|The writer's gravesite.|
- F. Kafka
* * *
Trouble, in all its permutations, appears permanent, a stain on our days, unconquerable. But that is only because we stand on a single point in time and cannot see the true puniness of our time, our trouble. It fills our vision and we assume it fills life. This is the myopia of being human. It is also the challenge of our days to break free of it, to see not with new or better eyes, but with our own eyes that what we call trouble is the trouble of not thinking for ourselves, of not choosing - at every moment - to be free. Trouble such as this is no trouble at all since you are both the lock and key.
* * *
How many have died in the Fukushima Prefecture? The dead in Libya, are they counted yet? Does it matter? The human enterprise is littered with the cost, in bodies stacked like cord wood, of myopic thought. Lets build this nuclear reactor here, by all these people. And yes, there are some cracks in the containment chamber, but what could go wrong? As a matter of fact my people do love me, that is why I must cleanse them every now and again.
There is real trouble in the world. Fools and despots and the criminally narrow heap the mystery of their ignorance and cruelty on whom ever is at hand and lives are lost in waves. Nature, too, has her way with our scrambling over the surface of the Earth and still we build on fault lines and are shocked, just shocked when that hurricane wipes out the coast.
Here's the news: no one gets out of here alive. All the living must be done now.
If a tsunami can litter a wintry beach in Japan with tens of thousands of bodies, why are you gnashing your teeth over your inability to go ahead and live the life you imagined for yourself instead of bowing down in front of everyone else's expectations?
If murderous dictators can send their armies against their own people, why are you sitting on your thumbs afraid to express your love because it might be rejected?
Your task is to live while you can. Your task is to overcome any and all external limitations placed in your way not by force of arms, but by your internal freedom. Rilke writes: "What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours - that is what you must be able to attain."
* * *
Time is always short. Silence the critic in your head. Walk inside yourself and find out what is there - at the center. I promise you, once you visit it, once you see it, once you recognize yourself as that essential, central thing, you will never bow down before the bludgeonings of chance, you will choose life over death. And should your body wash up on a shore, a casualty of forces larger than your ability to withstand, only those who knew you will grieve. You are as anonymous as those bodies in Libya and Japan; however, the infinitude of your task - to love while you can, to live while you can - will continue in those who follow in your steps.
Do not mistake fear for trouble.