Friday, 18 May 2007

Not filled ...

Grief feels as though it would fill us with something; but what?

I asked myself that question while trying to articulate more immediate thoughts and feelings centred on the deaths, and the resultant grief, of those already named and their families and friends.

I felt that I already knew the outline of the answer, but awareness of that sense of filling was lost and forgotten in the tautness of sensations created by it; and though I had asked the question, the time was known to be wrong for dwelling on the answer.
There was a need for other things to be said.

Even as I finish writing those last few words, I am slowly shaking my head in a fascinated, and almost amused, acknowledgement of an understanding that occasionally - but increasingly - drifts past me; the sense that almost everything in this life is born of, involves, demonstrates and returns to that essentially self-contradictory state that is both held and set free by that ‘smile’ of a word: - paradox.

The time was wrong; but when the ultimate answer is glimpsed, the time is not wrong: no time is wrong.
Indeed the two words, the two concepts, simply do not belong together except in the immediacy of situations where our physical, worldly, outer and sensational selves drown all faith and hope, all inner strength and conviction, into the depth and dark of near despair.

We are born into a life of sensation: we learn, we act and we survive through our senses, but acting according to our feelings in all things is where we came from, not where we are today, and not where we are going. Our animal selves remain very much alive, continuing to play their part in this troubled world, but mankind has moved on; indeed it is only through moving on that we have become mankind.

We retain an inbuilt susceptibility to being unduly influenced by our feelings, and an awareness of this susceptibility is one facet of our increasing maturity.
We are born to elevate ourselves above our physical instincts: not to annihilate them - (impossible), nor to completely suppress and deny them - (improbable, and in many cases inadvisable), but to acknowledge them and to become aware of them as being only a part of what makes us what and who we are.

Our awareness of our susceptibility must replace the prominence of the susceptibility itself.
Knowing that we can easily be led astray by our feelings, must replace our immediate following of their leading.

Grief, perhaps more than anything else, brings the strength of our feelings and the power of emotion into a full-frontal confrontation with our supposed maturity. Reality is buried deep beneath incomprehensibility and inconsolability.

The pressure welling up within brings us, as it were, to a bursting point; we do burst at times, physically, when something in us shifts in such a way that a crack opens, we sob, and the tears flow. The wave flows uncontrollably over us until, sometimes quite unexpectedly, it ebbs away to leave us safely upon firm ground once more. We feel better for it.
In this way our grief can be transformed into a quiet emptiness; we gaze across the calm ocean of life from our lonely spot upon the shore, until some small craft sails into view; some sight, some sound – a word, a laugh - some object: an ordinary everyday touch from the past, from long ago or from only yesterday. We rest our eyes and mind upon it for the briefest of moments, and we begin to reach for it, but it blurs within our tears; it is but an echo.
The sting returns; yesterdays are suddenly all we have … and the wave builds itself once more to crash upon our shore.
All such moments are filled with the emptiness of these echoes.
But they also lead toward an answer …

The physical release of this pressure can deceive us.
It is necessary and it is good; it is to be welcomed and encouraged, and on its own it is capable of bringing any of us to an eventual acceptance, and to a continuation of our lives. But within us, despite our experience of mounting pressure, and its release through the breaking of these waves, the pressure remains constant.

The sensation of pressure can be so great that we can become as sailcloth in a storm, or as a drum-skin spread and taut to its very limit. Awareness of pressure within is drowned out by the fierce burning sensation of our outer skin stretched until it must tear open.
When all is calm, we continue to gently hold onto ourselves as our shell hums with a residual heat from that pain, but we feel empty, hollowed out, numbed for a time to whatever had been filling us. We may feel deadened to almost everything, but if we dare to drag ourselves from the mock-comfort and the lethargy of this place, from the meaninglessness and pointlessness that form the framework of this mindset, and if, in so doing, we can hold back from the ‘brave face’ of brightly venturing into activity while feeling able to do so, we may recognize the beginnings of the answer to that question: -
What is it with which grief would fill us ?

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

hit counters
Cox Cable High Speed

St Blogs Parish Directory
Religion Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites - The internets fastest growing blog directory Religion and Spirituality Blog Directory See blogs and businesses for United Kingdom