Sunday, August 15, 2010

Every Day Said

"Every day," said Rabbi Nachman of Bratislav, "the glory is ready to emerge from its debasement." From Annie Dillard's, For The Time Being

How can it be otherwise?

* * *

The glory is you. Let me say that again, the glory is you. Every day that you draw breath, every moment you live, the glory that is solely you, waits, is ready to emerge from the dark comedy of your debasement. And what is that debasement? Being anything other than who you are.

Laziness, materialism, the impulse to go along to get along, the imperceptible eroding of integrity as the days slam like waves against rock and you find one day that you are significantly less than you were at the beginning - all this is the darkest of comedies. Joseph Campbell says regrets are illuminations come too late. I say the joke is on us. By trading integrity for ease, or at least the avoidance of conflict, by letting slip the central logos, the meaning of your life (or never bothering to imagine it in the first place) your life becomes a weak parody of what was possible only by your hand.

Every day you postpone accepting, embracing, living and dying by that logos you impoverish not only your life, but the lives of those whom you encounter and so on outward until the entire world is poorer because you lack the faith or courage to be exactly who you are.

On behalf of the world, fuck you and yours.

How dare you quit.
How dare you not try.
How dare you fade into meaninglessness.

Again, fuck you.

* * *

This is the poverty of our days.
This is the challenge of living.

* * *

Pollyanna religiosity is as dangerous as cynicism. It is a question of faith - not in God or religion or science or whatever else is worshiped - but in something more basic than any of that: faith in meaning, faith in our ability to create, carve and build meaning into the mere biology of existence.

Every day the glory is ready to emerge from its debasement.

Living for something larger than your self, for something other than yourself - your best beloved, your work (not simply your employment, but that thing that fills you with life), your children, a cause, anything that opens up your life to something than other than your private miseries and joys is how you unfuck your life, is how the debasement is cleansed.

* * *

We live in dark and dangerous times, just as every generation before us has. We toy with our unthinking capacity to destroy the way a cat will toy with a mouse before consuming it. We are fools. We are lost. We are seduced by pleasure, rootless pleasure - hook ups, consumerism, gluttony - any good thing turned sour by its limited, selfish reach and we have become incapable of sacrifice, of building anything because we want what we want right now with no thought as to the waste we leave behind.

Looked at in this light it is hard to live your name, hard to have the glory emerge from the prison of its debasement. So very hard. So blank and bleak. But that, too, is a false god. Ennui is the face of a life without effort, the gray dolor of cowardice. No, the dolor and debasement have no quarter in a life lived out loud, in a life lived engaged with the demands of living. Such a life, no matter the religion, no matter the origin, no matter the outward circumstance, is a life lived in the glory of emergence, of becoming, of being. It is lived moment to moment and is never fully achieved because there is always one more day until there are no more days.

I can say all this because I have lived poorly, been shabby in my efforts, complained of the demands in my life. I have lived fucked and been fucked by my own laziness, my own sorrow.

Saying all this is how I unfuck my life.

What are you here for?


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