There’s so much joy in the truth. Maybe all the feelings are in it but I have so often feared the painful ones (hands over my own eyes) that I missed this elemental law.
I talked with a dear friend– someone so very high on the list of favorite people– and we both told the truth, which is something we’ve practiced with each other for a while now. And what we each said changed the story I thought was playing out. There’s some grief about that, but that isn’t a bad thing. Grief and failure aren’t the same things at all, though I think we tell ourselves they are. The death of one (or many) possible lifetimes isn’t any less real than the loss of a physical thing: the burning of a forest, the flooding of a house, the dying of a potted plant.
I don’t say that to be morose or even poetically melancholy, but to say this: imagination matters. Imagination is the beginning of every single thing: the dreaming of what is not yet corporeal, tangible, concretely bound by space and time. We live whole lifetimes like that, choosing and choosing, (or not choosing and thus choosing whatever our surroundings produce). We become ourselves not only in this existence of flesh and bone but equally in the firing of dendrites and the expansion, contraction, departure and return of spirit.
It takes a lot of energy to hold all the doors open– even to hold just one open, waiting for the Thing to come walking, dancing, leaping through. And so there’s a true beauty in letting it close. In telling the truth to yourself and then saying what needs to be said to another. Far better than lingering in the hall, waiting and wondering if you got the time wrong or if some terrible accident has happened or if maybe the Thing was never coming after all.
Again, that sounds so melancholy, and it does sit heavy on the solar plexus, but look at this: the light dappling through so many other leaded and stained glass windows, porticos, peepholes, and with it the stirring sense of wonder and curiosity. Because now there’s space for that. In the Not Knowing is the expansion, the invitation to find, to step into, to try on the Delight you have always been dancing with.
That’s the Thing, that Delight: and it’s not Out There– it’s… hmm… it’s a kind of love by subtraction, a game of Hot or Cold, an ever-centering spin on the axis that is your absolute and true and whole soul.
When a No is brave and true and honest, it opens Pandora’s boxes, one by one and let’s things breathe. It points us a little closer to what we seek: the Yes.