Word of the Week: PREVAIL
Were it possible to reveal a cross-section of life, I know we would appear just as rings of the giant redwoods, as geological strata depicting ages of ice, of flood, of fire.
In spite of so much, many of us, perhaps most, prevail, transcending circumstances. That we differ from the rocks, the redwoods, in remembering events that marked us may impair our ability to claim progress. I am sure such memories, along with the times of trauma, loss, abuse and general bewilderment they preserve, have obscured my clear view of what some might call a version of radiance, of success, for surviving is success.
It is easier to see triumph over grim epochs marked by terror in others than in myself. I could list for friends who have prevailed over impossible odds the treasures they somehow smuggled away from crippling pasts. That we traverse multiple incarnations in one lifetime I have no doubt. We can say that each event changes us or we can recognize those changes as essential layers upon which an authentic self is built. How could we have gotten here if we hadn't been there?
The number of years I spent attempting to put myself back together, to be repaired or restored to a norm that never existed, surely exhausted resources which could have been put to more enjoyable use. At the time the damage seemed so great, the need for fixing so urgent, and perhaps it was.
There are moments in which I know I've found my song, others in which it is hard not to see how I do life as falling short of my own expectations, let alone those of others. To be enough by the only standard that really matters, our own, requires compassion, patience and unconditional love of a staggering magnitude.
Not to be the glass half-empty - or more - as the result of circumstances so far beyond our control takes industrial-strength optimism and beyond that faith, that there is invisible order in apparent chaos and distress. We prevail where and as we do, through what brings us joy, what showcases our sometimes bizarre and freakish strengths, what seems like rare good fortune shining upon us. In truth, this benevolence is not rare. It is consistent and real. We simply need to grow into it, give ourselves and it time to become what we'd been waiting for.
Musical interlude: The Byrds, "My Back Pages." https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BBSEXMGhC6Q