Living with past and future

The lake is surrounded by willow, a protection for the wildfowl from galumphing humans; but here there is a gap, with a bench. The bench commemorates a woman’s life, and stuck between wood and metal there are cards and prayers for Mother’s Day. We sit in the sun looking over to an island, where the birds preen and wheel. Two geese fly low overhead, honking.

What is the correct attitude to the traffic noise? It does not overwhelm the noise of the birds. The road is hidden by more willow and oak. It is “A sign of the energy of our civilisation”? Try to ignore it? There is enough beauty here, it is not important?

I was upset this morning, at something that happened nearly ten years ago. I was in conflict; I was right; I lost. I was bullied and humiliated. And on Sunday, the day after that last job interview, I showed courage. I could just have stayed at home, but I cycled forty miles, the furthest I have gone in a day this century; though I feared an encounter, I wanted it, thinking it a good challenge. She would be fascinating. I was disappointed she was not there. Then I cycled home, enjoying the sunshine, knowing the labour of miles still to go.

That same day was the “Becoming Friends” discussion group at K, on Advices and Queries. Are we, really, good enough to be Quaker? One suffered because of his integrity. I wish I knew him better, he has done well since. I thought of other conflicts- I was in the right; one I fought so hard, and Won!- the other I just gave up.

The jobs I have applied for this year would have been beautiful. There is something worthy of my love and creativity, in this job too. Oh, I am so tired! Can I bring myself to apply for it, the closing date is so soon! And it terrifies me. I would see that man, and he would understand, and I would not, he would see through my masks and I would be useless and humiliated. Needing to pretend, and my pretence stripped away! The tensions, and not knowing! And the other man, my friend, the weight of his love and fear, and their love for him…

Or my talents have value, I could contribute, I would live with the uncertainty and some things I did might be worthwhile-

I have not done mindfulness meditation because I fear it. The weight of my feeling- rage and terror, frustration resentment and shame, would overwhelm me. Now, with my friend, negative and positive, fear and painful wonder, alternate in my mind.

Walt Whitman:

Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of every [one] hearty and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be less familiar than the rest.

Monet, Branch of the Seine near Giverny

8 thoughts on “Living with past and future

  1. You are so honest, and in many ways, life is the war between our different parts. I sense in you, that there are times when the war is especially acute, as you have had to learn things – like how to walk with a manly stride – and then unlearn them again. To learn and then unlearn all these lessons and uncover the beauty that is you beneath all the layers, is in itself exhausting, I imagine. And in any case, that is not the sort of learning one can list, tick off, and tidy away: “Wearing skirts with a shimmy, not a swagger….Tick!” I think not.

    Different philosophies carry different advice. Perseverance is worthwhile, but, if the road is too bumpy, it is the wrong road, and in any case, if we want to find out what we would most enjoy doing (which would become its own best worthwhile) we can put our own, honest, free enjoyment at the heart of what we do.

    I sense that working for others would be hard for you, because you find it difficult to maintain your sphere of Self intact, in the face of perceived authority and perceived criticism. I have the same problem, as do many others. But by doing what you most enjoy, as often as possible, and with as much perseverance as possible, you will find a smoother path that will lead you to fulfilment, love, joy. Put that joy centre stage, love, and shimmy.

    ((((XXXX)))) ♥


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