Deep Tuesday Thoughts

Group of five happy children jumping outdoors.

Happy kids. (Photo credit: Lighttruth)

“Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.”  ~ George Saunders

Not easy words to live by. But wise words if we take them, consider, and digest them. Then use them.

And most assuredly staying “open” will hurt. Sometimes. Other times though it will open us up to a world we would not have seen or experienced.

Dinty W. Moore, author of “The Mindful Writer” (yes, I am getting my $14.95 out of this book) says:

“Look at a child…full of wonder, amazed by the smallest thing, a yellow butterfly, a smooth rock, a stranger’s smile—or, in an instant, ready to bawl at the world’s pain and injustice.” Then he says, “Look at your average adult: jaded, seen-it-all, skeptical, ready to dismiss his own feelings as “false” because his intellect is trying to damp down his emotions.”

Moore encourages us to see the rock, the butterfly, the smile, as if for the first time and be “willing to bawl at all the world’s injustice” and to “be so open that it actually does hurt.”

So many times we will dismiss something with the hackneyed words “been there, done that”, but every situation is just a little bit different, and if we open ourselves up to it in wonder, we have created a whole new experience.

I have, on occasion, closed myself to new experiences, or shut myself away not wanting to be hurt by a person or situation—but that is no solution. We have to be open to what life offers us, and stay open as Saunders suggests, until the day we die. By not being open, we have already experienced a kind of death.

My contention is that you cannot find bliss until you remain open to “the world without end”. What do you think?

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33 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I find it is easier to remain open around children there is less chance of being hurt, they haven’t learned to be cruel yet. I wouldn’t want to imagine a life without children around, mine or others.

    • I understand what you are saying — and children in their purity are joys –

  2. We adults become so mired in irony and cynicism, both of which rob us of bliss. Children teach us how to be carefree and full of wonder. I remember reading once that every parent should jump into a leaf pile with a child at least once a year. Do something childlike that looks ridiculous to all the other cynical adults and revel in how great you feel!

    • that is a perfect example – we are afraid to be open to fun–and really how much fun is it to be skeptical and cynical?

  3. Lou Ann, you are singing my song here. I am trying to do this in my life now and it’s difficult but worth it. I’ve not read Moore’s book but I’m reading “The Artist’s Way” now and it’s along those same lines of being open. It is a conscious effort to do so everyday and with practice, I’m hoping that it will become more of a second nature and lead to all kinds of nice awareness. Wonderful post!

    • I have read most of Cameron’s books and she is a great encourager–I really felt good when I found her books and tried to practice her suggestions

  4. Being open does not mean being like a child. From an adult position, or rather from a post-adult condition, one increases awareness and feeling to encompass more. At least that’s what I try to do. I don’t think any attempt to return to childhood or idealize innocence can bear any fruit. Opening up of course is part of the process of growing.

    • open to wonder does not have to be childlike from my perspective — but I agree with you, as adults we can be open to wonder in our awareness

  5. mmmm this is a tough one. Being open at times is very painful so how can that be bliss even if after you open the nut it is still bad? I understand the thought process but I don’t think it applies to all. Yes no? or am I just being a grump (smile)

    • I understand what you are saying, my only point would be that closing up too much means missing out on bliss that could be realized if you are not forever and always on guard–I, by no means have mastered it

      • Very true and well expressed as usual.

  6. Got me thinking!

  7. Saunders is on the money. You can’t, of course, always feel open to the world’s possibilities. Some days, stuff gets in the way (finances, cold weather, people, etc.) But if you realize that the world is wide and, indeed, without end, those dark clouds do go away and the brilliant blue sky and sunshine that emerges is something to behold. Heck, even overcast skies ain’t so bad.

    • You are right–it is not always possible to be open to the world’s possibilities but when we are, it usually pays off–when it doesn’t, well lesson learned
      I kind of like overcast skie too

  8. I don’t think it is possible to be open without being hurt, there will always be someone to criticize 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

    • yes there will, but sometimes we just have to be brave and face it (you don’t know how ironic it is that I am saying this)

  9. I think you never said a truer word.

  10. I think I can be open when I know I’m in a safe place, around people who accept me, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I use my intuition to guide me and it usually doesn’t steer me wrong.

  11. You can’t walk through the door to adventure unless your mind is open.

    • very true–and you, my dear, are good proof of that — you also cannot dance on tables unless you have an open mind

  12. I’m trying to remain open.. And open to change. I’m going outside my comfort zone and starting a new job soon. To me, that’s a big deal.

    Though I find I remain closed in a lot ways just to preserve my sanity.

    • Good luck in your new job – that is a big deal! Sanity is an important thing to preserve–perhaps we should keep the door open a crack, just be careful how much we let in

  13. I’m definitely a work in progress regarding being more open but I’m a lot better about it than I was before. Fear of pain and just fear in general is a pretty powerful motivator in keeping us closed off from the world but like you said, we wouldn’t be able to find the truly blissful things if we never open up. Caution is good but being overly cautious can be a downfall too.

    • it is hard–what is that saying–we are supposed to have the skin of a rhino and heart of an angel–my skin is still being toughened up–

  14. I can be in a so-so mood, and when my gran daughters come around it’s as if the atmosphere in the room changes.. so full of light and fun those 2 girls are..i love children, guess that explains why I have 5 😉

  15. Great advice! And a good reminder to us older folks who get more and more resistant to change! 🙂

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