Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Dancers Saved

The dancers saved you. They are the ones who brought you back to life that evening in December 1978, who made it possible for you to experience the scalding, epiphanic moment of clarity that pushed you through a crack in the universe and allowed you to begin again.

- Paul Auster, Winter Journal

* * *

I will say this: every day the glory is waiting to emerge from its debasement.

* * *

Each moment holds within it the potential to be scalding, epiphanic, clear. Each moment. Not those moments somewhere ahead of you, where you promise you'll get started, where you locate your happiness, your identity, your imagined well-being; but each moment, meaning this moment, meaning right now. We linger in our lostness because being lost is the same at treading water: you're not drowning, but you're going nowhere either. The fact we haven't drowned is taken as a marker of progress. We recognize just how incredibly puny we are in the enormity of time and we grind to a halt trying to absorb it. 

Time distorts our perceptions of ourselves. In our youth we have the luxury of boredom, of nothing to do. We are kings unto ourselves and the world spins to our ego and pleasure. But at some point we recognize we are finite, recognize that our plans have turned to ash, recognize that the lives we've been living reek of being someone else's lives, recognize our puniness. Boom. You're fucked. And so you float, tread water, do nothing, become lost, nurse wounds and quake in the night.

But these things are the product of looking at life - not just your life - the wrong way, as if you were owed something for the hurt and suffering and the end of the line. You are owed nothing, my friend. Nothing. But there is a compensation, a reward of sorts and the potential exists this very moment for you to be awash in it: you get to act, to do, to create, to build, to love, to redeem your inherent puniness with acts of love. Boom. You're unfucked. And here's the great part: how you find a way to express that love will be, must be different from everyone else and at the end of the day, together, we add our work to the work that came before us and will be the jumping off place for those who follow.

* * *

There are cracks in the universe. I would argue the universe is crazed with them: an infinitude of opportunities to see what can be done with your life. To get pushed through one of those cracks, to begin again, you have to be open to it, the possibility of it and be fearless in accepting it and yourself. You are flawed. You've been broken and glued back together. You bear scars. You've lost limbs along the way. In other words, you're perfect. You're just like every other slob who's taken a beat down because he mistook his ego and innocent narcissism for the entirety of experience. You're just another line in the field of time, babe. But that is nothing to bitch about or worry about. It just is. What matters is not your wounds or your death, but the love you share with those around you in the way that only you can express it.

Dig?

You can be saved by dancers. You can be saved by the smell of cut grass, the arc of a falling leaf, children at play, cracked pepper, line dried clothes, Orion, the smell of old books, the sight of your beloved, naked, next to you, the hour before dawn, quarter-sawn oak, fog, a rain-storm, a grade-school Christmas concert, the taste of a backyard tomato, dogs, fireflies rising out of a summer field, late night movies, music, music, music, stained glass windows, birdsong, a carpet of pine needles, bedside as a parent dies, in a summer hayloft prickly with sweat and dirt, by the callouses in your hands, Bay Rum aftershave, lemons, sweeping your kitchen floor - anywhere, everywhere, at any time the glory is waiting to emerge from its debasement.

Push yourself through and begin again. This time with love.

* * *

Boom, boom. boom.

__________

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