Monday, September 28, 2009

A Tall Ship and a Star

"Life on earth will always be Hell. The antidote is not a hereafter called Heaven, but a new life below. The new Heaven and Earth; born of the complete acceptance of Life."

Like everyone else, I cope with abstraction and uncertainty every day. It might have been unemployment if hadn't been cancer. And like you , I would vacillate between dread and opportunity with metronome indecisiveness. Everyday, I reinvent myself stronger and more determined, but with Sisyphean inevitability tumble backwards without the sense of purpose I had set out with. Yet, I begin anew, With increased vigor and a little more experience, I should hope, having learned that maybe , I just need different shoes.

Still, uncertainty will not relinquish its abstraction and shadowy guile. We struggle with it repeatedly, it defines our character and tests our faith. For some of us it is a plague of consciousness that is so debilitating we actually fear it more than the physical pain we anticipate. Stifled and unable to act, we succumb to it and wash it down with denial and self-delusion.

And yet again, in others it provides the possibility for a new beginning, as it has for me. New steps taken with trepidation and reticence at first, but overcome by the exuberance that discovery and adventure brings, we savor... " the sweet confection of possibility"; that I'm not sure I know where this is going, but I can't wait to get there!

Affirming that I will Survive! And although my will has been exceeding tested, as of late, I will persevere. There is purpose in that alone. Perhaps not so revelatory for some , but many of us are constricted with doubt. I have been. We are tethered, without the confidence or the imagination to wrestle the tentacles of ambivalence. It constrains us and with seemingly insurmountable challenges, we often submit our determination.

Conceit disguises our solitude. Stoic silence in the face of denial, render us unable or incapable of confessing that which is so common to all of us. We're all sinking to some extent. But fear not. We will resurface from this bottomless quicksand and I for one will be dragging my fear behind me, vanquished by reason and conquered by faith, reminding myself that my frailties won't be my downfall nor my illness or even my own mortality.

We live to die after all. We were assigned its inevitability at birth. The ultimate test is that we won't fear Life! Learning to embrace it with each breath. Discovering the potential of each moment, defiantly shouting to the heavens; I'm not afraid to die! I'm afraid of complacency; as should we all.

My son, Zack, lives in China. I talk to him every few days and I think about him all the time. I revel in his potential and I'm full of pride and conceit that I had something to do with that. His character has grown perceptively with the ambivalence and bewilderment he has known, annealed by experience. Undaunted, nevertheless, by the discoveries that come with an adventurous spirit. Ah, his spirit, I think his mother had something to do with that.

I marvel at the notion that it really wasn't so long ago that I too was imbued with wanderlust and exploit, unrestrained; in pursuit of adventure without uncertainty or mortgage payments. I travelled the world and read books inspired with fantasy and ardent purpose. Kierkegaard whispering in my head and Oscar Peterson improvising its urgency. I was invincible then, confident in who I would become and resolute to get there.
I reminisce those attributes and reflect at this moment on what I've been through, strangely steadfast with the same anticipation that I've known, undeterred now by the genesis of my own metamorphosis. A new adventure, an evolution of fate not yet imagined and under any other circumstances, ever considered.
Yes, I have trepidation and reticence still and now mortgage payments. But along the way I've acquired a few more attributes; Wisdom and experience and most importantly Jenel. And so, with Jenel at my side and the many muses in my head, with Oscar still syncopating my step, the world is once again at my feet, with the invincibility of conviction, I will begin anew and,

..."all I ask is tall ship and a star to steer her by."

"Sea Fever", poem by John Masefield

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