Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We're All Bound

We're all bound by certain forces
The same as anyone
Step out of the shadows
My little one

There's a change a surely comin'
A will that will be done
Step out of the shadows
My little one

Will you step out of the shadows
My little one

- Glen Hansard, Step Out of the Shadows

* * *

Be no harbour for sorrow. Let what winds blow pass through you. Do not hold, catch or keep them. We're all bound by certain forces - damn but we are finite - and that there is your freedom, that there is your road up and out, that there is the way to find the truth of your life: there's work to be done while we are able to do it.

And what is that work?

To be no harbour for sorrow, but to live out loud while we can, to try and fail and try again and fail again and then fail better. No matter. This is our work: to try again, to enter the stream of our days and see where it might take us, to see the changes that can be wrought in a lifetime, over a lifetime with the raw material of a lifetime. Be no harbour for sorrow. If sorrows are with you now thank them for their reminder that none of this is easy or permanent, that love burns off the dross, and then let it go. You needn't mourn losses, grieve changes forever. There is more for you to do than be wounded.

* * *

The thing that fucks us deepest is the idea that because we can see, or imagine a particular outcome, or goal the work of actually achieving it is almost done. The distance between what we imagine and what we are capable of is closed only by our willingness to fail in our attempts to get there. We often stop ourselves right at the start because we know we are unskilled, more filled with dreams than grit, and stop while our image is unmarred by the necessary failures it takes to achieve anything. More than fearing failure, we fear being exposed as frauds and so either seethe with untried effort or simply shrink what we dream of to fit the ability we have today.


Life is a fucking muscle. Use it or watch it die.

We hold onto our woundings, our sorrows and use them as an excuse to not try again. We venture no game we don't already know the outcome of. We become lawyers, risk-averse, asking no question we don't already know the answer to and litigate the minutia of our pain.

Where's the life in that? Where's the joy? the joy of uncertainty met by effort, the satisfaction of overcoming a setback, the deep in your bones knowledge that you left it all on the field?

To unfuck your life you have to live the damn thing into the ground. You have to fail. It is the only proof you have that you are here, that you are still in the game, that you have a spirit and a drive inside you that has not yet found its expression. Each step taken, each song sung, each word written, each child taught, each dinner made, each time you make love to your beloved, each ending implies a beginning, another chance, a new day, a deeper connection, a broader, more generous spirit. Your accomplishings are but stepping stones to other accomplishings. When you freeze in the moment, like the rest who don't try, you become a harbour for all doubt, all sorrows, all fears. And you never leave the starting blocks.

You know this is true. I am saying nothing here that you don't already know.

* * *

The fact we know we will expire is a gift (a gift I say!) because the only chance we have to be kind is now. The only chance we have to try is now. The only time there is to forgive is now. There is no other moment possible. If you are awake, you postpone nothing. You eat life now. The failures and sorrows and setbacks are, in fact, the raw materials you use to build a signal fire, a life of ceaseless failings for that is how the gap is closed, mastery attained, death unfeared.

The shadows only surround you as long as you allow them to.

* * *



No comments:

Post a Comment