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  • You're walking. And you don't always realize it,
    but you're always falling.
    With each step you fall forward slightly.
    And then catch yourself from falling.
    Over and over, you're falling.
    And then catching yourself from falling.
    And this is how you can be walking and falling
    at the same time.

    Laurie Anderson, Walking and Falling


    There is a time to leave. Is it time now? you ask.
    The time to leave may be a long time coming.
    Or it may be sudden, a revelation, that you must leave.
    You may have a vague sense that things are not right,
    or a clear sense that things will not get better
    no matter how hard you may try to fix them.

    You tend to forget, for awhile, when things go well,
    that leaving is always an option, an option there, waiting.
    And then one day, like the sun rising, you remember:
    “Oh, I do not really have to put up with this. I can leave.”
    At that moment, the world shifts a bit, you feel better,
    and in your mind, ever so quietly, you start packing..

    So often, you think you are stuck in a situation,
    or a job, or a place, or a relationship, but the fact is,
    you are only as stuck as you allow yourself to be.
    To realize that you are stuck carries a corollary,
    which is to know there is a way out of being stuck,
    and it is called ‘leaving the outgrown behind.’

    There is a time to arrive. Am I arriving? you ask.
    It may take awhile to realize that you are arriving,
    or you may suddenly wake up and say: “I have arrived!”
    You may not have realized that while you were leaving
    that one place, you were also arriving at a new one,
    and then you are there, in that new place. Magic!

    It is as though the growing realization
    that you can leave, carries the gift of your arrival
    at some new place in time, some new shore.
    Leaving and arriving, arriving and leaving,
    like the expansion and contraction of the universe,
    like your life, breathing in, breathing out.

    Listen, if you look closely at your life right now,
    and of the lives around you, you will see what I mean.
    You will see people discovering they need to leave,
    and making plans to do so, and you will see
    others arriving, entering into some new chapter.
    It is always like this. You will see this everywhere.

    Most of all, though, you will see it in yourself,
    maybe even today, maybe today you are leaving,
    getting ready to arrive at somewhere better,
    somewhere you want to be more than here.
    Once you get really honest with yourself,
    you recognize the stirrings of the need to leave.

    And then, once you admit to these stirrings,
    you bend everything in your life toward departure,
    so you can arrive at the next place, which waits.
    Leaving, arriving, leaving, arriving, like breath,
    like the expansion and contraction of the universe,
    like walking, and falling, and the same time.

    (Photograph by Alex in the Mother Road, in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life)
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