Life is tough. When I started this blog it was with the intention to speak about how to live with integrity against the tide. With Bucky Fuller as my mentor, and some very clean and clear guidelines about what is integrity, I struggle to maintain my centre so often of late.
Sometimes the effort of keeping up a happy face is simply exhausting. Of maintaining positive thoughts. Or feeling how I want to feel. Truth is I often feel like shit. Burdened, confused, lost, alone, abandoned by God, the Universe and everything.
It is during these times that I do take solace for the many many who have walked the path before me. Not just the Saints and Mystics, but the ordinary men and women who have spent years of their lives wondering if ever the darkness will lift. Hoping and praying. Nelson and his 27 years. St John of the Cross and his 9 months in a hole in the ground. Viktor Frankl and all the victims of the holocaust. Or the Aussie equestrian, Shane Rose, who, for the second time, has had to pull out of the Olympics the week before the games because his horse Taurus, is lame. This after 5 years of training. Or the many people around the world who have a serious illness that has become a part of their day to day existence.
Hopelessness is near bottom. When it seems there is no way out. Often this is the time the closest to the dawn. But how do we know that? We have to keep moving towards the possibility of light. Descent into hopelessness is when we let go of the last thread that keeps us breathing. I am reminded of Mary Oliver’s poem, Are we breathing just a little and calling it a life? How many people are living a half life?
I have been asking the Universe…why me? Why pick me to bare this cross? How much more is required of me to give?
…..No less than everything.
To be stripped bare. Am I able to endure that? I don’t know. One day at a time. One moment at a time.
Today I am not going to pretend to be happy, or successful. I will show up. I will believe in miracles, which by definition is what happens when the rules of time and space are bent.
During these times it is important to go to the level of the mythic and symbolic. To be mindful of the larger story being written. To remember that everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not the end.
That for whatever reason, I am being asked to endure. To find faith when it seems to have left the building. To surrender when I want to cling most desperately to what remains. To know that in the realm of the mythic I have countless allies, holding me up, cheering me on.
And so it is to the mystics I return. To the words of the poets, knowing that to reach a place to write as they did, they had to go through the valley of the shadow of death. And that on the other side of my own valley, I too may be able to write the transcendent. And in the journey that I am being asked to endure, if it brings me to that place of writing transcendent beauty, will be a worthy one.
A Cushion for Your Head
Just sit there right now
Don’t do a thing
For your separation from God,
Is the hardest work
Let me bring you trays of food
That you like to
You can use my soft words
As a cushion
If you are enduring at this time, then you have my prayers.