gift from the wilderness
This year has been such a topsy turvy ride. But life is like that, sometimes you get signed up for classes you never thought you needed to take. I for one was thinking about all these good things happening right now in my life. And how sometimes when you’re great but the people around you are crumbling, you feel that being quiet about goodness is the right way to be. But sometimes you just really want to shout. And today is one of those days. I think all of us have a bit of chicken hemmed to our heart. A bit of wariness that is learned along the way as a survival tactic.
In yoga class, we always end our practice with a time of silence to say internally what we are thankful for. Tonight I found gratitude welling up inside me for the assault that I never would have wanted, asked for or wished on my worst enemy. But because of it, I am living in a space of deeper self-awareness and other-awareness. It’s as if the very worst thing that I could imagine has happened and now am living in the freedom of it already having happened.
One of my favorite all-time quotes is from Vincent van Gogh. “The fishermen know the sea is dangerous and the storms are terrible, but they never found this sufficient reason to remain on shore.” I rode MUNI for the first time this Saturday with my friend Kenny-O since the 38 incident. He didn’t know this until we were almost to his house, but I woke up and decided it was the day. I also decided that if I had a panic attack when on the bus I could get off and not feel any shame in it.
Life requires a certain amount of feckless risk. I’m glad that my life is not ruled and ordered by my whims but instead by a God who sees me and knows me intimately. Makes the risks less dubious. I was thinking about the idea of living in a reality where every good thing is received as gift. The opposite response to me would be living a life of entitlement. Crushing disappointment comes from unmet expectation. Instead I want to see every person I encounter and my time with them as gift, plain and simple. On the flip side would be seeing bad things that happen as gift. This is a harder one to receive. But how we respond when the shit hits the fan really says a lot about the core of our inner being. I want to have an inner being that is crafted of iron so I can be iron to the people around me- with tremendously long outstretched arms. 🙂
Many of my poems have been inspired by the duress of plain people mired in their lives’ darkness, but reveal that even darkness has a thread of shadow and light to it. We need light especially in darkness if we are ever to find our way out of it.
If you’re reading this- thanks. It’s kind of a rambly post, but my thoughts are swirling about less linear than usual. I guess the point of it is to just encourage you to think about life as gift or life as entitlement and which would be the cloak you might choose to wear. Cheers.