Ageing

Ageing

Prose by Wayne Visser

 ~ As much as age is an inescapable reality, it is also an ethereal illusion ~

Is ageing a blessing or a curse?
Do you rejoice or bemoan your age?
Do you look forward to getting older or fear the prospect?
 
We all have to make that journey through time, from starting point to destination, from birth to death.
And yet our travel experiences are all unique.
Most of us will pass through the same landscapes – of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and maturity.
And yet how we each view the scenery will be different.
 
Each stage en-route has its own virtues and vices:
The innocence and dependence of infancy;
The curiosity and tantrums of childhood;
The passion and rebellion of adolescence;
The productivity and routines of adulthood;
And the wisdom and aches of maturity.
 
And yet these traits refuse to be neatly confined to our age-boxes:
There is as much wisdom in youth as there is rebellion in old age;
Adults are no strangers to tantrums and children are productive in their own ways.
 
We have mythologized the life cycle, drawing on timeless archetypal images to bring meaning to the process of ageing.
At any one time, we represent the child, the warrior, the mother, the king, the old crone or the wise man.
We do not have to be defined by these symbols, but we can tap into their power any time we choose.
 
Which mantle are you wearing right now, irrespective of your age or socially defined role?
We tend to be conditioned about what is expected of us at any given age.
We are told to grow up or to act our age.
When we are young we covet maturity and when we are older we reminisce about youth.
It’s almost as if there is an unwritten law – thou shalt at all times be dissatisfied with thine age.
Why do we buy into this rhetoric?
 
Ageing is not only natural and unavoidable, it is also wonderful and beautifying.
Each passing year is an accumulated treasure of experiences.
Each new year brings fresh opportunities to learn from.
Of course every age has its restrictions and downsides, but these only overshadow the freedoms and upsides if we allow them to.
 
Ageing is as much a mental game as a physical one.
“How old are you?” is not nearly as revealing and important as “How old do you feel?”
 
You may no longer have the effervescent energy of a child, but what is stopping you from looking at the world with the awe of constant discovery?
You may not have the bottled insecurity of a teenager, but you are never too old to fall head-over-heels in love.
 
You may don all the trappings of a responsible adult, but you don’t have to lose the passion of your mercurial dreaming.
You may make the perfect picture of a doting grandparent, yet still be growing rapidly in mental and spiritual terms.
For as much as age is a wrinkling of the skin and a greying of the hair, it is a stretching of the mind and a colouring of soul.
 
Ageing is to be joyfully embraced, despite what the commercials try to brainwash us into believing.
Your age tells the story of who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been.
It is a fascinating story, compelling in its details, every twist in the tale worthwhile.
You need to be proud of your age, even while you refuse to let it define who you are.
 
For age is never static, never predictable.
Age is the flow of time.
And the only age that is real is the present.
Your true age is now.
Why not celebrate it?
Now.
 

Wayne Visser © 2005

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Business

Business

Prose by Wayne Visser

Business is the lifeblood coursing through the veins of society, pulsing with creative spirit, transforming the earth’s raw gifts into food to sustain our needs, energy to power our imaginations, blocks to build our dreams.
 
The heart of business is service, flexing with tireless reciprocity, pumping multifarious products of enterprise through lubricant trade arteries to the farthest reaches of the global body-civic. 
 
When the heart is strong, and the arteries are clear, and the blood is clean, the constitution of civilization is likely to be healthy; But when service is sacrificed for greed, and trade is inequitably distributed, and business is corrupt of values, the integrity of the community is likely to be diseased. When the circulation of benefits is poor, numbness follows and rot eventually sets in; When wealth congeals in the hands of too few, it is only a matter of time before the clot causes a brain haemorrhage; When unethical behaviour builds up in the commercial system like viscous cholesterol, a cardiac arrest is the inevitable conclusion. 
 
Business serves its purpose best when it flows freely and widely, unbound by the constrictions of petty bureaucrats and their obsessive need to tie tourniquets of red-tape; Free from the interference of fickle politicians and their compulsive habit of pulling strings and trading favours; Free from the drain of financial vampires and their unquenchable thirst for higher growth and profits and packages at all costs. 
 
