Balloons are quite the thing. They come in all shapes and sizes, that is a certainty.
I have never much cared for them, no matter how they look. I think it comes from early trauma as a kid. I can remember at a pretty young age, having, or attending, a birthday party. Post-party, we had balloons in our house. One of my sisters thought it was funny to pop them right in my face, because the loud noise scared me. So she did, time and time again.
I am suspicious of balloons since that first meeting, that first memory, initial encounter with them.
But they are versatile. You can put just about anything in a balloon. Mostly, we push exhaled air into the balloon. Technically, that is mostly nitrogen (78%), oxygen (16%), and a little bit of carbon dioxide and other trace elements. When you fill a balloon with exhaled air, it drops to the floor. The weight of the rubber or latex makes that happen.
Sometimes we juice those balloons with helium. And because helium has a lighter weight than the other elements in our atmospheric air, the balloons rise up.
And then, of course, there are water balloons, paint balloons, shaving cream balloons, grape jelly balloons, and on. Very dense. And. We all know how miserably those turn out.
Different outcomes. All of them. When we let them go.
That is our world, too, and the act of letting things go.
That crazy kid movie, Frozen, embedded the “Let It Go” song into our brains. Thanks, Idina Menzel, for singing that one home. I might add this sidebar. She was the original & incredible Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway. But much later, at the Oscars, John Travolta screwed up her name beyond recognition. That went over like a lead balloon. She sure had to let that thing go.) Somehow, that’s all connected, my little pretty.
I don’t know why my brain dowses you with segues. Nonetheless, back to it.
The act of letting go. I was reminded of this today by one of my daily readings. It said that we should let go of past “occurrences” to make way for the present. I understand this. There are all sorts of possibilities which await us today. And we learn from them. They contribute to our growth, to our wholeness, whether those experiences are good, bad, or in-between.
Yet. I sometimes feel that there is a very thin line between “letting go” — that act of acceptance — and having the courage to change the things we can. As the second directive of the Serenity Prayer suggests.
The conundrum. To accept or change. And of course. Wisdom to know, which way to go. What we can, and cannot do.
And to make it all even more mushed up, like mashed potatoes and peas at Aunt Velma’s house, every experience we have, affects our judgment to all other things, from that moment on.
So when do we let go? When do we hold on?
And what will happen as a result? Does that balloon fall to the floor, or does it rise? Rise to the sky, and into infinity.
That is part of being human. We are broken, and we are whole at the same time. Each day, we die a little bit, and we also grow. And like the balloon much depends on what is on the inside. And what is on the outside.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
― E.E. Cummings
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
― Rumi, The Essential Rumi
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
― Robert Frost
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
― Thomas Merton