Tuesday, July 10, 2012

'Cause Baby, You're a Firework

It is my nature to want to fix things. If you needed a gal to roll up her sleeves and get something done,  I'd tear the sleeves off and use 'em for bandages when my elbows were rubbed raw. Okay, maybe not that dramatic. But I like to "find solutions" which is another way of saying I like to "force outcomes." (As if I have that much power. I can hear the gods laughing!) When I was in college I wrote a play where two characters named "Girl" and "Boy" acted as part Greek chorus, part omniscient gods. They tried to warn the characters of the pitfalls of their tragic flaws all the while knowing that as human beings we are imperfect, we are flawed, and time and time again we fall victim to are own near-sighted hubris.

The last little while here I have been trying to notice my hubris. Where in my life do I do things or say things out of a need to feel in control? To feel powerful? To feel safe? And unfortunately a lot of this soul searching did not come out of good behavior. It came out of perfectly bad behavior of which I am still feeling the effects of. It has been painful to let go of some of the relationships I was trying to fix and realize that maybe they didn't need fixing they just needed me to take my hands off of them. Furthermore, it took everything in me that when I felt the sadness of a loss of connection with anyone, not to jump back in there and tell them what they meant to me. And on the occasion when I did,  it only led to feeling unsure and confused days later. The breaking down of a well-oiled machine is a messy sight. When one day you wake up and realize the only way you know how to roll your sleeves up no longer keeps them up is a disconcerting day.

A week ago someone gave me the image of two hands cupped holding water. If they squeezed those hands into fists, the water would leak out through the cracks in their fingers, the pressure too great, the cruel injustice of grasping too hard to anything- an idea, a lover, a job, a relationship.  I have been trying to let go of the reigns. I have been trying to trust that anything that should not be in my life will inevitably find its exit if I ask it to. And that the things that are still in my life are nothing short of gifts even if they don't always look like how I want them to. It is in trusting that things fix themselves if you stop "working" at it and leave room for the divine, the mysteries of time and space and all that other inexplicable spiritual murkiness I don't like to believe in. Perhaps it is in letting go that a friendship can grow, or a heart  can heal or a firework can burst. Perhaps it is questioning when I am in "reaction" and when I am in an "action of love," that can help change a moment. But certainly every moment is different and imperfect and there are steps and missteps and all sorts of slips in between. But the more I ask, the clearer things get. The more I show up  for the present moment the more life surprises me with unexpected joys like a red-white-and-blue sparkly wreath for my hair under a firework-lit sky against the backdrop of a mountain's silhouette. Like being baptized by sailboat or humbled by someone else's courage to say, I am a loving being of light, please show me where I can burn, even if it may hurt to get there. Like taking road trips full of tears and laughter and singing and the smell of pizza on the tips of our tongues. Like watching fireworks over a lake in a state I never dreamed of visiting as a kid. Like reminding myself of my California roots when I jump off a dock plunging myself into temperatures unknown.

There is so much life to be had. Sometimes I just want to grab it by the wind just to know what beauty feels like in my palms. And to think that everyday I need to remind myself to be grateful for what is right at my feet.

1 comment:

Mike said...

You do know what beauty feels like. Everytime you think of your Cali roots or the road trips or friendships you feel it. Sometimes, though, the feelings can be fuzzy or weaker than they once were, but that's okay. Cause sometimes the wind blows just right and you feel like you are right back in it. Great post.