Words on Being Reborn – Lew Houston

I looked into rebirth and found snakes. Worshipped in the past for always being born, for living forever, for shedding their skin, crawling out of one into another. And I looked further into this cycling from one into another and found this moment that is always unfolding, always cycling from one into another. Taking from us what we just had and giving to us anew. This cycle creates a longing for that next thing but also a sense of losing that last thing. But in between the longing and the losing is just the birthing. Full of apprehension over what comes next and sadness over what is lost. Full too of overwhelming joy at constantly seeing again with eyes washed clean.
And so we cycle from one moment to the next. Always leaving our home only to return to leave again. Screaming in the light being held aloft in human hands that lower us to our mother’s arms only to be lifted again over and over and it doesn’t end. And it feels like falling forward and cycling back up. Folding unending into ourselves and gripping our sides in fear with eyes wide in awe at the strangeness of all this newness that feels so old and familiar. Constantly we return but suddenly we leave and somehow we think we can stay or at least cling to something, someone, something but it all goes too and all that’s left is the birthing, the moving between things, the leaving and the returning.

The snake was revered perhaps because it could look back at its skin and see what it had been. But our past moments don’t reveal themselves. They don’t lie dead at our feet. They are forgotten, they are lost, they are let go. And in the letting go there is a finding of something new but then this too becomes old and sheds off and is forgotten. And so what is held is lost and what is lost is renewed. And in this losing and gaining and losing again there is a finding. That what came before and what is coming after are not so important as what is unfolding now: the birthing, crawling out of one into another, cycling like the snake constantly always without end. Over and over and over.