I recently found this quote from Leonard Cohen that perfectly summarizes where I’m at–despite daily naps, regular feedings, an unbroken writing chain, time with friends, a great connection with family, ways to unwind–in my life.
And that’s how I feel. Just a little bit off. A little bit unwell. Like I am surviving a force of nature rather than embracing the fact that I AM a force of nature.
A friend tracked down the poem that this quote hails from. It didn’t help me figure out how to become the ocean. And, despite the fact that I heard a great clap of thunder when I first read it and it tugs earnestly at my soul each time I reread it, I’m having the hardest time becoming that ocean.
…the best I can tell, the strongest force or power we have in our lives is Choice. We can’t control what life sends our way or every single detail in a day, but we can choose how we react to the chaos. And that is how we go from merely surviving the swell to being the swell. We take the power from the outside and we turn it into our own power.
The thing about Choice is that it isn’t our ideas, our ideals, or even our resolve. It starts as these things, true, but Choice is our action, reaction, what we do.
Fear, panic, worry, hurt feelings, doubt, exasperation, anger, prejudice–those are a little canoe. Preparation, learning, love, understanding, calm, patience, charity, doing what calls your soul–those are the ocean.
I have a feeling that, once we start choosing how upsets and setbacks will effect us, choosing how we spend our time, being present for the precious things in our lives, our lives will become our natural fit, a place of comfort even though they or we may not be “perfect.” With that kind of driving force, that natural power, that raw energy, of course we’ll be the ocean. And there’s no telling what old oceans might…