Prepared for the Impossible

“What one impossible thing does your life ask of you?” Joanna Macy asks.

“Everything?” I wonder. To live life improvisationally may be the sanest thing I do. Have you noticed it’s not safe out there (or in here?). When I improvise with the unknown I “get with it.” My soul converses with forces of creation of destruction. I prepare to meet my maker every single moment. Ready or not here I come!

Last night I boarded a plane for Syndey. Eighteen minutes out, the number four engine blew. The plane was affected but stable. After an hour we were back on the ground.  Hallelujah. We made the morning news. Adrenalin took a ride. I had faith (that weird inner assurance) and Dane, my seatmate, an ex marine who isn’t wild about flying. We bonded as people in trouble do.

100 years ago this flight was impossible.” The obstacle is the path,” sayeth the Zen proverb. And now we were on it. Breathing, nervous in our unadorned prayer, every now and then we’d look out the window and see the moon or the shore. We talked about careers, travel, dumb things we’d done, the risk of going to new places. I felt remarkably unselfconscious about describing that indescribable thing-InterPlay, my beloved “problem” that as As J. Krishnamurti.wrote “…if you love it, is as beautiful as the sunset.”

Life is not something to solve. It is a ride, a dance, mysteriously beckoning us towards things we come to long for so much that we’ll commit impossible amounts of time, money, and energy to them.

What absorbing life puzzle do you love the best? The Director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living, Stephen Cope, offers a helpful reflection on the counter-intuitive movements of impossible purposes here.

As an InterPlayer I train everyday to dance with the unknown, to be in touch, notice body data, and create things. This is my way of fostering freedom, playing and praising life. It’s why I got on the plane, off the plane, and onto another one. Life wants me.

Mary Oliver’s poem, Evidence, commends the body to our yet unimagined work, saying,

I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in
singing, especially when singing is not necessarily

As for the body, it is solid and strong and curious
and full of detail; it wants to polish itself; it
wants to love another body; it is the only vessel in
the world that can hold, in a a mix of power and
sweetness: words, song, gesture, passion, ideas,
ingenuity, devotion, merriment, vanity, and virtue.

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

Yes, I got back on the plane. Something impossible, unimaginable, beautiful, scary and true is waiting.


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