Wednesday, May 27, 2009


You know what weakness is. It's what we crumple with. Unavoidable, of course. If illness or accident or crime don't get us, time will. It's in the way our atoms spin -- with a wobble. So it's not about perfection. Nothing in this universe is perfect, or can be. What then of strength? It's what we use to distinguish ourselves from, well, from what is weak. It's what we use to stand, when we want to fall.

We're born with only emotion. There is no capacity for rationality. That comes later. Of course they whine and cry and are selfish. That's what animals are. It's not that we eliminate emotion. We just grow larger than it. If we do. I've had occasion in my life to be around children. It isn't their fine minds and grasp of detail that endears them to us. We may notice such a thing, and be impressed, but our fondness comes from their purity. There must be an insight there, something about knowledge complicating things. Well, of course. It's a Tree of Life / Tree of Knowledge thing. But we have to be larger than purity. We grow into a new sort of purity, as innocence becomes integrity. If it does. If we do.

I asked myself just now, what would I give up, to be happy. The answer is, and must be, nothing. I don't have to give anything up to be happy. I just have to be happy. I make myself laugh, here, with some of what I write. I am almost perfect, and that's just not fair. So beautiful, so tall, so powerful and manly. You yourself rush here several times each day in the dire hope that I've condescended to offer you some slight droplet from the unbounded ocean of my genius. Is that fair, that I should have so much and you so little? Lord. Why is that so funny to me. But I wouldn't give any of myself up. I am a collection of imperfections. But I am fond of myself. I respect myself, for all that it's very much complicated by darker things. Much weakness, and some strength, and it's not quite enough, but if I don't have hope, perhaps it will be given to me?

It's not being in charge that makes us happy. It's accepting the way things are. Which isn't to say we can be irresponsible. Sometimes we're in charge, and we mistake that for happiness. But it's being in charge. Being. Now, I'm in the mud, in the cold rain. And I am happy. Now I am with my beloved, who is tender and lovely, and I am happy. Now, I'm working hard, striving toward some goal, in pain, and happy.

There it is. Tonight I made some marginal improvement in a benchmark workout, listening to the dull hateful voices in my head, dim, stupid. At one point I was two minutes ahead of my old time. Faded back to a one minute lead for the finish, but that's good. If I'd listened to the voices, only, I surely would have only tied, for all that there had been a lead. But we're discovering effective coaching, and looking at the numbers it's clear that there is a necessary maximum time for each round. For me, it can't be over a minute. I had some one oh fives, one tens, one fifteen, one twenty. Lose those and I'll add another round. Improvement. Finding new strength. It's not dramatic. It's not even steady. But it's being better, and it makes me happy.

It takes another voice, though. There's never silence. Coaching, or music, or self-talk -- or the old voices of failure. Because there's always going to be the pain. It's being happy about it that makes the difference. Happiness is accepting the inevitable, and seeing the good in it, and loving the good.

My weakness? It will always be with me. It is my addiction. Fear and isolation and rage. I don't know that I'll give them up. But if I can't, perhaps I'll be strong, through them. Am I inconsistent, here? That's because, like all children, I am emotional, and only just learning about rationality. Had you fooled, didn't I. Almost.

When I crumple, with weakness, who will I find by my side, to lean on.


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