Sunday, January 13, 2008

Once

Sometimes when I watch a film or read a book, I realize that it has come into my life at exactly the moment it needed to. I think this happens often, actually, and I'm trying to wrap my mind around the idea that everything happens when it should as it should, if we but let it. Actually, it's more my heart and spirit that fight that notion than my head, since in my particular experience trust often costs something.

Once was just what I needed to see right now. It's one of those indy films that makes me remember why I like indy films - actors with imperfect features and great presence, a quiet storyline with heart, people with thwarted desires, quirky and breath-catching moments of real drama. And this Irish film also has fantastic music and many reminders especially heartening for the frustrated and disheartened artists of the world. Here is what I am thinking right this minute: what you get can make you truly happy if you stop clinging so stubbornly to what you want. I don't know that this is always true, and especially not in matters of love - but it often is true of life's paths, and limitations. Most of all, when it comes to things not of the heart, but of the world - letting go of wantwantwant frees your arms and fingers to grasp some other wonderful thing, some undreamed of opportunity, that comes your way.

I know this, and I live this, and in my gut it is the unquestioned truth of how I see the world. But as I recently told a friend - of course there are moments when disappointment threatens to become bitterness. When frustration feels like it wants to seduce me, to stew inside me to resentment. It might be disappointment at my own life's limits, or frustration about the pain a loved one feels. For me, either can whisper darkly when I am tired. As the Cormac McCarthy quote reminded me just a few weeks ago - I'm in the camp of those who will find a way to be happy. What I have to allow myself room to do is accept disappointment and then move through it. Because, simply put, and plainly enough to anyone with eyes: sometimes it's hard to compromise your hopes against reality. Sometimes.

Once reminded me of that, too. The main character rediscovers hope, and he fills his mind and his minutes trying to fulfill his soul's desire. As in all things, it's the journey.

So. Speaking plainly now, because who really reads these entries? Sometimes I simply want it easier. Quieter, more laughter, fewer troubles, simpler, with less drama and pain and angst. When I realize that's what I want, I have to self-scold a bit. I have to ask myself why I think I deserve it easier, when in fact my life is in the cushy paradise section on the sliding scale of human possibility. I'm capable, smart, loved and blessed with much.

Other times, the word I would use is not easier, but settled. My father used that word as a kind of catch-all to ask how I was doing. And of course, there is no state of "settled" that can be attained. Had he lived longer, I would have loved to talk about that with him. As soon as we feel we are settled, the world (which is NOT rotating around me, dammit!) is bound to offer up another challenge, another opportunity, another distraction. It is about feeling settled in your heart, let the world send the salvos it is bound to send.

Feeling settled isn't an accomplishment, it's another kind of journey. Plan and execute and build lives all you like - my knowledge of the world is that it's all at risk, all the time. All you have is the journey, the knowledge that you can make it again. And again, if needed.

Hey, if you read this? Mostly, mostly I do. I'm always walking that space in the center where feeling settled sits in a field of lavender and daisies just up a hill to my right, and giving up sits in a dark, fallow space an easy downhill tumble to my left. Stay to the right. Always to the right.

Hope and light heart to you.

~ patti

6 comments:

TOB :) said...

I read all of them. And you know what I think. Brave and strong. Impressive.

Got any sisters?

Patti Knox said...

thank you.

~ patti

(I can TOO take a compliment.)

Karen said...

Patti...

Finally, I get to come on and read a bit.

This part of your post:

Feeling settled isn't an accomplishment, it's another kind of journey. Plan and execute and build lives all you like - my knowledge of the world is that it's all at risk, all the time. All you have is the journey, the knowledge that you can make it again. And again, if needed.


How that resonates with me. I personally never want to be settled, or to settle. Life IS about the journey, and the choices made, lessons learned on that journey.

Nice blog Miss P.

Now off to read some more before I have to get working on deadly dull historical calendar illustrations. SNOOZE

Patti Knox said...

Thanks, Ms. Karen!

It's nice to see you here. I've been looking at those photos of your snowy field, and they're inspiring me. Thanks for sharing them!

~ Patti

Anonymous said...

Find peace, Patti. :)

Your entries are smart and thoughtful, and it is a great title for the blog, or for your book.

Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. More!