Sunday, October 19, 2014

Write Your Own Book

I think of a place sometimes, on a deserted island - far, far away from the vultures of progress and institution and keeping up with the joneses - and I am there.

And I desire nothing more than just being there. My cabin. My communion.

As much as I love people and community, in the end, we must face the dark wilderness before us when we face the cold, stinging wind of our solo journey. As much as we love our fellow companions and warriors, who have smiled and cried with us in the bloody battles and trenches of our stark existences, we all must - at one crossroad or another - part ways. And in setting foot down that mysterious, dust-swept road, we are reminded beautifully and whisperingly - that we are never truly alone.

The cellos of our life soundtrack tingle, as the sun catches the spiderweb dew in just the right transfixing light. Our bag is packed. We breathe deep, and we inhale the wet-pine depth of the forest.

We look back briefly, but we take our steps...and we go.

It's October now, and the leaves are changing colour in rapid fire fashion. The machine gun of season never stops spraying us with erratic outcomes and different temperatures.

I had a good amount of time to think this past summer - to dip my blade in the water, and to get back to the things that matter. Family. Friends. Hard Work. Hard Play. Conversation. Solitude. Music. Community. All in even abundance, and all equally foundational and epiphanic. I saw some horrific tragedies of the human spirit, but I experienced, and nearly in equal measure, some victories of community and profound love and light.

On my island, I can say the things that I'm afraid to say. And make no mistake - I am afraid. 

So often, in this ragged and gaspingly appearance-based life that we lead, we are so worried about looking stupid. We fear the enemy of embarrassment. No one wants to look dumb. Everyone wants to appear so smart and so polished and so well-put together - like real life, plasticized Barbie and Ken dolls in flesh-suits. With bank accounts. And cars. And houses. And job security. And we chase, and we run, and vacuously seek the things that, in the end, do not carry any lasting sense of meaning. Jumping off the cliff of risk is frightful - and like lemmings, we see the bulk of our friends and family on the safe shore, and we swim back. 

Unfortunately, some of the most important and soul-scouring and things that we need to say in this life - that we need to air into the vent of visceral reality - are astoundingly dumb. In the complex webs of us, the dumb things are usually straightforward - cutting - and electric to our beings. They matter. They are simple words. They are overpacked. They are easy and light.

And they mean everything to us when they are delivered.

Passion is dumb. It usually doesn't make sense and most of the time, it even defies logic. We don't know why we feel so strongly about something - we just innately do, and we put forth our best effort. What a boring and milquetoast life it would be to live without passion - to wade through the narcissistic and tepid pools of other people's lives like drone soldiers, and to be so ho-hum about the constant beauty that is slapping us in the face. True passion is, to me, the greatest treasure we could ever hope to accumulate in this 24 frames-per-second universe.

If anything, at the end of my road, I can only hope that others will say that I lived with passion.

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