Contemplating What Is Real
What about the perfectly secure dudes I dumped because I disliked the broken machinery of their mediocre minds? I almost married a man whose entire personality was a sitcom with the couch in the middle of the room. Was it anxious of me to believe I could sit on that couch and listen to that laugh track until I was dead? Was it avoidant of me to finally exit those paper-thin walls in search of someone a little less scripted?
Now the pope is a pragmatist who likes gay marriage and the supreme court is packed with fantasy-loving ghouls who hate it.
It’s not morally aberrant to question this waking nightmare, along with every single principle and tradition that sprang from its chaotic core. It’s not unhinged to stop in the middle of this dreamscape and proclaim it unsafe, unwell, unfit for human consumption. It’s not disordered to love and hate a person at the same time. Nothing could be more rational.
Ask Molly: Fake
To many people, contemplation is an old-fashioned word, but it simply means the deliberate seeking of God by an inner dialogue. The soul grows closer to God through our willingness to detach from the passing self, the tyranny of feelings, the addiction to self-image, and the false promises of culture. It is a journey into the nothingness of true faith, where the ordinary rules of thinking, managing, explaining, and fixing up the smaller self do not apply. Contemplation shouldn’t be used to spiritually bypass what is real, harmful, or unjust in our lives or the world around us. However, with steady practice it will eventually give us the ability to stay present to what is, and meet it with wisdom, compassion, and courage.
I’m not sure that most people in the Western world have ever really met the person who they themselves really are. Most of us have lived our lives with a steady stream of ideas, images, and feelings that we cling to–thinking they are our very essence. But in reality, at that level, I don’t have the idea; the idea has me. I don’t have the feeling; the feeling has me.
At every moment, all our life long, we identify ourselves either with our thoughts, our self-image, or our feelings. We have to find a way to get beyond those things…
We long for great-souled people who can hold the chaos together within themselves–and give us the courage to do the same.
It’s almost 9 am but it’s still dark outside due to the thunderclouds that brew overhead. I can tell how much it has rained this morning because there was a Tupperware container left on the table outside my window. Well over an inch.
I was going to go on a quick, easy ride this morning. I’m planning on riding 100 miles tomorrow. My body has been failing me lately, so I’ve only ridden once this week and need to make sure the bike is ready and my body is loosened up. I am hoping the rain stops later this morning so I can do a quick lap of the lake.
So instead of riding, I managed to catch up on some emails. I actually read some of the newsletters I’m subscribed to. I’m pretty picky about these things, but I do enjoy the ones that make me think.
I’m in a very small (three of us) group sharing our fiction with one another. Well, two of us are, at least. Well, one of us, really. Until this morning, it had been over a month since I’d sent anything to them. I caught up on a month’s worth of weekly emails from the consistent one of the group, and then sent the second half of a short story I finished recently. I’ve actually finished two short stories in the last month. Now I’m stalled out again. I’m trying to write 50,000 words worth of short stories by the end of the year. I’m at just under 35,000. I need to write 226 words every day to make it.
So much of life is living within tension. I needed to ride my bike this morning but am glad to have caught up on some neglected correspondence and reading. But I’m also terribly behind on many other projects I could have spent the first two hours of my morning working on.
People I love dearly are voting for Trump. We live absolutely dripping with privilege but with a nagging, constant fear of losing it all. We consider ourselves moral creatures, but we pollute the earth with abandon, and steal from the poor, and send our money to the rich.
I’ve always enjoyed the idea of artistic contemplation. Art both injects and resolves that tension of existence. The people I’ve always admired live artistically within the tension. The ones I’ve disdained live in ignorance of it.
“…he lets rain fall on the righteous and the unrighteous alike” #