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I Just Have a lot of Feelings

By Billy | September 12, 2011

Ha. So I saw some of the most beautiful things in the world yesterday. And I didn’t bring my camera, so you just don’t get to know what it was like by using your eyes. People made art out of flowers and pine cones and water and ashes and barbed wire and passion flowers and death and life and… and they will only last a few days. It’s perfect. My chest was torn open by this monastery filled with dying pieces of art. My heart was fed directly with a huge hypodermic needle of adrenaline and lust for life and a hunger for words and a screaming for silence. People with glue and scissors spend 1.5 years learning to take nature, put it unnaturally together, and represent nature with it. People walk this world for decades looking at life and forgetting that they are part of it until they look at something that resembles it, and then they have a chance to remember that they are alive. They have a chance to remember that they are beautiful. That Things Are Beautiful

But every now and then a person can realize their role in it all. They can feel the sting and the freedom of their unavoidable condition and they can embrace it, they can swim in it, they can drown in it. This feels like but certainly is not Death.

It is said that Yin supports Yang and Yang protects Yin. Is it any wonder that feeling alive involves feeling a piece of you die? You cannot die before you live, but you cannot live without knowing and tending towards dying. The You that Exists well beyond the you that You let yourself perpetuate cannot die, but also can only live when You (and you) let the you that you (both) put up as a mask finally step down.

Stupid confusing wordplay aside. When we shed the whatever it is that prevents us from seeing clearly, then we feel like every piece of moss and grass is intimately important to our very existence. It isn’t important that we are clean, well shaven, productive, active members of a capitalistic society. We are unavoidably integrated into a more important society and beatles and moss are your coworkers. It’s unsustainable right now, but it’s important to spend time with these colleagues to remember why you’re out there earning money and buying food — why you’re staying alive. It’s unsustainable because the beatle spends time looking for his next meal, while we spend time worrying about how we can afford our next meal. It’s unsustainable because it hurts to shed these layers and it hurts to love every different type of moss. We have a hard time balancing the tension between where we want to be and where we are — and it seems much easier to bounce from one end to the other rather than dampening down to the very center and staying perfectly balanced. Maybe it is easier to live on both sides and always try to remember.

This weekend I did things that I haven’t done but once in a blue moon. Things that I should do so much more frequently. Things that feel like work, things that feel like one cannot possibly engage in them very frequently. The human heart cannot stand so much emotion, the human mind cannot bother to think about everything so intensely, the human spirit cannot be satisfied for a whole lifetime by the same old boring tricks of the sunlight.
Every morning for the last I-don’t-know-how-long, I have cupped just a little water on my hands as part of my morning ritual. And every single morning I have had the exact same thought, “I still can’t believe I’m waterproof.” Seriously. It’s bonkers. Water can’t go through my hand. I am flabbergasted. This gives me hope. Sitting in the sun when you’re comfortable, but the sun is just a little warmer has never become passe. This gives me hope. The sunset gives me hope. The stars and the moon give me hope. The ocean gives me hope. Physics gives me hope. The Pythagorean Theorem gives me hope. Eulers number exponentiated to the quantity of the ratio of every circle in the universe to it’s own diameter times negative one to the one half power — gives me hope. These things remind me that the world will not ever become mundane because it is infinite. No two sunsets are the same, no two moons are the same, and you know what — you’ve never breathed this breath before. My life might not be something special, but it’s never been lived before. The world is always new, and we have only ourselves to blame if we don’t feel just as new.

This hope gives me strength. Strength to believe there can be safety in feeling smallness and bigness together in the same moment. Safety that I will not deplete myself of spirit by counting the rain. Hope that someday I won’t cry when a spiderweb makes a rainbow. Hope that there is a realistic and sustainable way to live as part of nature and as a human being, a thing which seems to have collectively been forgotten. So once again I am strengthened. I am not crazy. I am not lost. I am not walking further in the wrong direction. I just don’t know where I’m going.
לֶךְ־ לְךָ֛…אֶל־ הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ : God said “Go (!) to the place that I will show you.” The first Jew and he didn’t even know where he was going or how to be one. And this is our example.
It’s nice to be in the woods and have these fears, because things make sense out there. The sparrows don’t worry about their next meals, and frankly I don’t have to worry in the woods about my meals because safety is always a few kilometers away, with tea and a fire and fresh bread. When you get home and have to do a little cleaning, then these feelings creep back in. It seems the easiest way to ignore the tension between real-life and Real Living is to worry about the tension, rather than the two ends. Or to look at a jar of glowing mushrooms that you keep next to your pillow and think of nothing else.
Do all people think like this? Or do I just have a lot of feelings?

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