I do think though that what we do in life should be in service of truth and beauty, even if those are the tritest and simplest terms I can express. I believe our words should be used to reveal rather than conceal. We may feel closer to our lies because they're our creations; they belong to no one else but ourselves. But perhaps we rarely realize how much we own our truths too. The thing about fabrications is that they require others to thrive. Truth stands and doesn't require admiration to exist in enthrall.
This is perhaps true of the best of what we can give in life -- something that stands and doesn't require admiration to exist in its beauty.
In service of that idea, I wanted to share some words that were actually personal with you, whoever you are.
I think the idea of the self is a funny thing. Some of our best selves can only be seen through the eyes of others, and that can be taken as a sad thing that we are not able to experience that which makes us great. This might be because we deep down, truly believe that people only love us because they cannot actually know the dark entanglements we know of ourselves. But whose view is more distorted in this way? Is our view marred by our insecurities and crippling awareness of imperfection? Or are the views of others marred by this lack of knowledge that we keep locked away as steadfastly as we deny them access to that which would free both of us?
Perhaps there is a sadness in that no other person can fully know you -- that in each person you know, there exists a different version of who you are. It's a scary thought that none of these versions can fully match up to the version you have of yourself in your own head...and what does it matter what/who that soul is if no one is able to really see it?
There's a limitation to that vision. Just like Plato in his cave of people transfixed by shadows. Just like the idea of earth being just a shadow of heaven or the idea that the world is a cataract, a limitation of what is truly there. The soul is so much bigger than what contains it and I think the self comes through when we are no longer thinking of ourselves. Maybe that's what heaven is (or at least a part of it) -- this idea that we fully realize all we are without being transfixed by shadows or self-consumed thoughts.
I think the people we (should) value the most are the ones that take us out of these self-consumed thoughts.
I think religion is like most things that are inevitably intricated with humans in that it's flawed and terrible things can result, but that out of it comes compassion and power and the possibility of incandescence. I admire a religion that brings people together, or a religion that encourages faith in the face of adversity while even welcoming doubt because it understands that we question and struggle. I love the idea of an angel that allows a human to wrestle with it, even as it injures one in the hip to remind him of his place. I love a God who causes a man's face to shine when he encounters Him. A God that asks most of all for us to sit in appreciation rather than working so hard to earn what is freely given...because I think that's what life is. A God that asks us to take off our shoes when we are standing on sanctified ground. Life is full of grace and all these moments that are more than we can understand and elegant in its simplicity as well as simple in its elegance. We don't have to understand everything, but I think we should be grateful for so so much.
I think this is why I'm happy. I'm grateful for so so much in this life. And when we talk to each other in person again, I'll be happy to tell you all that I'm grateful for in you as well.
Sometimes we have this idea of not having enough only to have the pursuit of that attainment destroy us. Like the Fisherman's wife or Hawthorne's doctor who worked tirelessly to remove the birthmark from his wife's cheek (why do we seek perfection in the other half of our relationships rather than ourselves sometimes? Maybe it's easier).
I think most of us are afraid of going through this life without being seen. Without making a connection. We have an idea that talent squandered is worse than no talent at all. What a shame. What a damn shame. I don't like the idea of what could have been, because I appreciate what is. But sometimes I'm thrown into doubt and confusion because of other people lamenting over what could have been. Then again, there's the idea of what can still happen. So there's hope for both of us there. I don't write this to you because I think I'm throwing my words into the wind, even though I actually think that everyone believes themselves to be special or fears that they're one in a million of specials. I write this to you because I believe in the possibility of all that life holds for you. I miss what was and what has happened, but I don't think it should hold us, no matter how bad or how good it was.
I think I say "we" not just because it's an idea that all of us can relate to, but because I'm afraid of making it personal and saying "I".
Sometimes I'm afraid to admit that I think I'm meant for more. But at the same time, the reason I don't say it is because "more" is an amorphous statement that requires more thought before I can verbalize it...otherwise it's a pipe dream related to delusions of grandeur. I'm not delusional in my grandeur. I hope I don't detract from that statement when I say that none of us are...we're just perhaps delusional on what our grandeur is exactly.
I think bass guitars are really really cool.
There's this idea that most of life is fleeting and that the good moments are good because they're not constant. Or the idea that we can't hold on to things. And yes, I think there is a beauty to this evanescence, this flickering light, this idea that we can't control everything. There's an understanding or an all too wide awareness of how things can change in this life, but the promise I'd give is a love and a thankfulness for these changes and what would remain in all of that, like a pedal non-chord tone in music that slips in and out of dissonance. Relationships are frightening if taken seriously, but even if we don't fully understand...I think there needs to be that gratitude for all the uncalled-for and otherwise unrecognized beauties they provide and a sort of faith even in adversity as it encounters growth that is only possible with some doubt and wrestling.
I'm discovering these days how trust can uncover beauty you'd never otherwise have a chance to be grateful for.
These are just a few things I wanted to share with you.