Monday, March 12, 2007


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"Your rebirth has come, not from a destructible
but from an indestructible seed,
through the living and enduring word of God."

~ 1 Peter 1:23

In an irony that causes me to laugh at my self (just the thing for a solo car ride), I am noticing my thoughts turning to some kind of maintenance of a sense of present-moment perception. If there is indeed a foundation, why worry about having one? And then again, is this new spirit as new as I think it is?

In its own silly way, my former life as a commercial photographer comes back to mind. In retrospect, how we would often nit-pick photographs into a visual numbness, now looks absurd. Back then, to say such things as "better is the enemy of good" would've been the medium's own version of blasphemy. Certainly there is much to be said about striving to do a job, and do it so well that new standards of craftsmanship manifest, but this was something of a side-category. This was a crossing-over from healthy pride in a job well done, into a fearful streak of perfectionism. We've all seen this: multiple entanglements in details, much of which are inconsequential, head-trips a success into something unnecessarily out of reach. (Notice I did not say "failure.") Moreover it is not the product (and in a situation like that, one daren't say "finished product") that suffers, it's the adventure of the process and the people involved in its accomplishment. The moment would so easily be surrendered to the ego. Art college had far too much of that. Anxiety too easily defeated the creative process, and competitive resistance would get the best of what can really happen in an environment of more than one soul.

That was then, and I was swept into that competitive tension just as much as anyone else. Twelve years of it. Now I want the ego to surrender to the moment. Maybe all of us now look back at that craziness with a more forgiving vantage point. I try to, at least. And along with that, I am trying to look at situations for the moments they provide- even with all the interactions. Worrying about maintaining a new perspective loses the simple fact that I already have a new way of seeing. Perhaps that is enough. There are few things as preposterously unrealistic than perfectionism. To mindfully go forth is simply self-explanatory. It is perhaps not quite as hard-worked as I am presuming it to be. I have come to understand this, even through reminders of hardships and rejections I've endured. The losses get their respects, but they must be terse glances. Staring back is potentially obstructive to the present. What is unfolding now is lit by what shall be, and it is captivating and hopeful. I dare say one maintains hopefulness simply by being hopeful. Could I have known this years ago? Should I have thought it trite? Would I have listened, if such things had been said to me, in my darkest nights?

All this happening simultaneously has the sensation of a molting experience. Familiar and unfamiliar reside side by side. Perhaps this pervading sense of seeing what I have known with a vision I have not known, is an assurance of a momentum that needs only to breathe to be nurtured. Just this past Saturday evening, after we played music for several hours, a wise friend made an observation with the parable of new wine being poured into a new wine-vessel. Fresh new wine, he said, cannot sustain in the old container; a new one must be made. New ferment, new vessel. Both have been wondrously given to me, and thankfully neither originate with me. This time, Passover is a passing- over from the doubts that came with desolation, into the trust of forward-moving faith. I am beginning to dare to believe this momentum will hit a stride that will continue, though at a rate-of- travel that I daren't predict. That is not for me to ascertain. The most precious gifts will never be confiscated, and the sense of love and beauty need never leave me, especially as I become better able to see the essence of being, beneath the trappings of materiality. Here, a loss of perceived power is a very present consolation.

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1 comment:

Joanna said...

>>There are few things as preposterously unrealistic than perfectionism

Ah, yes something I can well relate to! Perfectionism is an old friend of mine (or enemy??) Profound, intelligent and insightful writing...thanks for linking to my blog and for your comment, I have also linked to yours. Keep up the good work.