Early yesterday as I went outside the car was covered with sticky ice. The sort of ice that takes 10 minutes to scrape off. Often on the school run you can see cars driving along with the driver peering out of a small cleared hole in the windscreen, with the rest of the windscreen and windows still clouded with ice.
It’s a picture of how the windscreen of our mind is much of the time and how we rush around with limited perception. Rowan Williams in his beautiful little book ‘Silence and Honey Cakes – the wisdom of the desert’ talks about this inattention, ‘the failure to see what is truly there in front of us – because our own vision is clouded by self-obsession or self-satisfaction.’ (p.26)
We rush along in the icy morning without clear vision, and we do the same in life. If we pay attention to the ice, truly pay attention to it with a de-icer we can clear the windscreen of our car. If we pay attention mindfully to the sticky cloud of self-obsession or self-satisfaction, or any other ruminative pattern that stops us seeing clearly, this mindfulness de-ices the windscreen of our mind.
Then we begin to see clearly.