Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gotta get it worked on

This is kind of what my brain's been looking like over the last few days -- lots of dark thoughts, kind of ominous and grasping, even though I can see there's blue sky somewhere beyond the parts that are immediately overwhelming. 

So I was looking forward to reading Kornfield's chapter on The Laughter of the Wise in  After the Ecstasy, the Laundry this morning: I really need to lighten up!

But of course you don't get to go to the lightened up place without first facing into the dark stuff.  So instead of being inspired to laugh, I got this passage:

"Underneath all the wanting and grasping, underneath the need to understand is what we have called "the body of fear."  At the root of suffering is a small heart, frightened to be here, afraid to trust the river of change, to let go in this changing world.  This small unopened heart grasps and needs and struggles to control what is unpredictable and unpossessable.  

But we can never know what will happen.  With wisdom we allow this not knowing to become a form of trust... St. John of the Cross described it this way: 'If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.'"

Darn.  No easy answers.  I just need to be open to what is, feel it, and feel my own responsibility for it.  Close my eyes and walk in the dark.  But it's good, I think, to be reminded that the blame for the struggles can't be tossed into someone else's court: it's really about me, my fear, my need to control. 


And of course (I have mentioned my brain's relentless capacity to provide lyrics for every occasion, right?) there's a song that springs into my head: it's Delbert McClinton's classic blues tune, Gotta Get it Worked On:

Like a macho man I tried to fix it myself
I can see already I'm gonna need some help
I gotta get it worked on Gotta get it worked on
I can tell I'm gonna need professional help

So I went to see a doctor he took one look
he just shook his head and closed his medical books
said I gotta get it worked on gotta get it worked on
It ain't gonna kill you you're not gonna die

Maybe I should go ahead and open up and just let it bleed
but if I let it turn to stone I'll never find the love I need

Ah well.  I do know the crankiness will pass; it always does.  I just have to stop running and face into it.

1 comment:

Louise Gallagher said...

Oh well. Maybe you and I should just meet up and be cranky together -- 'cause I'm with ya sistah!