Living in the experience
It’s early — especially for a Sunday.
I couldn’t just lie there, could I?
There’s too much to be done, even if that’s doing nothing (my little aide-mémoire for today).
And then it occurred to me.
Do we change or are we changed?
I know, it’s dancing on the head of a needle and perhaps it’s too early to be looking at things so deeply — something my wife is apt to remind me — but I’m serious. Or as serious as I can be in the midst of another lockdown, the rising tensions in America and another storm (no doubt) hitting another part of the world. (No climate change! My arse.)
But here I am. Aged 53. And how much have I really changed in the last decade or even longer? I’m a little calmer, but can still lose it when something corrupts my soul. I’m a little wiser, but not much. And I’ve realised that grief is a powerful emotion, and one I’ve too easily brushed aside as something else to get through.
Not much then!
No, not really.
As to my circumstance(s) doing its best and/or worst? Yep, there’s a lot to say for that. Losing people — that’s never in our control. Rediscovering my love of reading — I didn’t will or desire it but it found me. And dropping the pretence that came through years of faux work and acknowledging the mystery of the moment. Again, not something I willed but something that slowly but surely crept up on me.
I know, none of it sounds remarkable, particularly when against the trope of the age, namely, be all you can be. Sadly, we’re seduced to believe we’ve all this potential and we’re wasting our lives if we don’t (at least) explore its limits but better still become it — whatever it looks like. But I don’t buy it. Not one little bit. On the macro level, assuming we’ve all swallowed the Kool-Aid, look what’s it done to and is doing to the earth. As for the rest, why we do feel that living our lives forward or living up to the myth of realisation is going to be any better than being, well, just us — all body, mind and soul? In fact, wasn’t it Osho who said:
“Be — drop becoming.”
Of course, that’s far too esoteric, less still can you turn it into another BS, 7-Step Programme; but then again, when you start to investigate your desire and/or will and/or passion for things (including the be all you can be trope), you soon discover (or at least that’s my experience) that the wellspring of its origination is practically impossible to explore, let alone find. There then arises not so much a sense of resignation but understanding the great mystery that is our will and wants and apprehending, just sometimes, we need to stop taking things so damn seriously.
Of course, that’s easier, much easier, said than done.
Back to my change point. After looking at both ends of this conundrum for what seems like a long time, I’ve come to the conclusion…wait for it…that it doesn’t really matter. Seriously. In any event, who cares? Possibly your sullen little ego but sometimes we’re on our game, and then, the light just goes out or certainly things became a little less interesting. And I suppose, that’s life, right there. Riding out the storm, surfing the wave or being part of the Great Ocean, it really doesn’t matter.
I accept for many people that’s not good enough. I’m fine with that. In fact, it’s a little more than fine because you must and will live your life however you’re expressed. Ditto mine. If we come together over things, great. If not, well, there’s always tomorrow.
My point. Just do your thing. Don’t worry about pleasing anything or anybody. If that pisses off a few people, well, that’s fine — hopefully not too many! Equally, if you don’t feel disposed to do anything more than sit and watch the sun come up, that’s beautiful too.