Saturday, June 23, 2007

No Longer a Life of Quiet Desperation

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. --Henry David Thoreau


When I read this quotation from Walden in high school and later in college I was confident I understood its deepest meaning because I, of course, had all of the answers to life's most puzzling questions and conundrums. Then, of course, I grew older and life happened and I myself understood how it felt to live a life "of quiet desperation."

I have indeed felt that frightening blackness of desperation so intense you dare not speak of it, because if you did there was a certainty it would grow and swell until its blackness would overtake your very world worse than it already had. I felt as if I was always needing something, wanting something that was unknown and just a little out of focus as well as just barely beyond my grasp. I knew, deep down, if I could ever reach that unknown something my life, this life I am currently living would be better, happier. It would finally be My Life.

I was desperate for this unknown thing, and always positive I would never really attain it, although I didn't know why.

I was desperate for something, and this something I was lacking was vital to my very Soul and Ultimate Happiness: Today I realized I had actually attained at least part of . . . It, that previously unknown thing.

Believe me, I was shocked to the very core of my being when I realized a puzzle piece (another puzzle piece) had fallen, or was falling, into place.

I was sitting at the table in Fava's restaurant in Georgetown after tai chi class. Most of the class was there and Just Bill was sitting at one end of a collection of tables while I was sitting at the other. FutureNurse , my best girlfriend, was on my left and my wonderful Hubby was on my right. Without ordering I received a sweet tea and as I sipped the cool sweetness of it, everything slowed for a moment. I saw smiles in the process of blossoming and heard laughter recently formed rising and falling in pitch and timber. Suddenly I felt full. No, not quite full: I felt less empty.

I could feel it, this missing piece, resting there in its slot and section as if it had always been there. I knew it hadn't been, but now I couldn't prove it because it was just THERE -- right where it was supposed to be.

As time returned to its properness and just as the emptiness was less...empty, I also was quite aware there were other empty places that needed filling. The surprising thing about this was it was all right. They didn't have to be filled in now; it was all right if they waited to come (for a little while). I knew, and accepted, I would get to this place where the pieces would come, and I would grow and the necessary pieces would arrive.

What was this missing something I had lived so long searching for and whose absence made me feel so lost and desperate? I didn't know myself until Just Bill explained about the unity of body, mind, and spirit. As he spoke I realized what had been missing in my life --it was a unity of all of these forces and the piece that was suddenly there, suddenly present was a connecting piece helping my head unite with my body and my body with my spirit freeing me to have the intent I need to live my life, to join completely and happily with my husband; to accept and recognize sincerely my need for God. In tai chi terms it was a "transition" piece. It led me from one movement, or phase of my life, into another one. A step needed at the right place in preparation for the next movement.

It only took instants in two separate moments for me to see these things, but it had taken me all of my life to finally reach them, grasp them.

Does this mean I am not going to be an ass any more and no longer say or do things that will cause pain or make me ashamed for having said them? No, not in the least! However, it is my hope the asinine moments will grow less and less frequent which will allow the peaceful moments to remain longer, and even grow!

My life is no longer filled with quiet desperation. I have been watching it change and deepen like a symphony beginning to build upon its notes into something grand. Hopefully I have a different sort of strength forming so that the pains and wars I will go through from here on will be unable to drown this music, this growth and change that has already occurred.

Perhaps this is the music of a life finally being lived.

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.