Tuesday, June 15, 2010
"There are two primary choices in life: To accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them."
- Denis Waitley
I had a conversation with a friend this morning. It evolved from the IRS and taxes to the dilemma of staying stuck. We all are trapped in quicksand at one time or another. Perhaps of our own doing, someone elses, or circumstances beyond our control. And then sometimes the people that should be closest to us trap us and keep us trapped, because it is in their best interests not ours.
It is those circumstances that are within our control that keep us from pursuing the life we were meant to have. My friend reminded me of a quote from the Shawshank Redemption, "Get busy living, or get busy dying." We all need to take that to heart.
William Shakespeare said, "You must take your chance." And John F. Kennedy said, "Our fears must never hold us back from pursing our hopes." What do you say?
I believe that every day you "settle" is another day lost. Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting.
I have learned that I can't have everything all tidied up into neat little packages. I can't have the perfect house, the perfect car, a clean garage and a desk of completed projects. But what I can have is a house and a heart full of love. Love with all of its ambiguities and messiness and imperfections. Life can be unpredictable and many times unanticipated. Trauma and drama and stuff messes up our need for tidiness. It is in these times that life and its oddities can become more of a gift than a threat, if only we let it. If only we let it alone and let it take shape the way it will, the way it should, the way that is the right way. Not the way we want it to, not the way we struggle endlessly to control it to be. But the way it will. Henry David Thoreau wrote, "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
Perhaps it is in these 'common hours' that we find the beautiful, the sublime, the unsettling beauty of something so magnificient words cannot describe it. For it is in these hours that we find life. It is in these hours that we become unstuck and the gray places evaporate.
I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.
The Shawshank Redemption