In our e-salon this morning, the four of us found ourselves at an odd convergence. In the downs. The doldrums. The intersection of Who-the-hell-am-I? and What Do I Think I’m Doing?

The landmarks, the expressions, of this difficult juncture were a bit different for each of us, as were our ideas about how to find the way past it. But the fact is, each of us was feeling a similar pain.

Being a writer, an artist, a musician is a sacred path. And that path is a tough one. The road to Golgotha. A road filled with spikes and bear traps. An ice road with dangerous deeps under a thin and cracking surface.

Maybe this road is no different from the one that anyone travels daily. But as one whose life is made of feeling deeply and looking with magnified focus at what makes us what we are, the trip is hard-going, sometimes.

Our heads go on without us. Our shoulds tug at our coattails. We tell ourselves that we have nothing special to offer. We let the small wounds and slights of daily life puncture our tires. We think too much, as my mum used to tell me.

What we have such a hard time remembering is that the road runs backward and forward at the same time; that each downturn has its pinnacle, from which the view is exalted; exquisite.

Doesn’t make the dark valleys any lighter, but it’s good to remember that the high places are there.

As my friend J and I were just reflecting, the road is like the one that runs through water: the rip-current that lurks in a magnificently turbulent sea. The person who fights the undertow struggles against it to the limit of her strength. Is pulled under. Drowns. The person who understand that the current soon returns the swimmer to the surface will surrender to it, be pulled under, and will pop back up again at a place closer to shore. Because the nature of the invisible road is to give us back to the surface again. One of us drowns, one is spared. The difference is how we deal with it.

We need the upside view. We work for it, live for it. Sometimes we struggle through the uphill climb to reach it, not trusting the downhill momentum that will get us halfway there. If we just let it be what it is.

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