Sunday, March 5, 2017

On Being a Pest and Bother

Watching the night sky while in a darkened location, at a distance from city lights, is an invitation to see Reality come to life before you as a profound metaphor. You may not see or think to that metaphor at the moment, but the memory of immense celestial beauty and your own insignificance in its midst will remain and, on occasion, come back to haunt you.

This is a good haunting, a reminder of significant awareness close to hand. The closer at hand you observe the details of Reality, the more likely you are to see the snail tracks of connection between them. By looking for the small, you find the immense relationship between things that would ordinarily seem vast and random.

You encounter multitudes of binaries during the course of a day, all of which refer to the one big one of Randomness and Interconnectedness. By focusing on one or the other, you have options for feeling included and part of an enveloping system, or marginal, quite left to your own devices.

At times of marginality, you read to transport yourself to times, places, and other cultures, where you at least feel as though there are conversations to eavesdrop on, sights to see, and information ordinarily denied you made available.

You scarcely ever question the information you glean from these visits to times and places often denied to you for all time, so eager are you for the sense of connection to another person, place, or thing. If the transportation was effective, you even believe you have the intimacy of another language working on your behalf.

Depending on the time, place, and circumstances of the characters you encounter, key pieces of your own Reality slip away into the night, like a retreating fox or raccoon, all stealth and smugness for having once again put one over on a possible predator.

More often than not, you don't see either Reality or Interconnectedness in such romantic and VanGogh smear of colors. Each is absorbed in its own state, waiting for its colors and interpretations from the scurry and persistence of the action within and about it. Each requires you or someone like you to blunder upon it or to invent it from the whole cloth of imagination.

You are nothing without awareness of Reality and Interconnectedness to offer suggestions, perhaps even invitations to your imagination.

An individual's actual contributions to the Randomness or Interconnectedness does not begin until that person has seen through and beyond mentors and influences along the way. For some moments, perhaps interminable moments, the individual stands before the chaos of time, place, and culture as bare of attributes and process as is humanly possible, there to remain, perhaps for the balance of a lifetime, until the individual vision of order comes rushing in to fill the void.

The poet Thomas Gray told those who would listen, "Full many a flower is born to bloom unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air." When you first encountered those sentiments, you were already committed to a take-no-prisoners attack on that desert air; you were determined to be seen. 

You spent many hours in the equivalent of waving your arms and shouting warnings and what you hoped were songs to things you believed were in risk of not being seen. One result you got for your pains was being a pest and bother, neither of which got you closer to where you wished to be.

The problem with binaries is that they persist in appearing. You bloomed. You were seen for the pest and bother you'd become. In recognition, you stopped waving your arms, shouting alarms into the night and, instead, began putting more time into learning your craft. The takeaway here is the need to have some sweetness, any sweetness at all, before it can be wasted in the desert air.

The rest is yet another binary: risk or safety.

In one way or another, you've been at risk for too long to change now. 

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