There Has To Be A Way

It is one of those nights when, after retiring for the evening, Attila is snoring in his bed, and I am sitting in the lamp lit living room late into the night, having arisen to deal with my demons, who will not let me sleep.

There is usually something going on that stirs the demons up, brings them roiling and spitting to the surface of my mind. I think it is that it would have been my little brother’s 65th birthday a few days ago. I had found myself suddenly weeping, at first I thought for no reason, then I realized the date and its significance.

Life holds some harsh realities. Time does not heal the wounds these realities inflict, although it does provide increasingly intermittent relief.

This is similar to the concept of the “dark night of the soul”, extolled by Ekhart Tolle:

“It can happen if something happens that you can’t explain away anymore, some disaster which seems to invalidate the meaning that your life had before. Really what has collapsed then is the whole conceptual framework for your life, the meaning that your mind had given it. So that results in a dark place.”

My life has had little continuity. It has been lived in segments that end, usually abruptly, sometimes violently, before another segment slowly develops. The edges aren’t smooth, the transitions do not flow. In my life it is not the conceptual framework that disintegrates, it is the underlying physical framework that collapses, significant betrayals, loss of loved ones, loss of income, death threats, isolation, things that change the context of life. As the context changes, naturally the conceptual framework must evolve.

What it comes down to, on these long dark nights, is that the demons are mine alone, and they and I must face each other from time to time. The “if onlys”, “surely nots”, “what ifs”, and awe at the incredible series of “perfect storms” that have engulfed my journey here on planet earth, they are what visit me in the night.

Tonight’s demon is the one that says I can change the unchangeable, that I can control the uncontrollable. My mind races for hours, trying to find a way out, a solution to the unsolvable, a release from the pain of a particular harsh reality. But that is a futile exercise. If there were solutions I would have found them. Some things in life just suck, and there is nothing you can do to alter them.

Eventually the “there has to be a way” demon and I will stare each other down. It will concede that I am doing all I can, it will allow me to feel the strength in that knowledge, it will allow me to flow around and then beyond what cannot be changed. This occurs with a rush of exhaustion, of self-acceptance, of relief, and then, finally, sleep.

I am not yet there tonight, but I will be.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

8°C
Date: 1:00 AM EDT Friday 1 September 2017
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 7.5°C
Dew point: 4.8°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: NW 11 km/h

Quote

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”
Richard Feynman
1918 – 1988

6 Comments

  1. I love your quote today. It is so true. I do it to myself all the time. All. The. Time.

    I have many demons, some interior ones and some exterior ones.

    I am watching the rescue operations going on in Texas, and my friend Ava just had to be rescued finally yesterday – I keep thinking about her and how awful it must be to be yanked from your comfortable home and thrown into a mass of people with 2 cats and hardly anything else. I hope she doesn’t lose her cats! The scenes of the air rescues there are just stunning. Some houses have water to the tip-tops of the roofs! Only the chimneys are showing, just barely. My god. What is going on?

  2. I too am concerned for Ava Bex. I used to read her online journal, and we have corresponded from time to to time ever since. The flooding in Texas is beyond imagination, in South Asia, and a relatively benign flooding event in Southwestern Ontario.
    Hurricane Hazel http://www.hurricanehazel.ca/ , was the big storm event in my part of the world, 81 people lost their lives. The upshot was a movement to regional flood control, preventing greedy developers from develping housing in flood prone areas, allowing drainage systems to empty naturally.

    Part of what it going on is development for profit, another part is trusting citizens that assume the “authorities” governing regulations and planning have their back, and another part is hubris in what planning does exist. Working with nature is not currently a significant part of human cultures, they are more focused on the distribution and accumulation of wealth and power. Nature commands respect, and I do not use the word command lightly.

    Galveston 2.1 m
    Corpus Christi 3 m
    Houston 24 m
    Dallas 131 m
    Austin 149 m
    New York City 10 m

    Mist Cottage 96 m
    Rideau Camp 152 m
    Traditional Camp 247 m
    Toronto 76 m
    Calgary 1,045 m
    Edmonton 645 m

    Source: http://elevationmap.net/#menu2

  3. The mind … doesn’t it just go over and over the same anxious thoughts, digging the ruts deeper and deeper with every pass, so that it becomes even more difficult to stop obsessing over our worries.

    We all experience that, probably. It’s a wonder we don’t drive ourselves crazy.

    What works for me is a repetitive positive affirmation that soothes my anxiety and allows me to sleep.

    It’s disappointing, still, that I can’t solve my problems by thinking! My thoughts don’t offer plausible solutions … I hit a wall of reality and situations I don’t and can’t control … and it seems I just can’t accept this … that there MUST be another way, if only I could figure out what it is!

    I haven’t had too many disastrous circumstances in my life. None, actually; been fortunate. So maybe my worries are smaller and based simply on human fear and disappointment. Still, I think I understand how you feel at these times, and I hope you’re better today.

    -Kate

  4. Thanks Kate! I do believe that you do understand the feelings I am describing, I see evidence of it constantly in your writing, in the way you treasure the wonderful things you do have, in that you are a good listener, a good friend.

    I feel very lucky to be in such a good situation that I can safely take time out to deal with the demons. When in the midst of a circumstance, there is no time for contemplation, action is required, it is only afterwards, when the safety of shore has been reached, that thoughts and feelings roil.

    I am better today, and even though I knew last night that I would be, the process had to evolve as it would. Positive affirmations help. Writing helps. Tarot is helpful as well, in redirecting thoughts out of the ruts and back to flowing around the obstacles.

Comments are closed.