July 31, 2013

Some of Us Have Drowned; the Rest Learned to Float.

What if we all started as a small, delicate piece of driftwood…a delicate, yet solid relic, flowing with and through the ancient seas from the very first spark of light?

Its voice, a siren song, cultivated through storms and tsunamis and tidal waves and whirlpools, raised in frequency through all manners of destruction and transformation. Its edges smoothed and strengthened and fortified, taking on the shape and solidarity of a tuning fork, projecting its pure tone across the frothy waves and illuminating the path to its next destination…

One day, this little twig found itself washing ashore, finally, to anchor into solid ground and make its mark. Eons at sea had prepared it for a destiny as a strong, mighty oak, carrying with it timeless messages from the ends of the earth. After bearing witness to endless cycles of time, endless faces, spaces and places, the driftwood is now ready to lay down roots, to build a solid foundation from which to sing.

But the twig has so much growing to do. Its journey is finding its balance…connecting to the earth. It has fertile, worthy soil at its base, and now the balancing act begins. Integrating everything it’s seen, experienced and becomes with this new land, this new story. Creating a new epic from the tired old pages of the ancient records.

Recreating creation can be a joyful or daunting task, and the little twig recognizes its choices. Time and time again, it has chosen the hard way, the daunting, unrelenting, unforgiving way. But this time around, the lessons are moving towards each other with a more fluid, gel-like motion. This time around, the lessons are looking to be released and unleashed, seeking action rather than resignation and stagnation. The time for steeping in the juices is over—the pot is boiling and dinner is beyond ready to be served.

People are ready to eat. And those who aren’t don’t have to… they’ll succumb to their hunger in their own time and come, wearily, to the table, ready to nourish their starving spirits. The food has always been laid out, but our collective hunger has been blinding us, leading us astray, forcing us outside of the warmth and solace and security of our hearths in search of other nourishment.

We seek and seek and seek and starve and collapse and do it all over again, never realizing that the nutrients we are dying for have been there from the beginning. It’s a wonder we haven’t drowned. Well…some of us have. Lots of us. But the rest of us have learned how to float.

In floating, there is peace. Sailing through time, through space, through oceans and peninsulas and rivers and streams, a universe of knowledge and imagery can be absorbed. There is a sort of detached solace, a spectator’s advantage of seeing all without engaging, without the pang of defeat or the joy of victory. One simply watches, observes, and moves on.

“You told me I was like the Dead Sea. You’ll never sink when you’re with me. Oh no, I’m your Dead Sea.”

~The Lumineers

It’s another thing entirely to engage in life, to be an active player—a true co-creator. To gather up everything you’ve collected along the way and bring it to the table. To become a formidable opponent—or rather, a radiant contributor—in this existential game.

To finally step up, set fear aside, and come into all that you have become. It’s this act that makes everything worth while, wasting nothing; and likewise, to do nothing, to take no action, to desperately hold onto everything you’ve seen and collected is to have done everything in vein.

And that knowledge is what finally brought the little twig to shore.

Now…we will see what the little twig is made of.

“And it seems like the time when after doubt
Oh, never this whelming east wind swells
But it seems like the sea’s return
To the ancient lands where it left the shells
Before the age of the fern;
And it seems like the time when after doubt
Our love came back amain.
Oh, come forth into the storm and rout
And be my love in the rain.”
Robert Frost, ‘A Line-Storm Song’ (1913)



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Jillian Locke  |  Contribution: 5,720