The wild gift

Out of the waters rises the gift.

The morning comes full of gifts. There is the gazelle that prances in my hallway waiting to be chased. (And, of course, I chase her.) Then there is the vision of a life beyond and parallel to this one – composed only of beauty and pleasure and wisdom – that she offers to me (and of course I take). And then there is the raging river that she unleashes on me and that I receive kneeling, mouth and soul wide open. These are the morning’s gifts – and of course I take them all.

Life itself is a wild gift, when we are willing to accept it in all its willful, unkempt beauty. It is a gift that comes with sharp edges, that is turncoat and murderous, but also abundant and embracing. It cannot be contained, sedated or taken in parts; it must be drunk full, the sweet stream running beside the bitter one. You cannot ever have half of life; you must drink it all.

The kind man stands beside the scheming man. The success of the day is matched by the disgrace of the night. Generosity follows injustice but always remains one step behind. Suicide beckons beside procreation. Love is joined by betrayal, pleasure by hurt. We cannot separate these Siamese twins. They are bound together like lovers, like dogs in a melee, like strands of DNA.

It is our DNA to carry all these contradictions within us. They are matched pairs that are forever calling to us as we walk down the narrow aisle between them. We live in a bazaar of endless haggling in which buyer and seller never settle on a price, can never settle on which item will be taken home. This is why there is never silence. The sound of their bickering can be heard across generations.

We come out of these waters, dripping wet, stark naked, bereft of anything but the twisted strands of our soul to offer this our gift to the world.

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