Famous, Episode 83 of Turning Towards Life
What’s the cost of our constant comparison with others, with a life we think we’re meant to be living, or with our past or future selves? There’s a good reason why comparison has been called ‘the thief of joy’. So what happens when we find a way, instead, of bringing ourselves whole-heartedly as we are, to the life we’re already living? A conversation about not turning away with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.
Here’s Episode 83 of Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living.
In this conversation we explore together the pitfalls of comparing ourselves to an image – whether that’s an image of fame and success given to us by our wider culture, or a idea of how we ‘should’ be (kind, smart, witty, selfless) that we distort ourselves in living up to. We consider together how distant from ourselves we can become from living in this way, explore the suffering it can produce, and wonder about the possibilities of turning towards our own particular gifts and qualities and inhabiting them with a whole heart.
Our source this week is the poem ‘Famous’ by Naomi Shihab Nye
The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.
Naomi Shihab Nye