I have re-read only a few books in my lifetime. There are those that somehow I return to with eagerness. The Alchemist, A Room With a View, To Kill A Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, My Antonia, Heart of Darkness...these are a few that I find change me even in the very moment when I read them.
Simultaneously timeless yet achingly appropriate and timely.
"He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath—'The horror! The horror!'"
(Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness)
Today I revisited these words. Over the last months I have taken a flashlight to the way in which I live my life and make my choices. I recall feeling agitated by my fear, my worry over decisions and reactions. In this moment these words struck me with such tremendous force. The real fear is that in the end I might look back and think what if, if I had only...
The dreadful sadness that is witness to an opportunity or event that is inexorably out of reach.
I prefer to flay myself open. Arms wide I accept with raw vulnerability the blessings and suffering rendered of my own choices.
I recognize now that when I fail it is because in that moment I have risked all that mattered.
When I laugh joyously, raucously, ungracefully cartwheeling through the park in my bare feet it is with the feeling of wind in my hair, the contrasting rush of earthy, damp padded prickly perfumed grass against my skin. The authentic, spontaneous pleasure stirs an unbridled, contagious laugh from deep within me. I am here. I am alive.
Do I regret the grass stains, the tousled hair or flushed complexion? Absolutely not! At times the judgement surfaces...but this I know: we each do the best we can with what we have in each moment. And I will continue to expose myself with such seemingly impetuous abandon.
Not because I don't care.
Not because I am careless.
Because I cannot imagine harboring that possibility within me and not releasing it. I cannot imagine spending my days pondering the what ifs of my life.
I prefer to live them thoroughly, roughly, truly, in the raw, unedited draft that is each glorious day. The revisions, the clarity, the well-planned all have their time and place.
I willingly subject myself to the extraordinary possibility in each moment. I will advocate hope endlessly. Not because I do not feel its lack and opposite but because I prefer to spend my days in the light radiated by its presence rather than the shadow of its absence.
These choices render me greatly vulnerable. I imagine the joy, the joy of knowing that I risked, I loved, I experienced...with a smile on my face I pushed my entire pile of chips to the center of the table and said in this moment I release fear and I believe in the absolute value of exactly what I am doing.
Good things come to those who.......allow for good things?.....stay present and feel gratitude?......let go of knowing and truly feel?
What do any of us really know?
When was the last time you read something that changed you even in the very moment that you read it?
When was the last time you put everything into exactly what you were doing? What was it?!
About The Girl
- NON SEQUITURS UNITE
- California, United States
- Not-so-silent observations that splinter my conversations. Harnessing the steady flow of random thoughts and musings that continuously interrupt my daily conversations. Paired here with my artwork and photographs from recent adventures. Non sequitur (pronounced \ˈnän-ˈse-kwə-tər\)- a response which, due to its apparent lack of meaning relative to its context, seems absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
"The one I feed."
I am learning to feed myself.
There is a Native American parable about a grandfather who says, I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart.
One wolf is the voracious, vengeful, angry one.
The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.”
When asked which wolf will win the fight in his heart, the old man replies, “The one I feed.”
How do we learn to “feed” the aspects of ourselves that heal us, that grow us, that help us to thrive?
I feel the wolves have an insatiable appetite!
I have been experimenting with thinking less, quieting my internal dialogue. Creating my artwork, walking and meditating are feeding this hunger to stay present. I feel as though it's a precarious walk along a very fine tight rope!
Which wolf are your feeding today?
What does your unger look, feel and sound like?