Current Mood: In one word?
Current Music: Tonic - If You Could Only See
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
the skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day,
for a three hour tour, a three hour tour………
The weather started getting rough,
the tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
the Minnow would be lost; the Minnow would be lost.
The ship took ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle,
with Gilligan, the Skipper too,
the Millionaire, and his Wife,
the Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann,
here on Gilligan's Isle.
Somehow it seems to go against everything we commonly hold to be true, but I was blessed tonight. At a hockey game. Muscle-bound, cocky, over-paid, testosterone-driven, overgrown kids chasing after and fighting over a little, flat rubber cylinder. And I was blessed. Go figure.
Arriving home and being on a somehow more intimate spiritual plane, I noticed the name of a cosmetic product in my shower: a body scrub named "Rejuvenate." A typical name for what today's snake-oil salesmen attempt to bottle and sell through scents and sensations and slick, high-priced advertising campaigns.
Yes, even the Canucks and their marketing machine peddle the promise of something akin to what I brought home with me from the game. But I didn't buy it, and it wasn't from them. In fact I was, truth be told, a mostly unwilling participant in this particular blessing, and all the snake-oil salesmen in the world are irrelevant to the story.
But here I sit, deeply moved, tears welling, enJOYing, savouring, basking in what will most probably be fleeting and soon faded from both experience and memory.
For four or so hours tonight, I was fully, vibrantly ALIVE again. I was "without mind," I was "a-muse"-d, in the full Latin root meaning of the words. Ironically enough, even the writing of this statement of blessing, these reflections, begin the process of returning to my life lived within myself, this life lived within the invisible prison cell of my own mind.
For a few, oh-so-brief and soon-to-have-faded moments, I lived with passion again. I experienced a small part of the fullness available to those that live their lives fully, vibrantly. For a blink in time, I was who I think I aspire to be, and yet seem ever more to be regressing from. All the while hooting, hollering, and otherwise carrying on much like a primate sans banana.
How to bottle this elixir? How to hold on and make it my own, permanently, persistently, progressively? I don't know. I'm not sure it's possible, I'm not sure desiring it ought to be desirable or beneficial to me. Ah, there I go.... Mentally sliding back into internal obscurity and malaise and blandness again. And already.
It's a pattern I observe often enough that I would expect myself to not be able to overlook it time and time again. And still ethereal enough that it surprises me over and over and over and over again. The simple, sad truth of my current life: go out: live, to some greater or lesser extent. Stay in: die. Sink back within myself and become as little as I have ever felt myself to be. Again. And again. And again. "A lesson is repeated until learned." Hmm. Either my teacher is eternally patient or insanely stubborn. Both? "Here I am again, play it again, Life."
The internal optimist that I am both blessed and cursed to have be a part of me says, "It can only possibly get better." The pessimist laughs a quiet, sarcastic laugh and simply says, "Think back. Now move forward. More of the same to come. Wanna bet?"
Oh god, I want to believe the optimist. And yet, like Goliath in Instinct, I sit, staring blankly in my cage, door wide open to freedom, with the light mostly gone out in my eyes. I hear Dr. Ethan Powell say, "he was once a magnificent beast, when I captured him. But now he's mostly dead. The flicker of life, of freedom, is almost gone from his mind and memory. The time he was free and in the wild is now only a dream to him."
All hail Goliath: mighty, caged, and mostly dead.
Why do I write this? (Fully back within myself by now, the game, the freedom mostly faded away with the crowd noise already.) It must come from some hope buried deep within a corner of my psyche that hasn't yet had it battered out. There must be hope: if there were no hope, there would be no need to write, no impetuous. Is there some way for me to coax that ember back into a persistent flame, maybe even a bonfire? Rhetorical question, of course, and the wrong question at that: certainly there is a way. What is it? How do I find it? How do I nurture the spark to a flame? What do I feed it? How do I tend it?
How do I find the way again? Well, for starters, it's not lost. Arguably I am, but it seems to me more true that there is nothing to find. What is not lost cannot be found and what cannot be found cannot be lost.
