Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One Day When

One day when it finds you
Take it to heart
You can’t run away when you know
That the tall tall shadow
Tall tall shadow
The tall tall shadow
Tall tall shadow
The tall tall shadow
Tall tall shadow
The tall tall shadow
Tall tall shadow
You know the tall tall shadow
Tall tall shadow
The tall tall shadow
Tall tall shadow is yours
You can’t run away
If the shadow is yours
You can’t run away
When the shadow is yours
You can’t run away
No you can’t run away
If the shadow is yours

- Basia Bulat, Tall Tall Shadow
 
* * *
Let me begin by saying that I propose to uphold the virtues of two contradictory ideas, and more so, that the apparent contradiction is no contradiction at all, but is, instead, two truths held in either hand and simply because they are separate does not put them in opposition.

I'll begin again.

Here are two things equally true:
1)  The process of living is the process of letting go.
2)  The process of living is the integration of your experience.

We fuck ourselves when we can't free ourselves from the ego fight to be right, righteous, the proud victim.

We fuck ourselves when we regret having fallen, or having been pushed and we seek to excise the difficult from the easy and so rob ourselves of our complete experience. We list and limp because of this.

To unfuck your life both processes must be happening. To cheat one is to cheat both is to cheat yourself of the chance to free yourself from the dolor and drudgery of slogging it out.

* * *

The work of your days is to not be slowed by your days. To not be slowed you have to let go of the weight of losses, failings, accidents, aborted efforts, slip and falls, misunderstandings, misjudgments, misnomers, of faith foolishly placed in others, that others placed in you, the accruals of your stumbling and searching. 

But listen, letting go does not mean abandonment, nor does it mean regret.

I'll venture to say this: the process of letting go is one of acceptance and integration, of wholeness, of not running away.

Acceptance is such a shitty word here. It has the sulfurous whiff of acquiescence to it. Not what I mean. Maybe a better word is maturity, equanimity, forgiveness, patience. It is saying yes to it all: all you have experienced, all you have lost, all you have learned, all you may yet lose and learn, all that is unjust, all that is satisfying, troublesome, joyous, wounding, gutting, healing. The ability to grow large enough in spirit to not be slowed by what has proved difficult is the central challenge we face. You cannot just dump the jute and think all is well, your load lightened. That is a pretense, a pretending, a denial that the difficult has only served to wound you.

Bushwa.

The difficult is your crucible, the changing place. The facts as they lay - the circumstance you were born into, the people who populated your beginning, the things they said and did for good or no, your first responses to your first wanderings - these things are heated by life and you have the choice to be changed or pretend the fire doesn't exist. The law of conservation of matter tells us that matter cannot be created or destroyed - only transformed. This is how you can let go of what slows you down and not lose a bit of the experience of having gone there: you change into what you may yet be. Nothing is lost, but you are not the same.

When you pass through the fire, you pass through humble
You pass through a maze of self doubt
When you pass through humble, the lights can blind you
Some people never figure that out

You pass through arrogance, you pass through hurt
You pass through an ever present past
And it's best not to wait for luck to save you
Pass through the fire to the light

* * *

I have to re-write the lede: there are not two processes. It is the same thing just seen from a different light. All lives, any life, your life holds the promise of transformation. Nothing is ever lost, only changed. To unfuck yourself you have be a partner with the fire, the fire in your belly, the fire in the sky, the birth cry of new life at its term. 

Your shadow can only take the shape you give to your life.

Cheers.

__________

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