Which cup? Well, we’re in Melbourne so there’s a horse race on tomorrow. One that supposedly stops a nation. There is something about the longing for festivity and dressing up and making an occasion of something which I completely understand. It’s a race for stayers (persistent horses who can gallop a long distance) where the winner receives an 18 carat golden cup.
But to move away from the festive bunch of people dressed to the nines in killer stilettos and tight suits, seeking a little borrowed joy, champagne induced reverie and perhaps some easy money, barely attending to the horses passing by, there are other things I’d much rather celebrate.
I want to celebrate those of us who stay with the challenge of not knowing what to do when we’re facing a complex problem, staying with it, observing it compassionately and with curiosity, until we sense in our heart what is right.
I toast (with my cup of evening herbal tea) those of us who fall into despair and grow timid and then suddenly find courage again. May we keep finding reserves of courage in the most unexpected places.
I want to offer a cup, not of herbal tea, but of deep listening to those who are most in need of being heard. Sometimes they’re the ones we find hardest to include in our attention.
And I long to be fascinated by conversation which goes beyond the odds and the gossip and inanities and is prepared to face the tough and delicate stuff of being human.
Like the rose gardens at the racecourse and the horses and the humans who attend, I’d like to put my best face on, but I don’t want to forget about the bits of me need that need a bit of burnishing. I’ll turn and look at them, notice all my fears, my doubts and my uncertainties, but not allow them to confuse me when I hit the home straight. And I’d like to welcome all the sources, human and divine, who seem to be of assistance when I notice all my weaker bits that are getting in the way. No urging, no whips and spurs, but just openness to all that may be helpful when we’re in the business of growing better at being human.
Much better than winning a golden cup any day.