I’ve run out of intelligent things to talk about. Becuase, let’s face it, I’ve got an opinion that’s no better, no more valid, and probably no more interesting than any other college grad. But, Ken says, people like to hear other people’s thoughts for just the sake of relating their own world view to these or against them. We all just keep saying the same things, hoping to stumble on some truth. Truth reveals itself to those only truly ready or legitimately unassuming. I seem to only get a look at it in a strobe light type of staccato reveal. I’m sure there is a bigger picture, but I see only snap shots. Oh, woe, another white girl complaining about being young and ignorant.
Therefore, today, while I wait on adventure time that may be happening this evening, I will use the words of another to convey my opinions. While I wait to meet Rachelle to try on a blue blue dress that I’ll wear in her wedding, as I stand beside her and wish her so much happiness on her day, a happiness I have compassion for but that I do not envy in my own pursuit of freedom from all desire, fear and even self. While I wait to meet the much better man who befriends my demons, who shares art and poetry and brightness with the casual exposition of a bit part player. While I wait..here are the philosophising musings of Joesph Campbell about the life I CAN’T wait to reflect upon. I hope the snippets, read one after the next, make sense in the whole scope of things. It’s all a little metaphorical, so take it for what it’s worth.
“As soon as you have refused the suitors, you have elevated yourself out of the local field and put yourself in the field of higher power, higher danger. The question is, are you going to be able to handle it? …You can’t have creativity unless you leave behind the bounded, the fixed, all the rules…The heart is not in the body, so the magician cannot be killed. You have to find and destroy the heart…The adventure is its own reward–but it’s necessarily dangerous, having both negative and positive possibilities, all of them beyond control…Love thine enemies because they are the instruments of your destiny…Escape from sorrow to Nirvana, which is not a place, but a psychological state of mind in which you are released from desire and fear…The word compassion literally means “suffering with.” …There is an important idea in Nietzsche, of Amor fati, the “love of your fate,” which is in fact your life…Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself…..The best advice is to take it all as if it had been of your intention–with that, you envoke the participation of your will…The place to find is within yourself…There’s a center of quietness within, which has to be known and held. If you lose that center, you are in tension and begin to fall apart…It is the state you find when you are no longer driven to life by compelling desires, fears, and social commitments, when you find your center of freedom and can act by choice out of that…And the sixth, finally, is of the hungry ghosts, the souls of those in whose love of others there was attachment, clinging, and expectation…It’s important to live life with the experience, and therefore the knowledge, of its mystery and of your own mystery. This gives life a new radiance, a new harmony, a new splendor. Thinking in mythological terms helps to put you in accord with the inevitables of this vale of tears. You learn to recognize the positive values in what appear to be the negative moments and aspects of your life. The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure…the adventure of being alive.”
I know all that may be a lot to take in, and is a bit of a heady mish-mash. But reading it made an impact. Reading ideass that I relate so much to and agree with every part is refreshing and gives me perspective to continue on my way. Loving my enemies, because they shape who I am. Freeing myself of desire and fear and attachment and insecurity as a daily undertaking. Not being afraid to accept my own personal adventure time, as many thorns are in the roses as there may be, because it will put me on a plain of existence that is above the “normal” uncelebratory life. Suffering will come to us all, but we can temper this with our own compassion, our own willingness to share in the pain of others, to reach our respective ends. Whatever comes our way in life is our own fault. True, we didn’t ask to be born but the things that happen to us are all our own doing and as such our own responsibility. We would do best if we acted that everything that happens, every curve, every loop, was our intention all along. Essentially, making the best of what we have.Say yes to life, and accept your fate gladly. And most importantly for the artist and the lover in us is to remember that creativity comes only when the life is unbound, free as free can be from the noose of society and the rules of who you should be as a person, as a woman, as a man, as a lover, as a friend. It comes back almost always to me as finding the definition of self through the utilization of freedom.
It’s an endless adventure in itself, and easy enough to get sidetracked on merely existing while waiting for clarity. It’s good to retouch the path we are trying to stick to when our mind can be free enough to ponder such. As always, I know the only 100% truth for me is that I’d be lost without my writing.
And now…for something completely different. I’m watching Out of Africa and a female character is talking to Meryl Streep. She says: “I want men to like me, but also, I want to be let alone.” I agree completely, sister. That’s its own adventure to be sure. The struggle is real. Please do tell, how do I enjoy the company and be my own, completely separate, identity intact, connoisseur of the world? The plot thickens. Answers forthcoming.
-Anna R. Kotopple