Thursday, November 16, 2006

Deep, Down Inside

Fill a cup and a thimble. Aren’t they both full?

I heard that metaphor when I was so young that I did what a child would do. I thought of the cup as a grown-up and the thimble as a child. Now that I am a grown-up, and I reflect on that I think I had the metaphor backwards. I think the child is the cup and the adult is the thimble.

We start out connected to all of our feelings. We discover what it’s like to move . . . to walk, to run, to jump . . . to be picked up and spun around with laughter. We learn about how our hands and feet work, what makes tears come, and how we feel after someone who loves us gives us a hug. As children we know why the world needs people to be fair and keep their promises. We know why being nice and being honest somehow makes the sun shine. And when we talk of such things we use words like, “deep down inside.”

A person would have to walk days and thousands of miles to find a child who is arrogant and shallow.

Along the way of our growing up things we face things that lead us to protect ourselves. Slowly that open heart learns new rules about how to respond and react with other people. Some of us close the basement door and forget that “deep down inside” was ever there. As time passes we close more doors until we’re living only on the ground level, no deeper.

If we’re lucky when we get older we learn how to reverse the process.

I want to see how far “deep, down inside” gets.
−me strauss Letting me be


Tell No One said...

How far deep down gets? I know so little about so much but I hope deep down never ends. I hope there's always more to explore.

I'm trying to break through my basement door. From time to time I accidentally leave it open and get a peek.

Sometimes friends unlock the door and walk down beside me, with a candle in hand to light the darkness.

Thanks for lighting so many candles Liz.


ME Strauss said...

Hello katrina,
As far as I can tell, deep down inside goes as far as you can think, as far as you can imagine and wonder. It goes so far that when you get there, you'll find a door that opens out to the universe and a backyard as big as all outdoors to play in.

Dawn said...

I surprised myself just now as I got to the end of your post. I was fine up to learning how to reverse the process. But that last line stuck in my throat. Or was that my heart? I'm not ready to see how far deep down inside gets. Reversing the process is one thing, but the infinity of inner depth is quite another. Today it feels like a journey I'm not ready to make.

ME Strauss said...

Hey Dawn,
No one says you have to where I want to go. No one says you have to do what I feel like doing. I'm just the curious type and feel exploring. Who knows? I could find out I'm not so deep after all. :)

michaelm said...

I think the child is the cup and the adult is the thimble.
Absolutely brilliant.
Never thought of it that way but you are 100% correct.
It's in the losing of our innocence that our overall capacity to grow is unknowingly stunted.
Love this post, Liz.


ME Strauss said...

Wow! Michael, thank you.
I'm working hard at getting back to being what I once was. :)