Business nourishes society when it is the conduit for sharing knowledge and passion and wisdom; When it is the stimulus for nurturing growth and development and integrity; When it is the means for meeting the needs of those most vulnerable, living on the desperate margins of the world. 
Business bleeds society when it thoughtlessly injures the planet or harms its people; When it incarcerates the human spirit or enslaves creative minds; When it becomes infected with the cancer of acquisitive means to selfish ends. 
 
Responsibility for business, be it good or ill, is always collective. Even to speak of business as a separate, engagable entity, is a fallacy, created for the convenience of theoreticians, philosophers and others who wish to stand aside and commentate on life, rather than experience it first hand. 
Business is not, can never be, separate from society, neither from the people who animate its communities, or the natural environment which sustains its continued existence. Where would one begin and the other end? 
 
We are all economic agents – customers, employees, shareholders, employers, managers – inextricably linked, permeable, interdependent – a grand synergy. In the final analysis, we – each, individually, and together, collectively – are business and business is us. It is the same life-giving blood that courses through all our veins.
 

Wayne Visser © 2005

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Music

Music

Prose by Wayne Visser

~ Any music can be played, but the best music plays us ~

Think of one of your favourite songs or pieces of music.
What is it about that track or tune that makes it so special?
No doubt it moves you, but why?
Think about the first time you heard it.
Was it a particularly memorable time, or place?
Were you with someone special?
 
Music gets some of its power from association.
It evokes emotions, which in turn embed the memory of whatever was happening at the time.
Songs become like flags on our personal trail, markers of high points, low points and other significant landmarks in between.
They are an index to our past, bookmarks of places we revisit in our minds, triggers of holographic images on the horizon when we look back.
But association only part of music’s power.
What of the music itself?
 
Music acts like a tuning fork, setting off a chain of sympathetic vibrations.
In other words music speaks in the language of moods.
Either it echoes our existing moods, our inner state, or it is a catalyst for changing our moods.
And when the music matches our mood, we experience a profound sense of resonance, of being in tune with an ethereal power.
The reinforcement of our emotions has an amplification effect.
We feel more deeply, reflect more clearly.
 
To lose ourselves in a piece of music simply means that we are in complete harmony with it.
At times like these, music is the audible outer manifestation of our inaudible inner voice.
So in reality, we find ourselves in the music.
It only feels like oblivion sometimes because you and the music are one, flowing in the same direction at the same speed with the same destination – the beat of the rain becomes the river, the sway of the river becomes the sea.
 
Like the river, music not only flows but tells the story of its passage.
We relate to songs because they whisper the stories of our lives.
They speak of love’s yearning when our hearts are longing, they trumpet victory when we are triumphant, they sing the blues when we are sorrowful, they agitate for change when our blood is surging with revolution.
 
Sometimes the story of a piece of music is transparently clear.
More often than not, however, the real story has to be read between the lines. Songs are opaque narratives of a great unfolding mystery.
Each word, each turn of phrase, each tonal inflection, is a clue, one piece of the puzzle, a shape in the jigsaw of meaning.
 
What sentiment was the composer trying to convey?
What treasure did the lyricist hide behind the words?
What does the singer’s interpretation say about their own secrets?
 
The real enigma of music is what it tells us about ourselves.
Does a particular tune bring you to tears?
What does that say about you?
Is there a song that lifts your spirits?
Why?
What music do your family and friends like?
 
These are not questions to be rationalized, but musings to be lingered over.
This is not an intellectual exercise, but an intuitive workout, a soul stretching.
Music is the key to our souls.
Therefore, your choice of music, or someone else’s, is a peek through the keyhole into the most precious of inner chambers.
 
This ability of music to unlock the barricaded door to our hearts, to access the holy-of-holies of our souls, is at once euphorically liberating and unnervingly frightening.
It means that giving ourselves over to the art of the Muse – letting the music play us – is a risk, for we don’t know what we will discover about ourselves.
But the rewards are profound – insight, inspiration and meaning.
Will you take the risk today?
 

Wayne Visser © 2005

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Love

Love

Prose by Wayne Visser

~ Love is the ultimate human quest ~

Who do you love?
What do you mean by love?
Few words are more used or abused than love.
 
Love is the name we give to the nameless, the shape we give to the shapeless, the universal heart with many faces.
The seeds of love are scattered far and wide, falling even in the darkest, most desolate places.
 
