A Bug in Amber

It’s such a paradox. We are caught in the middle, trapped like a bug in amber, capable of feeling joy in the midst of sweet sorrow, sorrow in the midst of joyful acceptance. Here, living a human life, we are not only capable, but it seems fated, destined to experience the pull of two.

The mind says, ‘no!’ It must be one or the other. Pick a side, damn you!

But I don’t seem able to choose.

Right in the middle of anger at the hate in the world, lies a sweet center of compassion, the jelly filling of understanding, the colorful sprinkles of trust, so many droplets of certainty that life couldn’t be otherwise.

And yet … anger arises. It’s not the same anger that used to consume me, not what I used to feel. It’s different. It’s sad anger; what a sadness this hate and blame and mistrust is anger; a wellspring of compassion for all those who hurt anger; and the knowing that wounded people wound others, so the circle cannot but pull more dear ones into its orbit anger.

Maybe the anger I feel is the last vestiges working their way to the surface, clearing out the remnants of trauma felt and trauma denied. It’s possible, but I don’t think so. It seems to me like it’s the reality of incarnation, the extraordinary ordinariness of it, the risky uncertainty steeped in inevitability, the messy beauty, the precious pain.

I no longer fight it. I let it be, give it its voice, lend it a wee bit of curiosity and sure enough, before I know it, whoosh, it’s gone, not gone to never be seen again, just gone in this moment. It comes. It goes. It comes again when it will, as it will. It’s kind of like an ocean wave rolling onto the beach, swirling about my toes, then pulled back into the motion, the aliveness, the reality of flow.

Life does what it does. I don’t mind what happens, even though, curiously, at times I appear to. Anger, love and light, dying … we’re all dying … whatever it is, is. I’ve tried, given it my best, struggled and fought life for all I was worth. It never worked. If anything, it made the pain worse. It’s funny, giving up, letting it be as it is … as if it could be any other way … lightens the load, removes the burden from my shoulders, setting it down where it tends to dissolve, that is, unless I am silly enough to pick it back up again.

I do silly now and again. Life. What can I say? Ya just never know what life will do next.

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