Does that make any sense? Upon re-read it doesn't seem to: pithy, porous crap.
And yet my "inner knower" holds fast to it, at least the first part: "there is nothing to find." There is no search party called for, no rescue needed. It insists that I simply need to begin doing what needs to be done. Ah yes. The goddamn, fucking, ugly Truth. Funny how I've never yet managed to outrun or out-hide that prickly, persistent bastard. (Or is it a bitch? Probably both, if that's possible.) Although that's certainly not for lack of trying.
There is no search needed. No pilgrimage either. No new book, no new methodology or enlightening insight. No "Eureka!" conversation, no moving spiritual connection required. What is necessary is to simply "get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children." "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."
It is so much more attractive and comforting to believe that there is some intrinsic flaw that needs to be valiantly overcome, or some fearsome enemy that must be conquered, some crusade that must be mounted, some quest that must be fulfilled. The flaw and the enemy would be within and selfsame, of course, and the crusade against myself, the quest within myself. If that were true, there'd be some excuse, you see, some payoff in it for me.
I am a product of, grew up in, live in, and replicate in my life the fast-food and quick-fix current social mentality. The age of marketing: "There is someTHING, out THERE, that I NEED in order to be all the things I think I should be and that I think others think I should be." And that someTHING, of course must be sought out and acquired. God forbid someone peddle the view that it's intrinsic and not commercial in any way: the very fabric of our social order would evaporate.
Ah, slippery, devious mind. Run, hide, point the finger, change the subject. Blame it on society. And insist that it is "nothing but the truth," your honour.
And then Truth -- fucking, irritable little cunt -- says quietly, barely audibly, "That was all bullshit, S, you're so fucking full of it you're in danger of becoming it entirely." Thanks. I love you too.
Ok, fine then! Back the center, the core. What was it again? That wonderful little one-paragraph Seitensprung worked so effectively I can't remember what the core was again. Fine, I'll read back, if you insist on being so persistent, you little prick.
Ah, yes: nothing to find. (And no one to blame either, I remind myself, neither society nor myself nor anyone else.) The only thing missing is the living knowledge, the faith, "ein Nicht-zweifeln an dem das man nicht sieht," that the only thing missing is the living understanding that nothing is missing, that in fact the issue lies with an excess. I need not acquire anything. I need rather to divest myself of the belief that something is missing.
(I looked that one up after I had already written it, to see if I was close to having it right. Actually pulled out the German concordance and Bible from the back of the shelf, actually found the passage; surprised myself by knowing approximately where it was, and having the wording right from memory, context and all, too. I say again, surprisingly. As I pulled it out, I was intensely aware of how long it really has been since I opened either of those two former mainstays for me with the intention of finding and using anything from them. But that's a whole other trip. One that is far more than a Seitensprung. That one is a true pilgrimage-to-Mecca-on-my-knees if there ever was one. Oh, and in case I actually decide to post this -- even though this is both intensely personal and entirely self-targeted -- that was Hebr. 11:1b, if you care or are curious for the English.)
Back to me, back to point: there is no journey, I'm already "there." There is no quest, nothing needs finding nor doing. There is only to simply, quietly go about doing what needs be done. Doing. Needs. Quietly. And determinedly, WILLfully is very good too.
Ok. Fine. I get it. *mutter* *grumble* *curse* All with wholesome, Canadian self-deprecation, of course.
So this is the tale of our castaways,
they're here for a long, long time.
They'll have to make the best of things,
it's an uphill climb.
The first mate and his skipper too,
will do their very best,
to make the others comfortable,
in the tropic island nest.
No phones, no lights, no motor cars,
not a single luxury.
Like Robinson Crusoe,
it's primitive as can be.
So join us here each week my friend,
you're sure to get a smile.
From seven stranded Castaways,
Here on Gilligan's Isle.
(For a nostalgia trip turn up the speakers and click the source:
And yes, I will post this it seems, for reasons that entirely baffle me, but with a certainty to do so that is indisputable.
"Do what needs be done."