Waking up, I’m half-listening to an audio book by Stephen Cope.1 I think… I hear, the narrator say life and death are not opposites. My mussy thought, they are one thing. They fit together. Can’t have one without the other. I flash on the Diamanté poem, a format of opposites.
To an awake Catharine, “Is this what he said?”
Detecting an hesitation in Catharine’s response… wondered about my accuracy… Regardless, I’m off on my path — thinking about opposites.
But first more about Cope’s, Great Work…
About The Book
Cope uses the Bhagavad Gita as a framework. He spins this ancient Hindu allegory into today.
Cope takes readers on a step-by-step tour of this revered tale, and in order to make it relevant to contemporary readers, he highlights well-known Western lives that embody its central principles—including such luminaries as Jane Goodall, whose life trajectory shows us the power of honoring The Gift; Walt Whitman, who listened for the call of the times; Susan B. Anthony, whose example demonstrates the power of focused energy; John Keats, who was able to let his desire give birth to aspiration; and Harriet Tubman, whose life was nothing if not a lesson in learning to walk by faith. This essential guide also includes everyday stories about following the path to dharma, which illustrate the astonishingly contemporary relevance and practicality of this classic yogic story. — From Good Reads
The audio book kicked off a tangle of contrasting associations.
- happy — sad
- ally — enemy
- answer — question
- black — white
- cold —hot
- fore — aft
- glad — sad
- sailing — running
Come back to life and death. They are not opposites but markers we give to a process. That is one way of looking at it. Birth, life, and death are whole, a unity.
Most people think of success and failure as opposites, but they both are products of the same process. —Roger von Oech2
Thinking in opposites misses the point. We name stuff as if they are separate identities. Doing so splits reality into fragments.
For fun and surprise read and write seven lined diamond-shaped poems, diamanté. The first and last lines are words of opposing meanings. (Ha! … different aspects of the same)
Below one example poem and an explanation of the form…. Please add a poem to the comments.
Diamanté poem from —WriteShop
Life and death are not opposites nor is light and dark.
Walking this path…
As you go back or move toward insights/ideas/events/words/lessons/mistakes in the past, you develop into the future from the present. I think that‘s pretty cool that two quote-unquote opposites are intrinsically linked. That whole theme of opposites being two sides of the same whole is a theme that‘s always been intriguing to me. —Esperanza Spalding
- The Great Work Of Your Life ↩
- www.brainyquote.com/topics/opposites ↩
- A diamanté poem, or diamond poem, is a style of poetry that is made up of seven lines. The text forms the shape of a lozenge or diamond ) (. The form developed by Iris Tiedt in A New Poetry Form: The Diamanté (1969). From Wikipedia ↩