About eighty years ago, I was a little girl almost six and living at the Hotel Galilee in Paris. Some Sundays, my nanny would take me to the Bois de Boulogne, a lovely park, to play with my hoop. To my amazement, as I was sharing this recently with a fifty year-old friend, she thought I meant a hula hoop! No!! It was a wooden hoop that reached to my waist and the idea was that with a little baton, you got it rolling and as you ran along with it, you could guide it and keep it rolling by gently hitting with the stick. It was tricky because it could fall over, if you didn't keep it moving.
Oddly, I now associate this with taking time to sit down and write a word of appreciation to a stranger – an author of a book or an article, an artist, a soldier, or even encouraging a hospitalized veteran or a prisoner. When I was sixteen and spending the summer on vacation with my Grandma King in La Jolla, California, I had this crazy idea and had postcards printed: TODAY I MOST APPRECIATED – and I would send them off at random every day, but then I went back to boarding school and couldn't keep it up.
Now, I myself am the recipient of notes from strangers who are touched by my books or posts, and I realize how on a gloopy day, such a missive arrives and a link between two people is briefly and warmly established. It feels as if my hoop was being edged along! Yet perhaps a collective golden hoop of hope is being pushed along wherever such transactions take place, something that tells any recipient to keep on keeping on, and warms the cockles of the heart saying that one is not laboring in vain.
I remember Dr. Edward Edinger, the late and great Jungian analyst, telling me once that if you give a lecture and only one person hears and is touched by what you are saying, you have not spoken in vain. Now, as I am older, I realize, thanks to Jung, that it is not what anyone says or writes but what the other one hears or reads that counts! Because if one addresses 100 people, 100 different lectures will be heard; if 1000 read a book, 1000 different books will be read because every individual processes every experience uniquely. Just think, there are millions of Mona Lisas! Or Snoopys.
Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic philosopher and master of one-liners wrote: "With our eyes open, we share the same world; when we close our eyes each of us enters a separate one."
This, if you think about it, reveals the process of Spirit – one seed can generate a ‘thousand’ out of itself – and when you think of cyberspace, internets, ipods, etc. it is staggering to realize the potential for good or evil that is out there.
Symbolically speaking perhaps we contribute to one Great Golden Hoop. Somehow the solar system itself seems to be rolling along in constant motion. The huge question is
What keeps it rolling???
E pur si muove – Galileo