July 2010

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In a world, in a time when the idea of virtue is mostly absent, when the heroic is the sole property of the juvenile in each of us, when winning and losing is expressed only within what we deem “games,” or we worry that we all will lose, then adversity becomes a central test of life and of character.

Here losing is what is normal, obvious and clear, winning is overcoming or rebounding or living in the stoicism of not caring. Adversity becomes the sole measure of morality when virtue is so immature.

The only moral question remains: shall I seek adversity so it may be overcome? Where did everything positive disappear: progress, hope, futurity, or becoming. Life itself was cast chimerically – life…is but a dream; and cast ironically – life’s solutions to its own problems were to make life, itself, appear to be an illusion.

Only adversity is not an illusion. Only adversity is experiential and only its overcoming is real. The search for adversity now becomes the sole vestige of what is real; its overcoming, a necessity to bring it on, again.

What once was moral fiber, resolutely cast in the concretisms of fear and awe, turned now upon its backside, asking to be slapped like a new babe once more, to cry so it may live.

In love with adversity, such that life may test, that fail or pass, we will have lived.

Sometimes, usually, I want my life to be filling in each moment so I will be full. Somehow, often, when I begin to feel that the fullness of my life is near the top, I want to let it all go, so I may be as empty as living will permit, yet go on.

At other times, in other modes and moods, I lose track and want both; to be full, to be empty, in the same, in each, moment. I used to think this seeming paradox was about fatigue: to do, to become tired, to sleep, to become renewed, to do, to…

Now, older: too many fatigues, too difficult to explain as some linear process. Now, older: too many fatigues that told me I would be more empty than I now am.

Full on empty, I remain open to everything that is, that I can hear and feel and see, each day anew. Full on empty, I may yet afford to pander to the curiosities of experience.