“I want to tell you everything, everything all at once.
“I don’t want to be plod-patient, setting it down in sequence: first the plague, then the cave-in, then the years of Other Business, when everything seemed like a burden to get out of the way before real life could start. Everyone knows this is real life, it’s all real life, sixty seconds of real life every minute, no one gets less.
“But you can take less.
“…You live through a day, and at the end you grumble, “But I didn’t do anything” …but second by second you did do things, you occupied every second, just as you occupy every second of every day.
“Here’s the thing, the cruicial thing: your life is full. And if you don’t realize that… then you’re just like the rest of us, but that’s no excuse.”
“Vigilant” – James Alan Gardner
What story shall I tell, this week? Shall I tell of persistence (“I will persist. I will win.”) and the role it played in winning the NaNoWriMo Challenge (1700 words a day, every day, for thirty days)? Shall I talk about hunting, and then processing the deer our hunting group took, and how you can find new and unexpected ways to appreciate nature even though it’s an activity that occasionally has people frothing at the mouth over how morally objectionable it all is? Shall I go further and speak of those differences in philosophy? Should I relate difficulties, or talk of boredom with the exercises and repetitions and how that very state is yet another example of resistance by the old blueprint?
What story would you like to hear?
Because life is all about stories. All that life is, really, is stories, each story a crystal drop of memory, shining and glittering, telling you just that little bit more about yourself. The stories you experience. The ones you tell yourself, in the silence of your mind. The ones you collect from other people – because the stories you find appealing or appalling still tell you something about who you are. The ones you share.
The one you become.
And whether or not we are proud of our story ultimately depends on how closely we come to match the siren call of our true selves – our inner ideal. The explosive and confident imaginings of a child, tempered by life and inattention of the Guardian at the Gate into vague underpinnings of dissatisfaction and a feeling that something’s just not right.
“What is the result when a dynamo is generating electricity, the circuit is cut off and there is no outlet? The Dynamo stops.
“It will be exactly the same with you, if you entertain thoughts which are not in accordance with the Infinite and cannot therefore be polarized…”
Master Key 10:19 and 20 – Charles Haanel
And yet abundance will not simply drop out of the sky – you have to identify what it is you want and then make the application – you have to work for it.
But really, what is the point of drawing imaginary shapes on the wall and manipulating them in orientation and color? What does that have to do with finding and creating the life you’ve wanted all along?
What’s the point of a child finding shapes in the clouds? Just random play?
Not likely. Like the exercise, finding shapes in the clouds sharpens the imagination; sharpening the imagination allows us to more clearly define our vague desires into a whole that is clearly seen, intricately mapped.
And yet it’s an elusive exercise, this one – oh, it’s easy enough to run through the entire thing with eyes closed, seeing the figures with visual internal imagination; but with eyes open? Seeing with the physical eye as the mind’s eye draws it?
Impossible, you say. It’s imaginary; how can I possibly see it when it doesn’t exist?
How do you see your future, when it doesn’t yet exist? How do you see figures in the clouds? How do you see the imaginary lines that create constellations out of random stars? For that matter, how do you see intangibles like wisdom, courage, strength, freedom? Yet you know those exist; as, perhaps, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny do not. But as Terry Pratchett pointed out in the Discworld book Hogfather, we start out by believing in the little lies so as to prepare us to believe in the big ones like freedom, like justice – because you can’t show me an atom of mercy; you can’t sift down the substance of the world and locate a grain of hope. But you know they exist.
And yet it’s all tricks of the mind. Just like seeing an imaginary figure with physical eyes. How sharp will you let your imagination become, in your quest for your future? How much will you play at seeing shapes in the clouds? Because that’s a key component to it, too; working hard to force it to come will get you nowhere but frustration – employ the law of relaxation and just play.
I still can’t see the whole figure yet; three adjoining lines is as far as I’ve gotten. But I will persist. Like NNoWriMo, it’s just a matter of doing a little a day, every day, until the cumulative effect is felt.