Friday, November 12, 2010

Even The Most

Even the most beautiful words are but signs pointing the way; they are not the way itself. The whole point of living this life is to move past the signs and engage the external facts of your life with your internal knowledge - a primal, bred-in-the-bone type of knowledge that uses language and art as approximations for what it knows.

All these posts are ghosts of the thing I'm trying to live. They act as reminders, bits of string tied around my fingers in order to remember what it is I am here for - what it is I have to give. I have the sense that I could tattoo these things on my body, but resist because if I ink one into my skin I would soon have a hundred.

* * *

"The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation. When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed... The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes."

- Joseph Campbell

* * *

We are, each of us, required to exhibit strength throughout our lives. We each face crises that are utterly unique to our circumstance, and we are left to our own devices to solve those riddles. Except mostly we don't. And this is the source of our fucking: not the crisis itself, but our weak resolve to face it.

I have lived poorly for the bulk of my life. I have always been too smart by half. The challenges that Life put before me were met with cleverness and cluelessness as to what those challenges actually were: opportunities to discover and live by my unique strengths without giving a fiddler's fart about what anyone else said or did. These were my challenges, my gifts and I abdicated my authority to resolve them to the nearest external authority: school, jobs, marriage, etc. But here's the thing: Life will continue to question you, challenge you and afford you the opportunity to find the required strength to be who you are. No guarantees about money or health or love or external freedom; but it does vouchsafe your name if you will embrace the choices you have to make.

"I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church...And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake, and perhaps as long as eternity too."

- James Joyce

* * *

I am deeply grateful to whatever gods may be to have survived the past few years. That dark night is over for me, and yet I know there are more ahead. It is the nature of Life to be unpredictable, to be cruel, to be breathtaking, to be generous, to be fully outside of our ability to control. As such we will be asked again and again who we are and to find the required strength to keep that name.

It takes a deeper commitment to Life than any fucked one of us will allow in order to unfuck your life. We want everything to be okay, for the fog to lift, the hurt to stop, for happiness to flow, but refuse to sacrifice anything in order to get there. We simply want it and that has never been and will never be enough.

You must choose, and like Joyce you must be willing to make a great mistake without fear, and then live by your choices, your name.

* * *

The most beautiful words I know are:

"What ails thee?"

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