The Four Winds: At Breath’s EndAugust 31, 2010
Learn the alchemy
true human beings know.
The moment you accept
what troubles you’ve been given,
the door will open.
A man gets on a train. It’s crowded and there are very few seats. He spies a seat a few rows back and approached to claim it. As he neared, he saw that there was a suitcase on the seat and a man sitting next to it. He says: Excuse me, can you please move your chimidunchik so I may sit? There was no response. More people are getting on the train, the aisle is getting crowded and all the seats fill up. Again he asks, can you please move your chimidunchik? And again he was ignored. Normally a patient man, he gets very agitated for being ignored. He begins to shout. Chimidunchik, Chimidunchik! Can you move it now! And still no answer. So the man in a fit a rage, grabs the chimidunchik and throws it out the window of the moving train. Satisfied and somewhat exhausted, he sits in the now vacant seat and turns to the person there and ask him, Now what are you going to do! Nothing he replied, It was not my chimidunchik! –
Following musing by Rabbi David Lipper.
Now while we might have anticipated the slapstick ending to the story… the chimidunchik has greater meaning for us. What I learned from this story is that everyone has their chimidunchik and many of us know it … but some of us do not. Everyone here has baggage. Some is light and we carry it well and effortlessly manipulate life so that our baggage doesn’t slow us down. Some of us deny that we even carry baggage. We, like the man on the train don’t own up to the baggage that follows us wherever we go. Still others are weighed down by the baggage they carry. The burden is so great that they are immobilized. Their burdens are heavy and they continue to grow and compound.
Over and over we are broken on the shore of life. Our stubborn egos are knocked around, and our frightened hearts are broken open-not once, and not in predictable patterns, but in surprising ways and for as long as we live. The promise of being broken and the possibility of being opened are written into the contract of human life.
When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens to your heart, expands your understanding and leads you to freedom. ~ Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: how difficult times can help us grow