Saturday, December 12, 2015

Maintaining Momentum


I wrestle with these words. My meaning’s awry. Each opening paragraph is too much about me. Yet how else do you or I see the world but through our own experience? Then too, how else is our time spent but by dragging along our past, or by envisioning our future, while the actual-factual interpretation of that which is our very Present slides by, moment for moment? Which of us is so scientifically precise as to make our words indubitably impeccable, our efforts one-hundred percent focused, our assumptions held in abeyance, our ability entirely to be objective always in the forefront? Esoteric-ism inveigles both precepts and percepts; either one recalls a reference, or not. Indeed, how much else does one in innocence wrestle with in the hours that make for months and millenniums? And just how very individual and unique is the moment by moment challenge to each, despite the simple honesty of any one of us being the same species.

Maintaining momentum occurs for me in the space between. Between inception and Product is one’s swing of the pendulum; an Idea to concrete Reality. Between flight or fight is not so much ‘freeze’, but waiting to Act. (And, “knowing when to wait, is like silent action,” Goethe(?) says.) Gestation, incubation, cogitation; these are the moments in which we wrangle with what to do.

For me, early mornings are worst. Pain immobilizes. First movements are agony. My psyche stretches in the dark beyond my burning cage of bare bones, and over the next two or three hours I drift into the dawn, determining to be positive, to be affirmative, to be contributive; just to be! In lulls between consciousness and being insensate I'm aware that I'm not really sleeping, and the pillow against my ear creaks with my breathing as my skeleton reassembles with the muscle-contractions I must exercise to get myself yet again aright. To not give in. Is that not what the marathon runner who rises early in the morning to train must say? To not give in. Is that not what the person who hates their job says? To not give in. Is that not what the long-suffering and the winded and the beleaguered and the harried must perforce practice? These are the moments that lead one into the other. They are neither fight nor flight. They are action, the verb, the very moments of waiting itself, one by one, since twixt each tiny tick of time that separates a person from giving in, and from persisting, lies maintaining the momentum. For me.

No one sees your pain when you're alone. It serves no other than you. Few can relate to it, even though they too may have had a broken nose, or a broken leg, or have been called a fool, or named even much worse. To each of us is there is an incremental curriculum in life's lessons of adaptability and experience. (Yet let me hasten here not to be too ontological; the meanings we give events matter more to us than that events were not really made to give us meanings; surely? Or why else be so easily presumptive that an entire weather system rearranges itself, “just `cause I am here,”?) Do accidents and coincidences and collisions coincide with our beings specifically for our very own ‘benefit’? Like, “meant to be”? Is chronic pain itself, as some have suggested to me, karmic. Very many would say yes. Some would say no. Some would say, “I don't know.”


That was the phrase my good friend, Jim, wrote in his journal of our conversation today, ‘I don't know’. That, and the words Ontology and Entelechy. (For even at our age, Jim brings a note book to our talks over tea.) And now, as I bring this page to its end, we must leave off satisfied or not with what exactly I was getting at through all of this: In the dictum of life, it's surely ok to say ‘I don't know’; and moment by moment to keep on going in the grace of one’s maintenance of momentum. You see, these words are not just about me, but about you too.



1 comment:

  1. One indicator of an exceptionally intelligent person is their ability to say "I don't know!" Thanks for your post. I appreciated your honesty about the effects of ongoing, disabling pain.

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