Thursday, August 16, 2007

ad destinatum persequor

"It’s a long day,
a long way into your arms,
a long, long looking forward,
through a straining eye.

And all the clouds are weary whales
swimming by to find you.
And I’m sorry, sorry how,
slow my steps are
slow as hours.

To be there,
To be there where you are."

~ The Innocence Mission, There

When contemplating an aspiring quest, about a forward excursion, we might imagine the passage of time as well as physical geographic motion. To express, "moving in a direction," we are as close to the imagery of our hopes as we are to tangible, demonstrative movement. It is easily the both, and to be truly conscious of how my transitions are directed, it is necessary to sense my life’s movement as it manifests. Places between places. At times, we dwell among the passageways, when destinations seem so far away and impossible, when roads are barely visible, when provisional motion is all that can be known.

Though it may appear that we are standing still, we are in motion, indeed. Might it be detectable by contrast to our general context of change- even in varied paces- or can we notice our movement simply as we can be carried by the tides of time? Of late, I am experiencing the varied and unpredictable steps of progress. It is enough to embrace an ethos of forward motion and constructive change, but indeed I can only do so much to dictate the pace. Trying to learn, trying to build, trying to forge ties; such human processes are passageways to new abilities to share forth, new places of communion, new relationships. But the passages, the avenues, the means, are dynamic spaces themselves with lives of their own. And with that in mind, my understanding of acceptance is to embrace those around me, and to comprehend the pace of each situation- especially when I can only adjust the tempo to a seemingly limited extent. Perhaps, then, sensing the movement of my life is to simply surrender the grasp on its control. Being watchful is really not about being in charge. Today I sat outside my workplace, during a coffee break- the gift of a rejuvenating moment- and drawing in some of the sea-spiced air my attention turned to how the latter-summer light trimmed all that could be seen. Starting to write something down, a passerby asked me if I was journaling, and then proceeded to marvel at this weather. The conversation replaced the writing. Sensing our places is a simple observance.

Absorbing the journey to the full has come to comprise a savouring of the times of transition. Through the consoling presence of friends, I have learned how trials and what appear to be dead-ends can become open paths. It seems as if I have had to experience such ends enough times to learn not to wish away time. Recognizing the dynamism in what is temporal, it becomes possible to enjoy what we know as fleeting and to welcome the changes for which I have hoped to see. My turn in this road offers the chance to be consciously aware of what I can do that I have wished to do. Conversely, there is also that which I do not wish to do (again). Still another worthy purpose in learning to be watchful is to value what is, balancing out my old habit of squinting at horizons. Being fully awake to who and what is present before me, is the paradoxical pursuit of destiny.

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