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So here we are on the last post about MYSTERY. We’ve talked about whether we see life as a mystery or a problem to be solved, how we respond to problems, and what usually happens in our minds when we fail to solve them. Those are thought processes we usually don’t experience. Now, before we get to the last MYSTERY challenge, here’s a little story to think about…


There’s a well-known Zen parable about the man who was crossing a field when he saw a tiger charging at him. The man ran, but the tiger gained on him, chasing him toward the edge of a cliff. When he reached the edge, the man had no choice but to leap. He had one chance to save himself: a scrubby branch growing out of the side of the cliff about half way down. He grabbed the branch and hung on. Looking down, what did he see on the ground below? Another tiger!

Then the man saw that a few feet off to his left a small plant grew out of the cliff, and from it there hung one ripe strawberry. Letting go with one hand he found that he could stretch his arm out just far enough to pluck the berry with his fingertips and bring it to his lips. How sweet it tasted!

* * * * *

We’re used to getting nuggets of conventional advice:
• Don’t wait for a tragedy to start appreciating the little things in life.
• Stop and smell the honeysuckle. (Or pumpkin muffins if they’re more you’re thing!)
• Count your blessings. Appreciate what you have instead of complaining about what you don’t.

But I prefer to offer these mystery points:
• If spiritual growth is what you seek, don’ ask for more strawberries, ask for more tigers.
• The threat of the tigers, the leap from the cliff, are what give the strawberry its savor — no tigers, no sweetness.
• In falling we somehow gain what means most. In falling we are given back our lives even as we lose them.

“““Philip Simmons, Learning to Fall: Recording the Blessings of an Imperfect Life

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This week’s prompt is a double header. And it might be a head-scratcher!

sherlockDoes seeing problems as mysteries
change your perspective about life?

What problems in your life
are you ready to give up trying to solve?

Seeing problems in my life as mysteries has given me lots to think about. I look forward to reading what YOU think about it all!

As always, remember to include the link to this post on YOUR blog post. Or if your response isn’t overly long, feel free to leave it in the comment section below. And please feel free to interpret the prompt however you wish: memoirs, poems, pictures, etc.

If you would like to see the previous prompts, they’re listed in the menu at the top of the blog in The Sandbox Writing Challenge. But please feel free to just jump in wherever we are at the moment! After all, the prompts are really for YOU to get to know YOURSELF. (Posts from past prompts you wish to tackle will always be added to the current week’s challenge page.) Next week we’ll be considering ACCEPTANCE. 🙂


Picture Credits:
Tiger —  www.youtube.com
Sherlock — spyhollywood.com

* * * * *

Safar’s post (Blisters, Bunions & Blarney) — I am a bug
Linda’s post (Spiritual Dragonfly) — The Trouble With Problems
LuAnne’s thoughts (Wind Rush) — see comment below
Descartes’ thoughts (Heretofore — Forgotten Victorian Novels) — see comment below
Calen’s post (Impromptu Promptlings) — It’s hard not to worry! Truly!
Lori’s post (As the Fates Would Have It) — The Problem With Tigers