“Meister Eckhart…says…’God becomes and God unbecomes,’ or translated it means that God is only our name for it and the closer we get to it the more it ceases to be God. So then you are on a real safari with the wildness and danger and otherness of God.”
Give up the world; give up self; finally, give up God…
Keep this and only this:
what your heart beats loudly for
what feels heavy and full in your gut.
“The mystical experience of the ‘dark night of the soul,’ when old convictions and conformities dissolve into nothingness and we are called to stand naked to the terror of the unknown…When we seek to engage in debate about the ways of God, the way of unknowing reminds us of the grace of silence, of questions over answers.”
“All ends I’ve chased after have come up empty one after the other…for all my obedience to God, effort to do the right thing and be the good person – I’ve just become the world’s doormat and neglected resident…I’ve tried to follow so much wisdom, advice and guidance that I have no convictions in my center anymore.”
- From the private journals of a dear soul-friend
“The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I’m always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart”
- Cosmic Love, Florence and The Machine
We look to the ones with answers. We say, “Ah, now they are truly onto something.” We flock to their formulas and their models and their successes as if it’s the great blue Paul Bunyan ox, Babe, who has graciously promised to shoulder our problems and give us a ride, wee, wee, wee, all the way home.
But I say if you want to really be blown away watch the ones for whom the answers no longer work. The messy ones who make the emperor blush because they won’t stop screaming out, “I can see every inch of your naked flesh and I know the clothes you claim to be wearing aren’t adding a single bit of warmth to your body when a storm blows in.” Watch the ones whose only option left is to lean into the questions. The ones who are uninhibited by the unknown because they’ve jumped into that gaping hole and found themselves, by grace, unswallowable. Watch the ones who willingly stand with Feist and say, “I feel it all” even when it scares the shit out of them.
It’s not brave to have answers.
It’s brave to watch them get erased, obliterated, rubbed out with a half-chewed cheap eraser on the end of a #2 pencil, the kind that leaves black nasty smudges in the wake of that math formula that should have contained, as promised, a solvable response on the right side of that equals sign.
I don’t want the hero for which everything works out in the end. Give me the hero for which nothing ever resolves and the game plan is constantly shifting and the only certainty is the uncertain. Give me the heroine that let’s herself break so the light can get in and the soul can spill out and the ego dies away because she can’t possibly ever know a solution to this glorious obsession we call life.
Give me a hero who eats mystery for breakfast and mana for dessert and sips on hot vulnerability and fills his pockets with a gold that burns to ashes anytime he tries to cash it in as proof that he’s arrived. Give me the heroine for whom the rules are always changing, who takes the status quo that is consistently thrust upon her and absentmindedly stuffs it under her mattress, making her restless bones ache each night like the princess with her pea.
Give me the hero who has chased down every mapped road known to humanity and still hasn’t found what he’s looking for and yet doesn’t feel the need to apologize for his empty-handedness. The hero who says, like my neighbor that drives a red Mustang and counts smashed beer cans and works out everyday because it makes him happy, “I’m just gonna do me. I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I’ve gotta do me.”
Give me the heroine who burns from within with an un-snuffable pilot flame, one that has run out of soul’s to blame, including her own AND some human-smiting divinity, and has traded guilt and shame and bitterness and despair in for the fierce quest to be the sole one in charge of making something of her life. Even if that something is wallpapered in flaking black velvet question marks.
You can keep your answers, and your picket fences and your packaged boxes of pre-fabricated fantasies of a grope-able comfort. You can keep your padded cells. I want the mess that’s out there blowing in the wind, riding on feathers, climbing up trees, pulsing with tides that could just as soon drown you. Wild. Free. Heroic. Unpromised. Mysterious. Seducing. Just. Out. Of. Reach.
Give me the answerless. There-in lies my paradoxical hope.