Sunday, October 20, 2013
By Each Crime
- David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
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The life you are living is the immediate iteration of the decisions, omissions, crimes and kindness you have served up to the world. As shitty or frail or narcissistic or cruel or banal or unthinking as all of that may have been you are not fucked until you come to believe that you are trapped, stuck, the present moment permanent, final. No feeling is final. Your life, any life, is ceaselessly emergent. If you're fucked, you're the one throwing the brake.
Now knock it off.
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We get lost, don't we? We choose and it doesn't work out, or we lose our faith in our decisions, or we let fear make us desperate because the problems have become too big, festered, implacable and we grind to a halt. We stop. The rest of creation does not. We become lost not from wrong turns, but in our stasis the world ceaselessly changes and the landscape is not the same as when we stopped. It changes by degrees until it is foreign, unrelated to us and there is no common understanding to decipher the road signs. All we know is our hurt, our pain, our fear and the sense, the gnawing sense, it didn't have to be this way. But where is the road out? The crimes committed - faithlessness to another, to ourselves, the giving up before seeing it through, the misery of knowing and not doing - are too weighty, too much like tar to ever be cleaned and we choose to remain as we are: immovable, lost, fucked.
By each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.
Is your unhappiness so fine a thing you won't shake its dust off your feet and be quit of it?
Listen, I know it hurts. I know these losses we are heir to are painful. Love affairs sputter, finances run dry, time slips by and the thing you meant to do, meant to be recedes in the rearview mirror and it all fucking hurts. Feel it. Release it. Things change. When you do yourself the kindness of letting the hurt and the fear pass through you, when you let it do its work of waking you up and then let it go you'll find you can move again. You'll find that the loss suffered no longer wounds and freezes you in the moment, but is simply part of what you have experienced on your way.
Time won't run backward. It is always emerging. It is always now. What you think, say and do is the only freedom available to you. When you abdicate those faculties to the pain and sense of loss that fills your vision you fuck yourself. When you take those precious things back under your authority those losses and sufferings are transformed. Where once there was a wall, there is now a doorway, a threshold, a way out. Don't worry about which direction those first steps go in. Like stepping off from the North Pole, all directions are initially South. You can figure the rest out along the way.
* * *
You're on an earth walk, my dear fucked friend. Whether you walk the Camino de Santiago, the Appalachian Trail, the Shikoku Pilgrimage, or just to the end of the block, you are a pilgrim here. You walk the earth to know, while it is available to you, what it is like to walk the earth, to go, to see, to be joined in body and spirit by the road you walk. Each step reveals a new horizon, a new vista that just a moment ago was hidden, half-seen, unimagined. By each crime and every kindness, you birth your future. I am sorry for your losses. Now let them go. Their utility is only found in the next moment, in the next step you take and how that step transforms and creates the world your following step will visit.
Baby, we're all just passing through. While we're here on solid land we get to choose and so build the world we live in. If yours is fucked, brother, you can unfuck it. But you have to move. We're made for love and loss, for being lost and then found, for the next step and the next step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it. Anything less is fucked.
Got it, pilgrim?
* * *
Boom, baby. Boom.