None of us are strangers to love.
We have all wandered through love’s territory, seeking refuse from life’s harsh extremes. Some have found places to settle, while others continue their restless search.
Love is an oasis in the desert of uncaring, a wellspring where we quench our thirst for belonging.
 
But what is love?
Love is a journey, not a destination; a path of discovery, not a once-off revelation.
 
Love begins where selfishness ends.
As soon as we start to consider the needs of others, we have set our feet on the trail of love.
 
Love’s ways take us through every conceivable landscape, from the lush forests of contentment to the rocky mountains of desire, from the shady ravines of fulfilment to the scorched plains of jealousy.
Sometimes, the road is wide and easy, other times narrow and steep.
Often we stray from the track and get lost in the wilderness of self-absorption.
But always there is a route back to love.
 
To follow the quest of love, we must be prepared to endure all weather, from storms to sunshine; all climates, from arctic to tropical; all seasons, from winter to summer.
For though love’s rewards are great, its sacrifices are many.
And though love’s pleasures are full of ecstasy, its pains are wrought with torture.
 
We may recognise love instantly, but practising love takes time and patience, commitment and tenacity.
For love relies on understanding.
And understanding is a shy creature coaxed slowly from the shadows.
 
The more we understand, the more we trust.
The more we trust, the more secure we feel.
Therefore, trust is the foundation of love.
Trust is letting go of our fears – fears that no one will be there to catch us when we fall, that our vulnerabilities will be exposed and exploited, that we will get hurt when we let our guard slip.
 
Love is trusting even when we have been let down before, having faith even when we have been given reason to doubt, forgiving even when we feel betrayed by those closest to us.
For love grows strong over time.
Love may begin as a fragile bloom, but it matures into a sturdy tree.
 
In order for love to last, its seeds must be buried deep in our hearts and its roots must be regularly watered with care.
Only then will its stem grow thick and its branches high.
Only then will it survive the tempests of life –and lashing rain of conflict and the howling winds of tragedy, the lightening strikes of temptation and the forest fires of stress, the disease of jealousy and the rot of indifference.
Only then will it flourish and prosper in the sun, giving shelter and joy to all whose lives it touches.
 
Our lives are full of the tender shoots of love, which we choose to either nurture or neglect.
Sometimes, we get distracted in our busyness with other things we think are more important. But nothing is more important than love.
Sometimes we try to cultivate too many budding relationships, and find our attention spread too thinly on the ground.
For love takes energy and caring requires effort.
 
Are there different kinds of love?
Just as surely as there are different plants and trees and flowers.
The love of a child is not the same as the love of a parent, and a friend’s love is different from a partner’s.
Yet are they not all just varied manifestations of the same source – diverse flora nourished by the same underground aquifer of love?
And is that source not fed by the universal stream of love?
 
Each day is an opportunity to refresh our spirits with the life-giving water of love.
Make sure that you take the time to stop and drink, to quench your thirst, beginning at your own well.
For only love will sustain you on your life’s quest.
 

Wayne Visser © 2005

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Leadership

Leadership

Prose by Wayne Visser

~ Leadership is the ability to inspire individuals to act for the common good ~

What is your definition of a good leader?
Who are the people that persuade you to serve some greater cause, to pursue some larger goal, to believe in some higher ideal?
 
We are all under the influence of leadership – our lives are touched by political leaders, business leaders, community leaders, religious leaders and thought leaders.
But what makes some leaders better than others?
Why do we choose to follow one and not another?
 
It is tempting to think of leadership in terms of charisma.
We can all think of celebrated leaders who exude a certain dynamic quality, whose combination of enthusiasm and confidence is infectious.
It is almost as if we are drawn to these leaders because their positive energy rubs off on us.
There is a halo effect that leaves us feeling uplifted, optimistic, buoyant.
We believe in them because they so clearly believe in themselves.
 
But not all those with charisma are leaders, and not all leaders are charismatic.
Some leaders secure our loyalty because we believe in the cause which they represent, and we can see that they are dedicated to serving that cause.
They don’t need to convince us of their greatness, merely to persuade us of their effectiveness.
We are not looking so much for them to be superstars as fellow believers, people in power who share our passion for making a difference in this life, for putting wrongs right in the world.
We believe in them because they believe in our cause.
 
