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The Art of Being and Becoming

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Recently, I spotted a sparrow sitting on the branch of a tree just outside my window. The sparrow was energetically jumping around, picking at its feathers and chirping gaily -- flying back and forth until finally it flew to the window ledge, cocked its head and looked me straight in the eye before flying off. Sparrow stayed with me over the following days as I co-existed with my daily chores and made every effort to do whatever was necessary in my professional duties. I was not sure what to make of sparrow's dance that morning and slowly sparrow left my consciousness as more mundane and pressing matters took over. Then suddenly, a few days ago, I realized that I wanted to remember sparrow's dance and just like that it was as though I became her.

Sparrow flew gently over the busy street below. She landed on the telegraph wires and swayed gently as the breeze caught the wire, rocking it to and fro. Lulled by the gentle sway, sparrow almost fell asleep. Most of sparrow's day was spent looking for rich worms to feed her family. She was so busy flying around there was little else to be done. At night, her head tucked gently under her wing, she gathered strength for the next day and the next. Sparrow's life was a busy life but she never forgot to chirp and sing. As I followed my thoughts of sparrow I began to think about daily life and how important it is to be on time and to do whatever chores are necessary in order to survive. I thought about how easy it was to get caught up in the externalities of daily life and how little time I had been spending on those aspects of life that needed no effort whatsoever. One was to listen more to sparrow singing in the trees, and to focus on this sound rather than the sound of the early morning traffic. I began to listen to the rustling of the leaves on the trees and the wind, instead of the motorbike that roared up the hill. I began as well to listen deeply to my heart and how it spoke to me, whispering that it was time to slow down and that everything was in the art and movement of life, rather than in its accomplishments. The wind began to carry my heart over the mountains and out to sea. It began to carry me to ports where I rested gently and to the long sandy beaches where I walked hand in hand with life. Suddenly it came to me, the beautiful painting and the great colors of life; the paintbrush that I held in my hand and the song that I sand in my heart and I was overwhelmed.

Washing the dishes became art; watering the plants became art; writing my PhD dissertation became art; teaching, walking, driving, speaking, listening, singing -- it all became art and it is this art of becoming that I needed to share with this piece of paper. The art of being is the art of becoming and the art of becoming the art of being. Both are carried by the gentle breeze of life when we enter into its essence, unafraid, humble and no longer content to allow life to be anything else but art in its highest form.