Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Is A

What is a maze
Whose walls no one has ever touched or seen,
Whose wall are rearranged with every step,
A labyrinth whose walls are built of air
But they may was well be built from quarried stone

- G. Schnackenberg, "Bedtime Mahabharata"

* * *

We buckle in traps of our own design. From stony ledge to mossy green, we are held and tortured by thoughts that are more solid than stone. Stuck, we thrash about and blame others, blame fate, blame those nearest for our entrapment, our stuckness, our fuckedness. The bite of the trap, over time, becomes familiar and we lose the sensation, the pain of the disconnect between who we are and what we have become. We settle. We get paid by the hour to settle and seethe and get two weeks off each year where we drag the trap with us and never once leave behind or challenge the assumptions that lock us in place.

The world can be a shit-dog awful place, but we do greater harm to ourselves than any other agent. Others may threaten your body, may break it, may even end its wanderings, but it is only you who can kill the spirit that makes those wanderings worthwhile.

* * *

What, my beloved fartlet, do you do each day to steady yourself, to calm yourself, to gird yourself, to care for yourself? What practice do you engage in to clear your mind so that the difference between shit and shine-ola is self-evident? How do you flush the toxins of your narrow thoughts out? How do you remain open to what may yet come, what may yet be made of your life?

The labyrinth is made from unexamined thought, from an unexamined life, from thought turned to quarried stone.

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend
of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to
Howth Castle and Environs.

Your life is fluid, not static or solid. It moves and courses from stony ledge to mossy green, a commodius vicus of recirculation that is never the same thing twice. Yet we dig our heels in, cross our arms and scream, "No!" We prefer solidity to a river's run because we prefer certainty to uncertainty. We have dropped the ancestral, evolutionary necessity of being on our toes, ready to act in the moment. We builded up walls to protect ourselves and the walls became prisons, traps, snares: an intricate labyrinth of air that rearranges itself with each step so we never, never consider its value, its utility, its worth to the life that is dying inside us.

Poor choices in relationships. Poor choices in the work we lay our hands to. Poor choices in how we decompress (aggressive recreation or dolorous intoxicants). This poverty is born of our thoughts, our unexamined, unchallenged thoughts, which, by precedent, are really the thoughts of others on how you are to spend your days on this planet.

How you spend your days, is how you spend your life, so says Annie Dillard, and she is right.

How are you spending your days, love?

* * *

The maze that surrounds you is of your own devising. Nothing any outside actor does, nothing any circumstance presents to you fucks you more than you fucking yourself. It is the last of man's freedom's to choose his response to the facts and tasks of his unique, individual life. Ossified thought is how you got here. The way out is to practice something each day that restores fluidity and motion to your thoughts. It doesn't matter what it is - meditation, gardening, cooking, writing, painting - anything will do as long as it comes from what is essential inside you. Do it each day. Everyday. Focus on the process and not the outcomes and from swerve of shore to bend of bay, from stony ledge to mossy green your life will move again and once moving, you'll never look back.

Now, go.

* * *



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