But what of leaders who are neither charismatic nor missionaries?
There is a quiet, unassuming kind of leadership which is built on earned respect.
Some leaders lead by personal example.
They demonstrate the mastery of their given field or a human quality which we seek to emulate.
We believe in them because they reflect our ideals.
They are our role models.
 
Others enjoy our support because it is clear that they have our best interests at heart.
These are the servant leaders among us, those rare individuals who put aside their personal ambitions in order to facilitate the development of others.
We believe in them because they believe in us.
 
In each case, we are inspired by leadership.
Leaders enable us to achieve together what would have been impossible alone – for leadership is the art of synergy.
 
Leaders allow us to see possibilities that were not on our horizon – for leadership is the gift of visioning.
Leaders encourage us to stretch to reach our potential – for leadership is the practice of empowerment.
Leaders dedicate themselves to fulfilling the needs of their followers – for leadership is the calling of service.
 
We are all leaders and followers in different spheres of our lives.
As parents, we lead our children; as teachers, we lead our students; as managers, we lead our staff; as captains, we lead our teams; as volunteers, we lead our communities.
 
Yet to be good leaders, we must be good followers also.
For leadership is founded on empathy.
And for every situation in which we rise as natural leaders, there is another in which others are better placed to lead.
 
A true leader is humble, for they know that the mantle of leadership is a privilege bestowed on them by their followers.
At the same time, a leader who hides their talent from the world serves no one.
 
Where do your leadership abilities lie?
In what way can you serve and inspire others today?
Don’t be shy.
You know what to do – just take the lead.
 

Wayne Visser © 2005

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Space

Space

Prose by Wayne Visser

~ The building blocks of life and the universe are the spaces in between ~

Where are the spaces in your life, in your work, in your relationships, in your day?
Do you actively seek space, plan for it even, or do you avoid it?
 
The quantity of our life is measure by fullness – the amount we manage to pack into our allotted space.
The quality of our life is measured by space – the amount of clutter we manage to let go of in our allotted time.
 
Do you try to fill your every waking moment with things – with noise (is the radio or television always on?), with activities (are you a task junkie?), with artefacts (are you a shopaholic?).
Or do you try to set aside space – in the day (do you have quiet time alone?), in relationships (do you have time away?), in your mind (do you feed your creativity or imagination?), in your spirit (do you pray or meditate?).
 
The lack of space in our life reflects our appetite for having rather than experiencing, for doing rather than being.
Activity is motion, motion causes friction, friction causes noise, noise fills the space.
 
When we slow down, the cacophony subsides.
When we are still, the silence enters in.
When we are silent, we discover a different kind of motion – an inner motion, of thoughts and feelings, ideas and insights.
 
The emptiness of space is a fallacy, a misnomer.
Space is never empty.
The scientists agree – from the sub-atomic to the astronomic, from quantum mechanics to astrophysics – our world is almost entirely made up of space.
 
Space is the womb of all creation.
We should pay attention to the space in our lives, we should seek it out, enlarge it, immerse ourselves in it.
 
Instead, all too often, we find space by accident – in the waiting places, the transit lounges, the network nodes, the in between times.
At first, we greet this unplanned space with impatience, irritation, disdain.
Space is an unwelcome guest in the midst of our tightly sequenced schedule of busyness, an interruption to the smooth running of the just-in-time operation we call our lives.
 
But space seeks us with intent.
When we are in these transition zones – lingering at the airport, waiting at the bus stop, stuck in traffic, caught in a queue, stranded on an deserted train platform, left behind in an empty home or office – we regain our sense of perspective, we re-evaluate wheat is important to us, we hear our calling more distinctly, we see our destiny more clearly.
 
Space is the place where we are stretched – strung out like an elastic, estranged from familiar things, separated from loved ones.
 
 
We feel the pain of distension in space, yet it may be just what we need to remind us of our true priorities, to confirm the intensity of our affections, to break our bondage to material things.
 
There is beauty in space – the endless undulating sand dunes of the desert, the vast expanse of the ocean reaching the horizon, the white sheet of snowscape spread far and wide, the dark voice of celestial space engulfing the universe.
 
Nature’s space is humbling and uplifting, for we are both insignificant and indispensable.
 
The true artist paints with space and the gifted writer weaves a narrative through omission.
 
