Friday, June 4, 2010

Future uncertain (may contain whining)

At times I think we'd never have a fuel shortage if the world ran on bad ideas. The other commodity in endless supply seems to be uncertainty. If we had each signed a contract before showing up for life, who would have said yes to never knowing what was going to happen in the next moment?

Pessimism is not a neighborhood where I hang out. Expecting a bad outcome feels like the surest way to guarantee one, not to mention how it pickpockets all happiness out of the here-and-now. It has been a process of retraining, finding (to the best of my ability) how to belong to the half-full club, identifying the good, in spite of often convincing evidence to the contrary.

Mine is far from the bumpiest road I know, yet there are times when all I can think of is screaming, "You're joking, right...?" Lucky for me I don't expect an answer. I have experienced good which I call miraculous - last-minute granting of favors from the most unlikely sources. I am not confused about the blessings that season my days. It is just that, every now and then, it feels like, as Dobie Gray sings in Loving Arms, "I've been too long in the wind, too long in the rain..." Consecutive uncertainty, along with that wind and rain, can wear a girl down.

Is it natural, as in: does everybody do it?, to wish for the bigger miracle sometimes? I was struck by Leonard Cohen's song from MC CABE AND MRS. MILLER about the poker hand so high and wild you'll never have to deal another. Is it fantasy or residual victimhood that makes us, occasionally, long for deliverance? No, deliverance may too strong a word; it is longing for a reprieve from the daily, constant absence of information about what awaits. Something both solid AND buoyant, that could work - the rock that also floats, so it can be clung to today on solid ground, clung to tomorrow when the waters rise. I suppose that would be a form of deliverance.

My energy level undulates. At times I carry on no matter what, at others I take to my bed and leave it all for sleep to work out. Once upon a time I wished for a periscope that I could use to peek around the corner at the future. You may be surprised to learn that I never found one. In the answerless present, what I would find most useful is the ability to trust, without waivering, the rightness of the Next Indicated Thing and whatever solution it offers. Between 80 and 90 per cent of the time, I have that; it is my touchstone. Now all I need is the combination of wire, glue, patching compound, duct tape, sturdy rope, matches and gum, along with complete surrender to the unknowability of tomorrow, to help me across the tightrope of the remaining 10 to 20 per cent.

7 comments:

Lisa H said...

No whining detected, just your usual brilliance spilling up and over the top of the bowl. It amazes me that a mind can work as poetically as yours does. Could you do me a favor and write the lyrics to the background music of my life?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Lisa, Sharpening the pencil with my non-dominant hand. Where shall we begin the story?

Robert the Skeptic said...

I guess the compelling desire in most of us to know what waits for us around the bend is why so many seek psychics and horoscopes.

In reality, I think if everything before us was known and certain, it would take a chunk of the enjoyment out of life. Like reading the last pages of a mystery novel.

Interesting you mention ...leave it all for sleep to work out. I have noticed over the years, when dealing with a troubling issue, often holding off making a decision until the following day has been a good strategy. So often things look different once one has slept on them first.

Penny said...

I've sometimes longed for a crystal ball, just to see far enough to know whether the next step into that uncertainty is the right one. On the other hand, yes, the thought of a tightrope across a chasm is scary, but that scariness (plus curiosity, is also the impetus to keep going forward to see what's on the other side.

Laoch of Chicago said...

I think the ability to see the future without the corresponding ability to possibly make changes would present a new level of existential dread

Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your comment. I am truly honored and blessed by your presence.

grrl + dog said...

but there IS evidence

all around that supports the path. The small signs and synchronicities that you are already hearing.

They tell you what is going on all the time.
Your not listening to them??