Both Sides Now By Cora Treoir Duncan: Sing A Simple Song When It All Goes Wrong

Most of us may be experiencing a full stop this winter. In the last three months I have watched in horror, awe, delight and consternation as very public events have unfolded to where we are today.

With the results of the election still burning like a brush-fire across the country and the world, there are few who have not been affected and spurred into action, whether in expressing direct protest or as domestic terrorists hell-bent on divisive violence. Like legions of disappointed and horrified Liberals and part of a marginalized group (transgender), I have fumed and trembled at the new reality and its inevitable projected implications.

Each of us face moments that halt forward motion: some as temporary as a snowstorm, lost keys or flat tire, some critical as an accident, job loss or sudden illness, plus every possibility in between. Each of us must muster the inner and outer resources we have to face the realities that confront us in every situation. When the cold hard reality hits, we need to remain calm and go forward. Obviously, this is an aspiration we all seek and pursue with varying results depending on our wisdom, age and experience. I have learned to stop “trying” as it rarely produces success. One either does or does not; there is no maybe. Eventually I found that my intentions will equal my results.

Personally my life has overflowed with Chaos and Change. Over time I have finally recognized them as Old Friends who come around whether I invite them or not. I have ceased chasing the false promises of Perfection in my life. It now seems toxic; these days I seek Imperfection. I have discovered I have a chance of attaining that! I have learned to trust the process and go with the flow. Ironically, it was one of the earliest clues to living I was handed! Let me explain.

One of the first songs I ever learned to sing was a Round, where the singers are divided into two groups and sing the song with staggered starting points. I’ll bet everyone reading this has sung the same song at some point in their lives: Row, Row, Row Your Boat. I will also wager that few if any have considered the wisdom inherent in this childhood tune. Please, let me share what I mean as we consider every line.

“Row, row your boat…” You have to initiate the action; no one else is going to propel you forward. You have to do it for yourself. Each of us knows how much we dislike or resent other folks deciding we are not doing it right or that they could do it better than we can. It is YOUR boat! So start rowing.

“…Gently down the stream.” Stop fighting Life. Go with the flow. Trust the process and you ability to know what it means. It definitely can make a difference to finding peace of mind and general well being plus it is energy efficient to boot. Be kind to yourself and others. Release anger, fear, sadness and pain. Why carry the burden? Lighten your load.

“Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily…”  Laugh, dance, smile, sing, hug and frolic whenever you find opportunity doing whatever your heart and soul divine and design. Why be miserable? Happiness is circumstantial and fleeting, disappearing like smoke when the doors and windows open. Joy is a state of mind and being we can all embrace once we know how.

“Life is but a dream.” It is too important to be taken seriously. It is over in record time, done before we are ready. The story of you and I is a blink of the eye and too soon goodbye. In the passing parade of this great and grand Universe we are all legend and legion…until we begin the next round and start singing again…

“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a Dream.”


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