To unleash our potential as humans, we must become guardians of outer space and masters of inner space.
 
Beware the space invaders – technology used unwisely, work pursued obsessively, products bought unthinkingly, relationships neglected selfishly, distractions embraced compulsively.
 
Where is the space deficit in your life right now?
What do you need to let go of, or say no to, or switch off, in order to regain your space? Who do you need to make more space for?
 
Always remember, your space is sacred.

Wayne Visser © 2005

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Sport

Sport

Prose by Wayne Visser

~ Sport is a better peacemaker than politics or religion ~

What is it about sport that makes it so compelling?
How did it become such a pervasive force in modern society, or was it always so?
Admittedly, not everyone is a sports fanatic, but its influence on our collective psyche cannot be ignored.
 
Sport has become a metaphor for life.
We talk about levelling the playing field, competing for our place, playing by the rules and being good sports.
As with sport, life is a game of risk and reward, of scores and penalties, of rules and referees, of winning and losing.
We can choose whether to play fair or dirty, whether to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
 
The drama of sport reflects the drama of our lives.
Hence, we live our lives vicariously through the lens of sport.
The action on the court or field acts out our own struggles and triumphs, our highs and lows, the jubilation and the disappointment, the swings of fortune because of, or sometimes in spite of, our best efforts.
 
Through sport, we learn that hard work is rewarded with results, but also that the best team doesn’t always win.
We see that there is a place for individual brilliance (indeed, it is essential), but that high performing teams are stronger than any lone star.
 
Our heroes on the sports field become role models for our children; in fact, for all of us.
They teach us the importance of believing in ourselves and having big dreams, of focussed commitment and tenacious striving, of fair play and respect for others.
 
Sport is a channel for our competitive instincts, an outlet for our sense of pride and identity. In a very real sense, sport is a civilized form of war – it allows rival factions to do battle.
But the only casualties are bruised egos and wounded pride.
International tournaments, although fought viciously, become instruments of friendship.
Word Cups and the Olympic Games bring the world together on peaceful terms.
 
Sport makes it more difficult to harbour resentment and cultivate discrimination against others because they happen to be a different race, nationality, sex or persuasion.
It shows us that talent ignores artificial boundaries and needs to be recognised on its own merits.
 
And when we do allow natural ability to be nurtured and to flourish, we witness spectacular feats of human accomplishment.
It is impossible not to be inspired by the remarkable achievements of our sports women and men.
They push the borders of what is physically and mentally possible.
Through unbelievable dedication and training, they fine tune their bodies and hone their skills.
And the result is a breathtaking display of realised human potential, an exquisitely choreographed dance of agility.
 
We don’t always have to be spectators on the sidelines either.
The beauty of sport is that everyone can enjoy it, if they are willing to try.
 
Have you got memories of playing sport, of being on a winning team?
Perhaps you even scored.
Can you recall the exhilaration, the sense of being invincible for those few precious moments?
 
Did you ever have the experience of being “in the zone” – that heightened state of awareness, where you and the game are perfectly at one, where every move is in tune with the overall harmony of the dynamics in play?
Psychologists call this being in a flow state, while many religious traditions recognise it as a form of meditation.
 
We all strive to achieve that ideal state of seemingly effortless performance in our lives, but sport gives us the clues to making it happen.
We have to work hard, have positive mental attitude, listen to our intuition, respect the rules, immerse ourselves in the moment, and love what we do.
 
Are you game to give it a try today?
Go on, be a sport!
 

Wayne Visser © 2005

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Theatre

Theatre

Prose by Wayne Visser

~ Theatre is where we go to let others expose who we are ~

When last did you go to the theatre?
Why is a live performance so enjoyable?
What do you remember about your own dabbling with amateur dramatics – a school play or church nativity perhaps?
 
In one way or another, theatre is omnipresent in our lives.
This ancient tradition may very well be the oldest form of entertainment.
Long before Shakespeare unleashed his genius on the world, there were bushmen re-living the drama of a thrilling hunt around blazing African fires, and Greeks bringing their pantheon of gods to life in open-air amphitheatres.
 
Theatre has survived the ravages of time because it is a nexus for the arts – an explosive interaction of song and dance, a masterful blend of acting and storytelling, a creative fusion of design and fashion. 
 
