The Harmony of Tension

Photo by Stein Egil Liland
Photo by Stein Egil Liland on Pexels

Tension is the nature of diversity, and diversity is beautiful, whether it resonates of harmony or dissonance. Harmony is itself the resolution diversity asks for, and dissonance is the asking. The I Ching says it this way:

After seeking harmony, all things respond to you.
I Ching, Hexagram 14

But harmony is only possible after there has been a parting, and dissonance, the agony of desire, only intensifies as resolve nears, yearns until unison is found. Songs are born of them:

My heart aches,
my grip weakens…
as the world grows more beautiful to my seeing eyes,
and I grow more weary looking through them—
standing here, embodied…
and so far apart.

Genders diverge this way, then long to meet. They are diverse and expressive as they evolve within individuals, cultures, and species like language and thought. They are an expression of who we are through what we are made of, the shape of our own restless flames: they have never been confined to Male and Female.

In our own gestation process, Female is first, Male comes later, a specialization. But they are not two, not only two: they are as fluid as the process they are born from, like the path of water pulled from sea into cloud, then drawn from cloud back into sea, forever in dance whether in sparkle of dew or turbulence of storm. They are like the romance of Sea and Sky.

But in between they are beauty and mystery, neither Sky nor Sea, expressing our world. They are mists rising from rivers, clouds hanging between hills. They are the dust of falling flakes, the flare of sun showers, bouts of cloudburst; they are tricks of hovering haze, spells of steaming hot springs, and plumes of erupting geysers. They are colors of coming and going, songs of departure and reunion.

We are born just as we are into the heat of such tension, springing brightly as sparks from the blaze, leaping lightly as melodies from taut strings. Embrace it, for it is from the chaos of tension itself that harmony is born.


Published by Caelan Rowan McCuen

Poet and writer of imaginative fiction; lover of ancient wisdom literature and mythology; one most passionate about the vibrant world, and all life, and all is all I am.

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