I didn’t understand my life until I saw my death.
It be that way sometimes, I guess.
I kept asking God why. Why did he show me perfect happiness, true freedom and peace. Why did he show me heaven on earth and then, immediately after, show me hell?
I keep stepping on to the street, knowing no one else knows unless they have seen it too, and then my compassion grows. I have no idea who knows. I have no idea what has happened to the people who saw their death. Because, I realize, were I not ready, had I not seen heaven first, I could not handle hell. Yesterday I said to God, Ohh, now me understand.
It is always here for us. And we all feel it. Perhaps what we do not know is how lucky we are. I’ve taken everything for granted. Because how could I know what it was worth until I understood how easily it could be lost. Sometimes you only ever learn by receiving the lesson in its most brutal form. And I realize, I am blessed. Because I was unharmed. Shaken to my core but able to withstand the tremors of hell.
And we can never know from anyone else’s experience. We can never understand by proxy. Though I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy. We are graced with fortune that goes beyond any expression. It finds itself manifest in countless ways but none so much as in the drawing of breath. And the stretch of limb. And the touch of skin. And the taste of water. And the smell of oxygen.
I started to work on the second question yesterday, and it had me giggling. What is your biggest writing weakness and what do you think you need to change to work on it?
Ohh weakness. Ohh criticism and judgment. How much I pleasure myself with your running commentary. It’s the same as flattery. Meaningless in that it holds no water. And while I still have this desire to opine and create meaning out of, well, pretty much thin air… I no longer care. Not in the sense that I once did. I no longer feel any of this is mine. I don’t own it. And I won’t exploit it for an end.
Perhaps that was my greatest weakness. Ego. Pride. Proof. Of existence. And a need for validation. And a bulletproof rep. But the more I do this, that is to say the more I write, the less any of that matters. So now, what is my greatest weakness as a writer?
I keep going back to fear. But fear of what could be a long list. So maybe it is not fear of but fear itself. Fear as resistance. Fear as the voice in my head that wants me to write this list. Fear that takes pleasure in debasing my higher self. Fear oh fear oh fear, you have been so close to me. Cause I guess it’s true what they say. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. And the only enemy ever has been me.
I had a moment. These things happen sometimes. I stop being my enemy and then I open my mind. And when I am not my enemy, oh how rare and lovely this is, when I can be my friend, the Universe unfolds. So I am walking across Brooklyn and I am totally open and this is when the koan comes.
What has no opposite.
And I realize that is a question. And it is also a statement. And I’m playing with it in my head because it is the thing itself, and it is the surface of something else. So I keep going. I am only ever in opposition to myself. That’s all it’s ever been. When I am at my lowest, that is when I become competitive. And when I am at my highest, I see everyone and everything as a collaborator. I see all energy as possibility in going beyond the known.
So fear is my greatest weakness and what do I think I can do to work on it? Right. I saw it when I saw my death. I must walk through the fires of hell in order to leave it all behind.