In the middle of a healing process (am I ever at an end? or do all these processes overlap ad infinitum), I am being called to recognize how ‘these things take time.’ Yet I am not a fan of the phrase “time heals all wounds” so the Westerner in me comes out in an approach to ‘fix’ the problems of my emotional inner worlds. To reconcile the truth within “time heals all wounds” I am seeing the importance of the gradual path. Perhaps the fitting metaphor here is gardening, as much ‘work’ can be done on the garden and for the garden. Yet still time-and a immutably long time at that-is needed for the seeds to sprout and the buds to flower. Left unattended, or “forgotten about” our wounds will not heal themselves. More often they become buried beneath the various distractions available in this world, and whatever behaviors our mind has found suitable to stop us from seeing the pain underneath (how kind of it to protect us from unpleasantness). Yet unearthing the wounds, and undamming the floodgates, I want the water to rush to the finish line so that I may have the reawakened space and joy in my heart.
Water has an intelligence all its own, and the Daoists call it the element most dear to a Sage’s heart. Bruce Lee too tells us to “be like Water.” Following the current on its Journey, perhaps we see the inner landscape more clearly and learn many lessons. In this vein, I find patience to continue on as my heart pours out in various ways.
The oft-said phrase “Life is a Journey, not a Destination” comes to mind. But what does this even mean? We are given to think that yes perhaps we are always ‘arriving’ and that we should enjoy the journey as we go. Many questions come as we think deeper on this wisdom- yet at what pace to go about Life? A Journey perhaps but journeys often have goals, targets, aims, and destinations! Does this continue endlessly until our death, always seeking new goals and means to achieve them? Unearthing new wounds, healing them, getting wounded again, burying them, healing them? Albert Camus turns in his existentialist grave at this Sisyphean effort, so perhaps an element of Joy is needed? Is that found in the pursuit-or the momentary victories-or the camaraderie of our community?
All these questions do not come with answers, and I’m not here to provide them. My mother once defended the usefulness of my Philosopher’s degree saying “Philosophers are here to tell us life’s meaning” I certainly hope not! We are wandering blindly groping for substance in the dark of this world as much as anyone. Perhaps we have thought long and deeper on issues of reality and what it means to be human- but take our insights no more seriously than a song with soul or a beautiful work of art. If something I write resonates with you deeply- good! You have thought this way all along deep down and I simply have shone light on it. If I write something curious that angers/frustrates you-delightful! Resistance is ever the landmark of new discoveries awaiting you, or as they say in Zen “The Obstacle is the Path.”
Ultimately as I breathe out words they are already dead. It is in the magnificence of your soul the ability to breathe life into them, think deeply on them yourself, and make them yours or discard them. As a carpenter whittles a block of wood to give me a sword, it is up to me to train in the art of swordsmanship-practice with the use of the work of art. I give these thoughts and ideas in this spirit, and to encourage you to never surrender the sovereignty of your own soul’s wisdom.