But these days, it faces stiff competition from numerous techno-entertainment prima donnas. 
We are drawn like moths to a flame by the flickering allure of television and film, dazzlingly impressive with its gizmo special effects, yet still only a two dimensional facsimile of live theatre.
And we are turned zombie-like by the hypnotic blur of computer games, full of adrenaline-pumping action, in what amounts to digital sparring with pre-programmed phantoms.
These young pretenders are descendants of theatre and would do well to remember their ancestral roots.
Ancient wisdom runs deep.
 
The very simplicity of theatre is one of its mysterious powers.
Out of the murky chaos of life, theatre distils the pure essence of our human experience – the archetypes which pattern our behaviour, the myths which fire our imagination, the emotions which fuel our relationships.
In theatre, we know the props aren’t real, and we know the actors are acting.
Yet the story echoes with truth and the characters are immediately recognisable in our daily lives.
 
Theatre is not about suspending our disbelief, but engaging with our beliefs.
It is not an escape into fantasy, it is a journey into reality.
 
Theatre is the mirror of exaggeration held up to help us notice things about ourselves.
To dramatise does not mean to mimic, but to make a point through emphasis.
Hyperbole is the lens through which theatre clarifies the world.
By making the script larger than life, theatre leaves us in no doubt about its messages.
 
Theatre not only entertains, but also instructs.
By shining the spotlight on the shadow parts of ourselves and the hidden recesses of our society, theatre can illuminate, even enlighten.
 
Theatre is an interactive experience – between actors and audience, narrative and understanding, stimulus and response.
Whether on stage or in our seats, we are active participants in theatre.
Theatre makes us laugh or cry, gasp or hold our breath, rage or swoon, boo or applaud.
 
Theatre touches us.
We go to theatre to feel alive, to be reminded that other people can move us.
 
We resonate with stage performance not only because of the skill of actors, but because we are all natural actors ourselves.
From the first moment, as infants, when we realised that different actions get different responses, we have been actors.
We learn to take on roles, to play our parts, changing our masks and varying our performance depending on the audience.
 
In fact, we are so good at personal theatre that we start to believe our own production.
We become our stage characters – caring mother, slick professional, rebellious teenager, tough manager.
And we start to mistake the props of life – the house, the car, the job – for life itself.
 
We should not forget to take time out, to let the curtain fall and turn up the lights, to hang up our costume and remove our makeup, to just be our authentic selves for a change.
Stop playing to the audience.
Stop living up to others’ expectations.
Just be real.
Just be you.
 
Why not give it a try?
Give yourself a break.
Take off the mask for a few minutes today.
The show will go on without you.
And in any case, you’ll be back on stage before you know it.
 

Wayne Visser © 2005

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Time

Time

Prose by Wayne Visser

~ Time is our greatest gift ~

Are you wearing a watch?
How many clocks are there in your home or office?
 
Our lives are ruled by time it seems.
We have carved up time, sliced it and diced it, kneaded and squeezed it.
Yet our misguided attempts to get more out of time have only left us feeling divided, fragmented, stretched and pressured.
 
We have tried to dam the flow of time, to freeze it and channel it, to make it work for us.
Yet in our futile attempts to change the nature of time, it is us who are left feeling manipulated, directed, inflexible and overworked.
 
We have striven to become masters over time, yet we are more slaves to time today than ever before.
 
What is your vision of the rule of time?
Do you see time as a cruel dictator, a heartless machine, a grim reaper?
Or is time a benevolent king, a patient guide, a gentle midwife?
 
We make time in our own image, projecting our view of the world, our life’s experiences, externalising our inner beliefs.
For many therefore, time is not unlike the God of the Old Testament – a supreme power to be worshipped and feared; a jealous and vengeful deity, who demands sacrifices and unquestioning servitude.
 
And yet, could time not also be like the God of the New Testament – loving and caring, nurturing and forgiving?
For is it not time that sanctions birth and nourishes growth?
Is it not time that bears fruit and heals wounds?
 
Without time, the evolution of life would never have occurred.
Without time, great civilizations would never have been built.
 
Time has the ingenious quality of being perfectly scalable – it fits with equal elegance the vast sweep of creation’s history and the intimate details of our individual lives.
Time is an instrument of perspective, both a telescope and a microscope on life and the universe.
As we look through the lens of time, we understand the workings of the word better, and we are more able to appreciate the unfolding of our own lives.
 
