On Letting Go and Keeping On…

Posted: December 9, 2012 in Freedom of Speech, Identity, Writing
Tags: , ,
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day and you shall begin it well and serenely.
This was the view from my hotel room when I spent a night in Perpignan during my French holiday in October. Waking up to the sight of the foothills of the pyrenees, dusted lightly with snow on the higher peaks, made my heart soar. I am not in such a picturesque spot anymore. And I long for some beauty and joy to start my mornings, as the shortest day approaches in England. As darkness prevails.
But I have my methods for letting go and keeping on. Tai chi, therapy, friends, mindfulness. So, with what sometimes feels like a gargantuan effort, I am able to take Emerson’s advice and begin tomorrow ‘well and serenely’.
You might have thought I had this down pat by now. If you had read one of my ‘juvenalia’ poems from around 20 years ago, entitled, yes, Let It Go. The younger, earnest, anxious me wrote:
Let It Go
Start again,
Breathe slow.
Ease your pain, let it go.
Find a way through the darkness,
Explore the worst that you know.
But in the end, you must
Let it go.
It’s taken me two decades but I think I am learning to do just that.
  1. Matthew says:

    I think we may be in similar places:

    Rainer Rilke (From the man watching)

    What we choose to fight is so tiny!
    What fights us is so great!
    If only we would let ourselves be dominated
    as things do by some immense storm,
    we would become strong too, and not need names.

    When we win it’s with small things,
    and the triumph itself makes us small.
    What is extraordinary and eternal
    does not want to be bent by us.
    I mean the Angel who appeared
    to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
    when the wrestler’s sinews
    grew long like metal strings,
    he felt them under his fingers
    like chords of deep music.

    Whoever was beaten by this Angel
    (who often simply declined the fight)
    went away proud and strengthened
    and great from that harsh hand,
    that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
    Winning does not tempt that man.
    This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
    by constantly greater beings.

    • brilliant poem thanks Matthew. Yes, once we embrace defeat I think everything works itself out … in the end x

      • Matthew says:

        I think I have been fighting to be understood, to be known, to be seen. Now I realize it doesn’t matter. I can surrender, but still send messages in a bottle knowing someone else out there may feel known, understood, and seen in reflection. That is the value of art of a solipsistic nature.

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