Try


Source: schiettifotografia.com

Ok, first of all, Yoda is a putz and he gives bullshit advice. Yeah. I said it. Come at me bro.

This whole “there is no try” business is nonsense. ‘Try’ is everything. ‘Try’ is the point. There’s only try.

I realize that what he really means is “don’t make a half assed attempt expecting to fail- commit!” Or, in YodaSpeak it would be something like: “Half-ass this, do not. Commit, you must!” But he doesn’t actually say that, he says “there is no try” and now forty years of conventional and cultural wisdom has been built around Not Trying.

Little green psychopath. Yeah, you better run back to friggen Dagobah.

I was having a bad day. A grim and tearful day. The voice in my head that taunts me with my fear of failure and inadequacy was loud and constant and all-encompassing. It didn’t matter what I did: clean the house? Get used to it, It’s all you’re good for. Did the dishes? There will just be more. There will always be more. Organize the bookshelves? Why bother? What’s the point?

As good as I felt about myself and my life on Friday, I felt equally, inversely proportionately bad about it today. There were so many tears. All. Damn. Day.

As the sun was going down, I went out for a run. If ever I needed it, today was the day. My whole body hurt. I wasn’t looking forward to it. My mind was still made out of static and broken glass. But I had to try.

It helped.

The soreness went away after a few blocks and the voice fell silent. At first I just enjoyed the silence, and then on my way back, I tipped over into a philosophical rabbit hole and tumbled all the way to the bottom.

I found myself thinking of a pair of quotes that I’ve collected in my trawling of the internet. Forgive me for not having the appropriate attributions:

You are feared. Your six wings, gleaming body and multiple pairs of torch eyes are beautiful and the thunder of your voice Will get better and increasingly vehement with time: you are valid.

And

Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. “Be still,” they say, “watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”

They appear back-to-back in my notes, so I always think of them together as a single thought, although I realize that they probably come from wildly different contexts.

But anyway, it struck me, as I was running, that it was true that hundred of generations of ancestors stretched out behind me. Somehow, even sending that thought back through the layers of history caused it to illuminate those thousands of years of lives stretching all the way back to the origins of humanity. Like lightning, the thought struck the far end- somewhere too far to see, and bounced back to me twice as strong and a hundred times more brightly. Multiple pairs of torch eyes and a thunderous voice, indeed.

In spite of my fears and failings and struggle and weakness, I realized that the fact of my own existence was proof enough that this life I was living had meaning. Everything that came before was leading me to this moment. Everything that came afterwards was because of it. I was exactly where I needed to be.

I ugly-cried my way home. I wasn’t sad. I couldn’t hear the persecuting voices of doubt anymore. The catharsis was so strong that I wasn’t in any position to stop it. So I didn’t. Some people dedicate their lives to a church trying to find this kind of clarity, and here I was; finding religion through sneakers and sweat.

“Are you feeling better?” The Curmudgeonly Lion asked a bit later, with the wary expression of someone who had spent the afternoon with La Llorona.

“Yes, better.” I said.

He shook his head. “You always get this way, and then you go running and feel better.” He said.

“Yeah,” was all I could think to say. “It was worth a try.”

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 28, 2018.

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