For you I will win
For you I will trust myself
For you I could throw with abandon
Old glories and everything to the wind
- Glen Hansard, Races
* * *
Forgive me. I am going to speak of love.
* * *
We are misbegotten. We are woeful. We chase after material things, evanescent things, after others' things as dogs chase their tails: determined to do the impossible, and should we succeed we only hurt ourselves for the effort. We do this not because we are truly misbegotten, not because we are truly woeful; we do this because we believe it is expected of us. We adhere to ideas that we have not challenged or questioned for ourselves. We treat the world as off the rack, when, in fact, it is custom-made. But we fear the independence required. We trust others who have come before us, trust prophets from another time, trust institutions whose primary function is to perpetuate themselves rather than trust our bloody selves to figure out how to live.
There is a great reward for going along and getting along: certainty - one knows one's place and in time one is placed reverently below ground - a grub and mealworm banquet.
But you know something isn't right. You know it in your bones. Your clothes, the uniforms others provide, don't really fit unless you squint your eyes and pretend you actually prefer what's been handed to you rather than the thing you would put your hand to. Everybody's got to eat, right? But, my best beloveds, you know life is for something more than that. You just haven't been able to name it yet. Here's my answer: love. Do not accept this at face value. Go test it. Play with it. See what comes to you.
The world of laws and rules and expectations is simply an optional world. It is simply a set of established patterns that seem to exclude other patterns, other possibilities.
We accept this exclusion as a foregone conclusion, but it is not. Plans
that are executed without being open to new ideas are dry, dead,
lifeless, fucked. To create anything - a life - a work of art - a meal - raise a
child - requires that you let go of the plans and open up to the chaos
underlying the plans. This is the source, the headwaters of creativity, innovation and, of course, love (which is creativity and innovation itself).
* * *
If you cannot bear the thought of your independence for yourself, then bear it for another. If you so love another, then free yourself in order to love them freely, with an open hand, holding onto nothing. It may be a romantic love; maybe familial; it could be the work you set for yourself, a cause, a mission, anything that is directed away from yourself, that brings you out of yourself and puts you in service of any cause greater than your immediate need is the road to venture. And here is where your life unfucks itself. By being that guy, that person who acts out of love rather than avarice, love rather than control, love rather than anyone else's acceptance or benediction you complete the circuit and learn to trust and love the life in your veins. Then, and then and then and then you are able to live by the pattern you describe with your words and deeds and doings.
* * *
Will you come walk beside me
To the end of this story
And I'll let you go gently
Among your own kind, oh
* * *
All stories end, my brothers. All stories end, my sisters. These things you keep best be thrown way. Old glories are meaningless in the light of a life alive to light, to love, to a love greater than itself. Maybe this is how you think of your God. Maybe this is how you think of your wife, your husband, your child. No matter. It all works. But it cannot work without you, without what is essentially you present in the world, going about its business: awake, unafraid, in love with the chance to experience life as the man or woman you are, a partner in chaos' work of bringing new things to life.
If you are fucked it is not forever. It needn't be. Now is not forever and right now, as you read this, it is the perfect time to let go of the pain that has bound you, to let go of the narrow, certain fears of others, to see plans and expectations as just one possibility out of an infinite number of possibilities, to cast your fate to the wind and love life instead: its chaos and mystery in equal measure. Grubs and mealworms will have their day. Until then you have work to do.
Trust your gifts.
If there is a God, they'll dig it. If not, you'll have known love and eternity is nothing compared to that.
* * *
(4 x 4)