Sometimes I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. I've been here before, I tell myself. I've been trying to learn this lesson for a dozen years. More. It can be exhausting to feel like I'm *still* dealing with crap I've been working on for so long. At least it can feel that way for me. I get discouraged and feel like I'm not growing. Maybe if I dump on a little more shame, I'll "fix" myself this time.
Madness! Of course I'm growing and changing! I am alive, and nothing living is ever stagnant! And if I've been trying to learn the same lesson for years, maybe it's because it holds some new wisdom for me to draw from each time around. Because the truth is, wishing I were at another place is foolishness. I'm only here, NOW. And if some of the voices in my head sound familiar, I'll welcome them as friends. I am not that 19 year old that I once was, so that "same" lesson will speak to me in a new way.
I was struck yesterday by how in photography you can never take the same picture twice. The same subject, same time of day, same lighting, same shutter speed and f/stop... You can never re-capture it. But you can make a beautiful new picture.
So I'm trying to welcome the voice in my head that says, "Feet on the ground, BREATHING," even though that was written on my fridge in college. And the voice that says, "Who will you be?" and the one that says "You get to choose if you offer beauty to the world today," and "Non-judgement!" and "Healthy boundaries!" Yes, they can speak too. And if someone were to ask me every morning for the next hundred years, "How will you live in love and peace?" I would never fully "know." I am on a journey. I will keep coming back to familiar territory, but it won't be the same picture.
With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
--T.S. Eliot, from Little Gidding in the Four Quartets
And yes, I do like taking pictures of my barn, thank you.