Into the Shadowlands

I love soft patience, eternal wanderings, desperate seekings. I love the beauty that is present in the inward arching flesh of a woman’s upper-inner thigh or the hubris of an 18-wheeler in its proud regalia of lights. I love frank handshakes, mischievous glints and shouts of mad, righteous fury. I love the honest meeting of people face to face when they remove their masks. I love the beauty that is behind all this.

In the shadowlands, in the place between light and dark all these things are shown. I am the cheerful taker-in of this vast reservoir of humanness, neither loving beauty and strength too much, nor fearing in excess human frailty. We are all capable of superhuman acts and we are all, like Achilles, victims of a fatal flaw.

Only an open heart can take in all these things at once and let them cohabit. It is a tremendous challenge to accept the magnificence and venality of the human spirit with equanimity. There is something terribly touching in the human soul that makes me love man so much and forgive him all his sins.

Yet there are those who love perversely and prefer frailty over strength. It allows them to forgive in themselves the compromises they have made, write them off as inevitable because they see so many others doing the same. But as much as we love our fellow man, he is not the measure of our attainments. We each know that we are capable of something beyond the common lot. We either choose to follow that destiny or turn our backs to it.

And though it often seems the easier thing to turn away, the punishment we receive in consequence reaches deep into our soul and smothers a sacred flame. Without that flame, we surrender our humanity and become hollow, waking shells.

When looking for the answers, I go to the hidden places, the small lairs, the quiet hideouts where the ignorant become wise. In the chiaroscuro of silence and aloneness I am able to hear the replies clearly at last. I have learned that when the answer is complicated, it is not an answer; that when the thoughts are convoluted, they are not thoughts but obstacles to understanding. I look for the simple, the simplest, answers because they are the ones that will prevail.

Answers are simple, excuses are complicated.

I like the intimacy of silence in another’s company, the play of light in one’s mind when one is alone and separate and yet connected in the deepest way to everyone and everything.

I like most of all the timeless, patient wait for beautiful truths to be revealed.