Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Peace and Clarity
The other night I had a wonderful conversation with a very dear friend. It was one of those talks that usually only happen late in the evening after everyone else has gone to bed and you're left with just the two of you. You sit around lazily on the softest piece of furniture possible and discuss anything and everything in a thoughtful, honest, and rational stream-of-consciousness kind of way. Afterward you feel warm and peaceful and indescribably relieved, always wishing you could engage in that type of discussion more often.
There are very few people that I can have these kinds of conversations with, and even fewer opportunities for those conversations to occur. Still, the power they have and the joy they bring, even when discussing not so happy topics, make them more than worth the wait.
The world is not an easy place in which to live. Thankfully, though I've had it much easier than most, we all have had to struggle against many trials and complications on a day to day basis. Some of us handle it with a bit more grace than others, and the things that each of us find comfort and refuge in, even on the smallest level, are of tantamount importance.
I've realized just how "together" I feel lately, as though some wave of calm and confidence has come out of nowhere and wrapped me up snuggly. Sure, I can still get frustrated and sad over a given situation, but I am also more at peace and patient in those moments now, both feelings that have never been easily attained goals in my life.
What has caused this new found sense of clarity is not entirely clear. I can point to several things in the last year that brought happiness and sorrow to my life, times of tough decisions and forced compromises, achievements and loss. There were many extremes that I thought I had experienced before, that I felt I would be completely prepared for, and yet wasn't at all. And I'm glad for that. Only by struggle, challenge, and pushing oneself can you find out what you are capable of. Even learning your limitations isn't a bad thing if it makes you more aware of what is possible and teaches you to prepare more than you did before.
I'm not saying I have all the answers, nor am I saying I know what will work best in the future. All I know is that I am at a place that I have always wanted to be, where I know I can handle myself in pretty much any situation and be everything I have ever been in that moment. I'd say that's a good thing.
I'll conclude with this to hopefully sum up what I've been trying to say:
There is a series of comic books titled "Moonshadow" by J.M. DeMatteis, where the main character, as an old man, retells a long and winding story of his life on what he calls his "Journey to Awakening". After countless tales about his travels, transgressions, and complicated experiences that cover many years, the story concludes with what he has been alluding to the entire time: the final, intense moment of clarity that shaped his understanding of life. What did he learn in the final moment? The narrator stops and says after a long pause and a smile, "Its been so long, I simply don't remember anymore," and happily dances away, playing his flute without a care in the world.
I think about that a lot.