I often wonder why it seems so difficult to write about the good of the day, as opposed to how easy it is to rant about the bad. Sitting in my corner of the cave, with a window facing the gurgling water from the pond just outside, I’m often focused on the mental fatigue that draws me to that corner while hardly noticing the calming effect of that water and the usual cool breeze that accompanies it.
The moments taken to calm the soul are often forgotten in our distraction from the beauty that calms it. I wonder if the ability to notice the blessing that lifts the burden, rather than sighing at the lifting of the burden reflects the balance with which we meet the day? Are we so focused on what bears down on us that we’ve stopped noticing what makes the struggle worth struggling?
Just trying to shift the focus in writing this post demands more presence of mind than usual. It’s easier to bleed at the keyboard than it is to spill beautiful petals of hope and resilience without the scorn or the rhetoric that accompanies a cynic’s tale no matter how often betrayed. So easily I find myself drawn into the darkness that offers some quiet. The absence of light is not always daunting if the darkness provides reprieve from the demands of the world.
Every curious detail observed in the light by one driven to act demands attention, while every response holds within it the promise of joy or fulfilment. That joy or fulfilment is almost always incomplete if its essence is appreciated by too few. If the purpose of life is to serve a greater good, then what becomes of the fulfilment of that purpose when the greater good rejects such servitude?
Cryptic thoughts are as exhausting as its interpretation. Speaking plainly is an art lost to me while being deliberately vaguely cryptic comes naturally in a world where such sincerity is most often misconstrued as an attack on the ego, rather than appreciated at the value of the beautiful face that it offers.
I’ve seen too often how a good gesture is deliberately distorted so that the recipient is relieved of any compulsion to reciprocate. Those we wish to indulge, or we hope would indulge us, are the ones with whom even bad gestures we’d aim to distort into good ones. Seeing good in the ones we court is easy. It doesn’t require an investment in anything other than what we wish to receive, except where what we wish to gain is fulfilled within, and does not require validation from without. Achieving a state of composure in the face of ingratitude is the greatest gift in a world of worries. It saves us from feeling enslaved by the affirmations of others, while liberating us to enjoy the cryptic details that eludes most everyone else.
Just last week I quoted Einstein to someone. If we can’t explain it simply enough, then we don’t understand it well enough. Perhaps this is telling of my grasp of this world. My struggle to articulate my thoughts reflects the challenges I face in trying to understand the multitudes of why, but comfort is offered when I consider that most shy away from the challenge even before reaching this point.
The inclination to pacify myself relative to the lacking conviction of others threatens to prompt me into a similar space of complacency as those I despise. Perhaps I despise them so much because I am acutely aware of how even now, with this deliberate attempt to express the beauty of the world around me, I find myself consistently drawn towards emphasising everything that’s wrong with it.
I walked on the lawn with bare feet the other day. For a moment my senses were teased and I felt grounded. I gazed around the garden and looked past the sprouting indigenous trees, and instead noticed the chores left unfinished, or new ones that begged for my attention. I walked on and paid little attention to them because the lawn felt so good beneath my feet. In that moment I knew that even the reality of this world and all its worries could not rob me of the fascination of that moment. But no sooner had that thought occurred that I found myself robbing myself of that which the world was unable to take from me.
I know there’s an important point in all this rambling. Perhaps just that knowledge will make this worth sharing, even if the clarity of that point continues to elude me. Everything has an opposing truth, so perhaps this world of worries is simply the wrong side of the coin that too many are distracted by. If the first step towards success lies in acknowledgement, then perhaps this is the glimmer of hope that the realisation of the other side of this coin is the beginning of turning it over.
[There appears to be no comfortable nor logical point at which I feel ready to end this post, so perhaps it is best left unfinished…for now]