Monday, November 24, 2014

Eighth anniversary

Sunlight, textile factory, Lianyungang, China

 Today marks the eighth anniversary of this blog.

The space has consisted, over these eight years, largely as a platform for notes to myself; it is, in essence, my own diary about my thoughts on inner work for that day. There has never been a real plan for the future here; just a space in which I remark on my observations and ponderings. It has built up like sediment in a riverbed over these eight years, and there is now a thick layer of prose that stretches out behind me from this point. So much of it, in fact, that it would be more or less impossible for me to remember everything I have written.

Textile factories are fixed things made of steel and concrete, with machines in them that do surprisingly complex things, given how simple a thing fabric seems to be.

All of the life in them comes from the light that fills them; not from the fixed things, but from the illumination that reveals them. So I've been fascinated with the light in these huge spaces ever since the first time I started to walk through them nearly 30 years ago.

Textile weaving is one of mankind's most ancient technologies; and the fact that we have modernized it doesn't change that much about it, in the end. One might suppose that the weaving of an inner life has undergone some kind of equivalent modernization; yet the inner life of mankind resists the technology of fixed things, because it consists mostly of the light that falls into our Being, and what it illuminates.

This is a unique process which every human being has to discover on their own all over again.

Or not.

At this writing, I still find myself in China. I lost my father this year; friends are dying, and yet life carries on. I'm forced to confront the reality of today.

I don't like doing this; as I age, I have seen that I vacillate between enormous forces of resistance and a stubborn, stupidly Dutch willingness to thrust myself forward into the unknown and take the blows. It's a contradiction; but then everything in me is.

I've always wished I could be a human being without the contradictions, but by this time, it seems obvious that won't happen. By now, the process is one of accommodation, in which I acknowledge them and try to live peacefully, in so far as possible, rather than forcing conditions which won't really change me, and are more likely to damage.

We all make compromises. It is our awareness of it that separates us from ourselves, if we have that faculty. A man or woman cannot prevent his or her sin; but they can know it.

And I think it is in the knowing it, here, that I begin to live.

 Generally speaking, I change the sign off every year on the blog anniversary date. This year, I am going to dispense with that tradition, since last year's signoff seems comprehensive enough to bear up under another year of use.

It is a word that doesn't wear out.


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