Monday, August 24, 2015
First Day of School
Every day is first day of school. When I was a kid, I was so eager to grow up because I felt it would "mean something" to be a grown up, as if being a child wasn't enough, as if life was postponed, a recursive symphony.
If I could talk to my inner child as that impatient imp she was then, I would tell her to exist fully in the present moment. And she was, for the most part, when playing with her toys, but always, always she played with a gut feeling that something else -- something better, something luminous and exciting that would "change everything" -- was lingering around the corner. She was infinitely curious. And because of this, she felt there was always something lacking.
That's probably why I became a writer. I already had a story to tell. The blank page of life presented itself before me with overwhelming plenitude. Writers wouldn't practice their craft if they felt there was nothing left to say.
Little did I know my younger self, the star student, would eventually have to unlearn quite a few things. I would have to let go of many things that I once thought would give life meaning, so long as I held on tightly to those things.
Things, stuff ... the detritus of life. All the shit we can spare because it just doesn't fucking matter. All the crap that makes us feel as if we're missing out on something, when, in reality, we wouldn't be missing anything if we simply let go of everything that holds us down.
Then, one fine day, you hit the wall. That future you dreamed of with such enthusiasm arrives when you hit that wall. The real schooling begins when you break it down and it crumbles to the floor. Humpty-Dumpty, the wall, the whole thing, boom. Gone.
The best lesson comes from a silent teacher. You. You tell fear and scarcity to go fuck itself.
What's left is the child's spirit in an adult body -- the innocence of forgiveness, the wisdom of unconditional love. That little girl still plays with her toys -- jobs, a roof over her head, money problems, books still unwritten -- but she knows better. The future came and went and then so what?
Our bodies our born and our bodies die. Everything else in between is a glimmer of the infinite. The now is that thing that is luminous and exciting, worth holding on to, even though it constantly slips through our fingers.
Everyday is the first day of school.