There is no arriving. (I hate that.)

The Muse Letter No. 77

Every November it seems I need to die another death.

Surprisingly knowing this does not make it easier. Surprisingly it is mostly the same shit feeling every time because every time I still happen to believe that once and for all I have fixed things (e.g. me) until I realise I have not. Of course.

There is no arriving. (I hate that.)

In Yoga everything is about change: “the idea that something changes. This change must bring us to a point where we have never been before. That is to say, that which was impossible becomes possible; that which was unattainable becomes attainable; that which was invisible can be seen.” I read in “The Heart Of Yoga” a book I ordered this week in a particular gloomy moment. A book I heard of ten years ago in a Yoga class in Budapest, the teacher hugging it like a pillow, a source of great comfort. I remember how warmly she spoke of it, how it had helped her.

“The Things That Darken The Heart” is the chapter I start reading first. As I can feel mine blackening, little holes that are draining me, seemingly out of nowhere, but given the fact that last year in November I wrote about “Disillusion: Give me the death I need” probably a lot of it has to do with the fact that it’s dark, it’s the end of the year: And what have you done with your life so far?

"As the darkness arrives early these days like a too eager party guest surprising us in our; whatever we don’t want it to see: our unwashed hair, messy kitchen, the laundry rack we’re yet to clear away. Too sudden, too early, mostly unwelcome. It interrupts our movements, finds us in our vanity, we’re alone with it now. November seeks our darkest self the one we’ve been trying to hide. The skeleton under our beds, the things we’ve left untouched all Summer. The darkness reveals it. Our shadows come to life.”

I wrote last year. I write this year. I will probably write next year. Because it’s eternally true that this is the time to face some facts. Face our demons. And accept that we’re not perfect. That life isn’t perfect and that more often the things we tell ourselves are not entirely true. In the end some stuff is always swept under the rug, when making up our mind about something. The life-lie is always present. Last year my life-lie was that I was telling myself that I would need to have a day job and write on the side, even though I made minimum wage and was always too tired to create anything.

This year it’s this feeling of: I should be further ahead / I should have reached certain goals already. It’s a thought that is not only very unkind, it is also quite destructive: Because I can’t change it. I can keep going further and try, but I can’t go backwards and be 24 again and finish my novel.

“We can in any given moment, be right or wrong in our assessment of a situation, but this is something we cannot tell at the time.” I read further in “The Heart of Yoga”. Reading that sentence again and again. Realising that this concept though plausible is something that I keep negating.

Because what is at the core of the problem of “not being where you think you should be” is the fact that looking back at your life you always see all the things you should have done but didn’t do. But what you forget is that you couldn’t know any of that at the time. It’s ridiculous to demand it. Though subconsciously I seem to believe I can look into the future or I should be able to. Like: I should have known.

I think this is also because change often feels so much like stuckness. Like you’re not moving forward, not where you should be.

“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger than we were before.

Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant.

But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be... for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.”

Alice Walker writes in “Living by the Word: Essays”, summing up the exact feeling I’ve been having for weeks now: A pseudo-paralysis of my life.

To change, one has to die a thousand deaths. I wrote last year.

So here’s to another one.


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