Time is the web that connects us to our past and spins us into our future.
Where do your threads lead?
Where have you come from and where are you going?
 
Time weaves the fabric of our reality on the loom of space.
Yet how we use time will determine the unique patterns and colours of our life. 
And like yarn, time is elastic.
A moment can seem like eternity and lifetimes can pass in an instant.
This is but one of the many secrets of time.
 
We think we can plot time.
Yet time is not measured in seconds or hours, years or millennia.
Time is measured by the quality with which it is spent.
The more of ourselves we bring to time, the more it returns to us.
 
Time well spent is rewarded with rich memories.
Like a favourite song or film, we can return to our time savings and spend them over and over again, reliving their quality and vitality.
Naturally, our memories shift as we change, but then so does everything in our world.
 
Time is not an objective fact; it is a subjective experience.
No two accounts of time are ever the same, for we are the instruments on which time plays its symphony.
Just as a note of music is never played twice, so no experience of time is ever duplicated.
 
What is your unique sound – the interpretation of time that is your life?
 
Like the orchestra, we all need to be sensitive to the timing of the conductor, to listen to the larger score, to be alive to the music we are being asked to play, and to make our contribution in ways which produce harmony rather than dissonance.
 
If we play the music of time well, we might even glimpse into worlds beyond space and time, where we see time for what it really is – an illusion conjured for our education and amusement.
 
So use your gift of quality time wisely today, and don’t forget to play.
 

Wayne Visser © 2005

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Touch

Touch

Prose by Wayne Visser

~ Only when touched do we truly come to our senses ~

What are some of your fondest memories?
Chances are, they were when you were touched in one way or another.
 
Do you recall the soothing touch of your mother, brushing away your tears and kissing it better?
Or the touch of your lover, gently caressing and passionately intimate?
Or the touch of your child, hugging you tightly and saying I love you?
Perhaps it was even the considerate touch of a stranger, taking care of you when you were most vulnerable?
 
Not only is touch one of the five senses, it is the one we cannot do without.
Babies who are not touched die.
Adults who are not touched die inside.
 
We all crave a loving touch.
It makes us feel wanted, looked after, comfortable with who we are.
 
Untouchables are the outcasts of society, condemned to live forever as subhuman.
Solitary confinement – being beyond the reach of others – is the ultimate punishment.
 
Of course, touch is not just physical.
When we say someone or something touched us, we mean that we are moved, emotionally affected.
 
Touch is the language of the heart.
Our loved ones are usually those who touch us most deeply, touch the places we most shield from the world, the sides of ourselves we hide for fear of rejection.
 
Touch is the antithesis of rejection; the essence of acceptance.
We often say, especially during times of crisis, hardship or tragedy, that we need to reach out to others.
For we cannot hope to touch someone unless we are not prepared to reach out to them first.
Sometimes, we have to reach through pain, bitterness, anger, resentment and fear.
But when we do, touch has the power to melt our frozen attitudes, to thaw our chilled emotions.
 
We all have the power of the healing touch, which is often the first step on the road to recovery in an ailing relationship.
 
One person can initiate touch, but only two can sustain it.
The magic of touch sparks best when it is mutual, reciprocated.
Therefore we talk about staying in touch with our family and friends.
 
We touch others through communication.
Touch is a two-way exchange, a flow of energy.
When we lose touch with someone, or are out of touch with our feelings, there has been a short circuit, or a disconnection from our power source.
 
Paradoxically, someone who we regard as being out of touch with reality we call slightly touched.
Perhaps we simply mean that their connection is to a source different than our own, outside the grid of accepted norms.
 
Not all touch is the same, which makes it all the more special.
There’s the woman’s touch – that nurturing influence so much needed in the world and in our lives.
There’s the Midas touch – the knack some people have to attract good fortune.
 
What is your unique touch?
In what way do you change those you come into contact with?
What mark, what impression, what pattern do you leave behind?
 
Throughout your life, and this very day, you will be leaving your special fingerprint on all the people, places and things that you touch.
It is up to you whether you leave a trail of fond memories or of criminal evidence.
 
So take care today, for as Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting in the Sistine Chapel reminds us, there is something potentially divine about touch.
 

Wayne Visser © 2005

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