by Lexie Greer

Watching the news these days often leaves me restless and down.

Jaded language, biased views, a plethora of misconstrued facts and figures. We are bombarded with either/or thinking in all things: good/bad, black/white, this/that, all/nothing, red/blue, life/death.

The dichotomies offer nothing in between … or beyond.

Our choices are limited to the narrowness these boundaries dictate. Our peripheral is sidelined; eliminated.

And yet, through it all, if I turn my head and heart just right, there remains a tiny crack in the facade, letting just enough light in to let me know that this — what I see before me — is not it; there is something else here.

There are, no matter how concealed, other options to consider.

Slowly, the skeptic awakens in me, having become drunk on the slippery, sticky words of this false dilemma.

Like a newborn fawn on trembling legs, I tentatively stand on the shaky ground of possibility. Could it be that what I am seeing is just an illusion – that there does exist another way?

I cling to this hope and seek out confirmation. The words from two beloved teachers open the crack a little more:

“The insight at the heart of nonviolence is that we live in a tragic gap – a gap between the way things are and the way we know they might be. It is a gap that never has been and never will be closed. If we want to live nonviolent lives, we must learn to stand in the tragic gap, faithfully holding the tension between reality and possibility.”  ~Parker Palmer

“Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior can make a proper cup of tea.” ~Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

I am transcended. Like a dove floating high above the cityscape, I see a new horizon, a new possibility, a third side … and this changes everything. And a poem arises ….

Ode to the Third Side
by Lexie Greer

Ah, third side
You float in like a breath of fresh air
Blurring the line between all or nothing
Between the contrasts, the versus, the pitting, and the vying
Welcoming the paradoxes of “both/and” in your generous embrace
You join hands through story and connection
The opposition holds no ground
You bask in the similarities
Bridging the chasm of difference
In your wake, hope – resolve – solution find fertile ground
Our eyes and minds are awakened by your vision
That was sitting in the palm of our hands and hearts all along.


Image via Iwishmynamewasmarsha/Flickr.