Kim: What Is the Plural of Paradox?




What is the plural of paradox?  I need to know, because there are so many of them in my fasting life.

Fasted yet fueled.

Hungry yet satisfied.

Energetic yet calm.

Shrinking yet expanding.

I try to start the day with a 3-4 mile outdoor walk.  It’s a mild, damp morning and the snow is melting again, hopefully for the last time after the past’s week’s round of wet-and-heavy stuff.  On a particular secluded and lovely stretch of road, I had two simultaneous impulses:

Run, burn the energy that fills my body, feel my strong legs and heart pumping, breathe that clean air more deeply;


Slow down, look at the slender branches with their velvety bark, the buds unfolding, the tiniest leaves about to unfurl any moment.  It’s almost like getting to witness time-lapse photography in action, and my restored spirit cannot seem to get enough of its beauty.

So, what did I do?  Both.  I held and honored both in intervals, running for a bit, then slowing down and snapping iPhone photos of the images that really stirred me.  As I shrink and my life expands, I learn to do both.  I learn to let the paradox exist peacefully.

My shrinking body wants to go, go, go.  My expanded mind and spirit want to slow, slow, slow.

There is time for both.

One more paradox:  ugly yet beautiful.  My journey, particularly my fasts, have created in a space where I have finally done “the work.”  I have been set free from so much old baggage that weighed me down.  It’s been a joy to discover my true self, but I’ve had to slog through a lot of dark and yucky stuff to forgive myself and leave it behind.

When I got home from the walk, I was uploading the photos I took, the crinkled milk pods and the fuzzy willows, and it hit me to wonder whether I looked at my children with this kind of awe.  Did I soak up the beauty of their unfolding, which happened almost as quickly as the leaves?  Or did I waste the days stuck in my head, beating myself up for so many imagined failures and shortcomings?

A wave of guilt knocks me over and my previous elation is replaced by genuine grief.  I honor that, too.  I weep for a few moments, then I wipe my tears and start sketching out this blog post in my big notebook.

There is time for both.

Oh, and the plural of paradox is paradoxes