people will have opinions and pearls of wisdom and clarity in areas in which I lack…however…I will continue to search the fine line between truth and grace…living in the tension between what I know to be true and what I hope to one day understand or see…

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