Monday, October 7, 2013

Sweet Water Run

Sweet water run where there was dust
I need to lift the weight I must

- Daniel Lanois, "Moondog"

* * *

There is this: each day the glory waits to emerge from its debasement; each day opens with an open field and your feet to fly; each day it is possible for sweet water to run where there was dust if only you would lift the weight you must.

It is not enough to feel terror at the barren places, to know its fucked. You have to be willing to live by the fact it is only by your hand that rains fall, by your hand rivers run, by your hand that what is empty in you becomes filled. Intention and meaning well are not enough. You have to act, complete the task that is in front of you for the rains to come. It can be difficult at first. You're not practiced, the spirit is weak, uncertain. The hardest part of unfucking your life is right at the start. You've no strength to lift the weight you must. Yet, lift it you will or become one of those who die and 25 and aren't buried until you're 75.

* * *

Practice. Mastering a task, a skill. Expertise. It is all a version of wood sheddin' - going out to the wood shed in back and practicing your scales. There's no master of anything who doesn't work with the basics of his craft day in and day out, who doesn't build from his foundation. If you're fucked you have no foundation. Everything is in doubt. Each attempt to pull yourself from the mire is provisional. You never accept the steps you must take in order to make the sweet water run. All you want is the water.

That's what fucks you. What unfucks you is the willingness to begin with your weakness and make it strong.

If you accept the fact that you cannot do all you must do at one time, you then accept the practice of working on it each day - sacrificing other things in order to feed this one desire. If you can get past these obstacles in your mind something remarkable happens: you enter the stream and what seemed solid, immovable, stuck now flows. This is when the fear of trying is dissolved and you willingly take on the tasks set before you. You learn to live in this flow, never despairing over circumstance, but meeting it with an openness that allows you to act, to move, to lift the weight you must.

The easy analogy is going to the gym to strengthen your body, but there is a crucial difference. Here, where it is your spirit, your soul, your logos that is strengthened, renewed, made whole you have the ability to engage in that workout moment to moment with each decision made. Right action, knowing what to do in the moment becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of more right actions. When you choose from fear you get fearborn results. When you choose from the strength inside you get those results as well.

If your life has run dry you are the only one who can make it rain.

Act from your essential self and then do so again and again and soon you will know no other way to be in the world. You'll look around and see sweet water everywhere.

* * *

And I know how much it can hurt to begin again. Maybe you have come to the starting line thousands of times, but can't really get out of the blocks. I know that pain, that sense of ineptitude, that nothing you put your hand to really comes to form. I ask you to try again. These seeming failures are not failures at all, but simply Life, the River, the Logos giving you another chance to make the sweet water run. You get as many chances as you need until it either takes hold of you or you perish. It isn't the mark of Cain, but rather a sign of grace that you can see that open field. Everyone is unsteady at first. Pay it no mind. When you begin you are open to learning what you didn't know before and though it seems an obstacle right now, later, when you are stronger the key to your happiness, to lifting the weight you must lies in always being a beginner. Masters never stop taking the first steps.  They practice. They grow strong. They learn by going where they have to go. They make it rain.

* * *




  1. I am amazed at how your writing makes it seem like you know what's going on in my life and head. You are really helping me. Thank you so much for your work. Namaste.

  2. Listen, so much of this is common to us all. The specifics are unique, but the larger sense of trying to figure out how to get on with it is ancient. I really have nothing new to offer. This is just the current iteration of ideas that go back thousands of years. I am glad some of this can be of use. It is what keeps me going. Cheers.