You know, it's funny. E.M. Forster said something along the lines of, "How do I know what I think until I see what I write?" It's so true. I started out today's Satya with this defense of the meandering path--how sometimes what we want hasn’t revealed itself yet or, if it has, there’s some other, apparently, inconsistent event that, only in hindsight, had to take place to lead you wherever you were meant to go. And I believe that. I mean, I think I have to. That's been my life thus far--a trail of seeming inconsistencies that, somehow, coalesce to form this...thing I'm living. This living sculpture.
But as I wrote, I erased, began again, erased, and finally stopped. While I believe those things about the path to be true, I didn't realize, until I began to write (thanks, Forster, old pal), that I'm bloody sick of not knowing where the bloody A *or* the bloody B is. It's like there's a big old X on the map (now my alphabet metaphor is confusin...
I love the expression our Southern sisters use for when things go awry--"tits up." Somehow, it makes risk more, what, courageous? An act of sheer artistry. Burlesque-esque artistry. Brave artistry.
Art is brilliantly messy, but you know, this whole living thing is, too. It's about finding the courage, not to DO what you love, necessarily, but to FIND things you love and to COMMIT your whole self to them. That's a different task. "Do what you love." Well, sure, but what are my options if I need this job/this house/this relationship (whatever it is), this dependency of the moment? That's just a frustrating order--drop it all, do what you love. Because sometimes, maybe most times, we just can't.
But! (There's alway s a but...) you can find what you love and not be ashamed for openly loving it--so you're a Goth girl who loves cultivating roses. So you're VP of some big conglomeration but you love bodice-ripper romance novels. So you're a kid who loves dressing in princess gowns whi...
Sometimes you go to bed at eight o'clock (well, most times), and you wake at five a.m. And magic has happened--that kind of magic that fills the stocking hanging on the bedpost on Christmas Eve--some ancestral magic you've always believed in, took part in performing, but somehow forgot every occasion of its alchemy .
But then you sleep. And you remember, if only for right now.
I am such a huge offender on this issue--not that my life *should* be a certain way (I gave up hope of control in that area ages ago), but that I should be doing something, anything, in any given moment--that I already ask for too much and, if I take a moment to regroup, to breathe, to rest, I'll be taking even more. The world (and the people in my world) have already been so generous, so gracious with me, that I'm afraid I'll be seen as one who takes advantage.
Do we all do this? I think we do. We must be seen to be busy, thought of as busy. And not just busy. No, we must be productive. Producing. Well, I guess the word doesn't even matter anymore. We need to prove our worth, our existence--at least that's how most of us feel. Indebted.
And, man, indebted is a rough place to be--it breeds, alternatively, honest gratitude and uncontrollable resentment. You're being taken care of, yes, but you've lost the control (or feel as though you have) of the *taking care* bit....
I don't know, you guys. Sometimes it's just too much--too much work, too much debt, too much work to pay off too much debt. It's exhausting. And grinding. And it wears you down until you end up with the latest, trendiest flu, and have to stay in bed, fretting about this new, tiring development.
And, you know, I hate "at least"--probably the worst phrase in the English language. But (that that's the other one--"but"), at least there are herbs and the earth and some kind of raw, ancient power into which we can tap--a power that knows no debt and, at least energetically, knows no exhaustion, no illness.
Preaching to the choir, sure, but we're all one tribe. There's that, too, to be grateful for.
True teachers are guides, yes. But what about true students? Are they seekers? Certainly there's a time when we're forced (too strong a word?) to 'learn' in a structured environment, but what about after that? What about voluntary learning?
Those students are, really, teachers themselves. No teacher has met a self-propelled, self-motivating student and not learned something from them. It may not always be clear, it may not always be immediate, but the best teaching moments are reciprocal. The best teachers know they are forever students, forever seekers.
In other words, they've got themselves some finely tuned engines...
I'm getting better about walking boldly into the center in "normal" life (i.e. when I'm not teaching or public-speaking), but man, that stuff is hard. Essential, yes, but hard.
You know what it does, though? A true gift--it puts your peripheral life into sharp relief, and you (well, I) realize how much you get to see from that space of almost-silence. You see so much love, so much fear, so much courage, so much of the raw heart-dance we call 'life,' we call 'experience.'
So, yes. If I can see *that* more clearly when I'm brave and bold and shakily center, then I'll take it.
Those beautifully noisy moments are far worth the small sacrifices of silence.