“It’s only a choice. No effort. No work. No job. No saving of money. Just a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy bigger guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see us all as one.” – Bill Hicks
No matter what the plutonic truth of our reality, whether we are one coherent soul creating an illusion of itself or a rash of individual, temporal, corporeal beings, here once and then gone, the experience of this world cannot be denied.
There is, in this world, great tragedy and great pain; a gap between the world as it could be, if we were indeed angels, and the world as it is, profited on and run as a competition to the death by our demons.
There is loss, and sadness, and the terrible truth and unfairness of our fragile, incapable, and doomed bodies. We get very little right. We hold very little together. We lose too much in translation, and love each other far differently than we are loved.
“Ninety-nine percent of the world’s lovers are not with their first choice. That’s what makes the jukebox play.” ― Willie Nelson
What is one to do?
If nothing else we are learning beings who need not be made the fool. So once we know the pain of a fall, the crash of steel, the quick cold hand with which this earth takes back her flesh, we next time flinch. And the time after that, recognize early the acid of the situation and strategize about how to avoid, to protect, and to fight back.
It would be quite the dumb animal who walks daily into the ice cold stream until he is slashed, and consumed, and washed away. And yet, it is that old fish, descaled and barbed in the mouth, the claw marks on a balded mountain lion, the dog missing one leg who runs to the door excited with with every knock, who loves this life. Who is happy.
“When you stop caring what people think, you lose your capacity for connection. When you’re defined by it, you lose our capacity for vulnerability.” – Brene Brown
If we stay open to this world we must face its madness, its horrors, its imperfect systems that rig the game for those who are like those in charge. We must miss, desperately, our best loves, and watch those who needn’t die die. If we are open we must love and we must cry. And still love.
The alternative is to become cold, and quiet, and safe beneath layers of tricks and thick leather which protects our skin from scars but also from sunlight such that we feel nothing. A snail pink and slimy in flesh.
And that would be right. That would be what a wise animal would do. They would learn. They would not be so dumb as to still love and surrender. They would not be so dumb as to love.