I was also surprised and intrigued to encounter another pair of opposites when I read Victor Davis Hanson’s mention of hubris and nemesis in his recent declaration that Biden "will face Nemesis in a way that few other presidents have ever encountered the cruel Greek god. Biden’s hubris and that of the media/Democratic Party fusion almost guarantee such divine retribution".
And that consideration was followed by this from Living Your Unlived Life, by R.A Johnson:
"I must state again: Nothing exists in our human dimension without its opposite close by.
I once designed and built a special clavichord, a very exotic instrument called a Clavichord d ’Amour. None have survived from the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries when this beautiful instrument held a high place in the musical world; only one paragraph could be found in an obscure treatise describing its physical structure, followed by long paragraphs extolling the fineness of its tone.
After I spent two winters of spare time in the designing and building, a fine instrument resulted. While working on this project, I was daily reminded of the polarity of all experience: shuffling around in piles of wood shavings, companioned by glue pots and a general mess of cast-off wood and metal. The glue was the old horsehide concoction, perfect for inlay work. How to make horsehide glue. You skin an old horse, boil its hide for a week, skim the fat off, boil it down to the proper consistency, and what are you left with? Mess. That is the lesson I learned on the search to find the dulcet tones of the Clavichord d ’Amour --possibly the most delicate and refined sound ever known to humankind.
What about the mess that we all make daily with any activity we undertake? And what about the poor horse? Mess! How do we cope with this inevitable reality in our pursuit of the beautiful and the true?..
We live in a time of division and polarity, yet the ancients sagely advised that the middle way is best. This does not mean a watered down compromise, but a synthesis. Life is filled with contradiction and tension, yet if we learn to hold that tension rather than force one-sided solutions, we might yet open to experiences that are whole and holy."
While I haven’t yet reached the point of holding tension easily, without giving way to the pull of drama or veering off into the mess of despair, living with the awareness of the closeness of opposites and the roles they serve to invite clarity has been helpful. Balance in the midst of polarity continues to be my prayer.
The blue ice pictured above has been forming in the Straits of Mackinac this past week during the single digit weather we've been having with the picture below showing more of the "gorgeous ice shards" that have piled up along the Lake Michigan coast in previous years.