December 18, 2008

hanging in the balance

i read this comic today, and was immediately struck by how simply it conveys a societal tendency that catches us all up. how do we equate the unknown with danger when often, it is the familiar that hurts us? if i took a poll... though surely, the desire for the familiar is clearly beneficial in many senses - healthy patterns like diets, bedtimes, grooming, friendships, communities. it's simply not universally applicable. (agents of the search for the universally applicable continue on, disappointed but stoic.)

the mystery of the unknown can also be attractive. but that needs to be our choice, to investigate or be open to the unknown. as a statement of freedom, independence, choice, stepping into the unknown is amazing. being hucked into the black hole of who-knows-what by circumstances beyond our own powers is often a little rougher to swallow than a "ooo, i'll take door #3, please" situation.

the love affair with the familiar. the romance with the unknown. the inevitable chaos of the future, rolling invisibly toward us.

an old roommate told me matter-of-factly once that when it's happening to someone else, it's a soap opera. but when it's happening to you: "it's my life!!" ah yes, yogi. for each of us, it is of vital importance, to the highest standards, the immediate circumstances of this one life.

how do we deal with the moments when it seems so hard to keep living? when the blackness is threatening to swallow us whole, when we must flee but there is nowhere left to go? when we check in with our hearts and the reply is a cryptic "wait". when the suspense is killing us.

may we learn to forgive ourselves. over and over and over again. seek new ways the universe is friendly. remember how often we've assumed the worst and it turned out to be something simple. and if we aren't big risk-takers, take small risks instead. so often, i reach out and the other person says "i was hoping you would. i myself was too scared."

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