“If we look at moments in life when we have sensed the malleability of reality with more open possibilities than we had perceived before, they all include an unusually vibrant sensation of thankfulness. This functions retroactively, too, in how we see or hold events from our past. The genuine sensation of simple thankfulness underneath specifics, whatever they may be, loosens our existing opinions and definitions of past actions and events. We begin to perceive other long-term influences, causes and meanings. We can then look back on sequences we’ve lived and see other dynamics under the surface that we missed the first time around. Often, this process involves recognizing more clearly the accumulation of ignorance, confusion and guilt that we all carry from those who passed them on to us. In assessing failings and mistreatment, we can see subtler patterns in the complex fabric of life, including those of wisdom and capabilities attained specifically from those sequences. With that grander, larger perspective of how life unfolds over vast timespans and experiences, we begin to find openings into unexpected possible resolutions. This gives us the chance to reconsider how we want the end of the story to be written. And that includes our own specific role within our stories.”
I love the juxtaposition of your text with James Joyce’s Molly Bloom soliloquy. I’ve listened to this beautiful soliloquy numerous times over the last 8 years – it is a masterpiece (possibly the best part of Ulysses) and says so much about women, how they think, and about life. Listening to it again alongside your writing opens a new dimension of it to me; I feel you’ve shined light on the heart of what’s happening in that original soliloquy.
“Wisdom and capabilities attained specifically from those sequences” puts a nice spin on your continuation here of the process of forgiveness or seeing old stories in a new light. I can see in the Molly Bloom soliloquy how she chooses to recall beauty from her past, instead of any number of other, less worthy and ultimately less important interpretations. Fantastic reading by Marcella Riordan, by the way.
Hearing this gorgeous colourful audio clip and the exquisite masterful delivery of Marcella in the context that is presented here cracked my heart wide open.
Last night I dreamed I was falling in love again…
How can I say thank you?
” Yes I will, yes…”
I like your invitation to assess failings and mistreatment (and recognize the wisdom we gained from our past failures/ mistakes) although it is certainly not always an easy or exciting exercise to do especially in this world of immediate satisfaction and endless distractions. I wonder if we still have enough patience, courage and trained inner strength in us to actually not only spend the time in solitude reflecting (or talking with a caring friend) but also to fully complete the circle of resolution. I often feel that I just fall short of completing it, therefore repeating an unhealthy pattern that I have carried with me for a very long time…
I have tried to follow a few of your threads from your last two posts (I love the way you weave posts together) which has lead me to loosen some of my tighter inner knots. I feel it is a small but important step towards regaining a bit more emotional agility, enthusiasm and confidence about the next chapters I wish to create in my own personal story, hopefully with more creative and joyful authority.
A simple thank you to you!
There was some time to ponder on
“…see other dynamics under the surface that we missed the first time around. Often, this process involves recognizing more clearly the accumulation of ignorance, confusion and guilt that we all carry from those who passed them on to us. In assessing failings and mistreatment, we can see subtler patterns in the complex fabric of life, including those of wisdom and capabilities attained specifically from those sequences”
“any idea or understanding doesn’t help much when we’re emotionally upset. It has to begin then by moving into quieter, slower wavelengths of emotion and thought – deliberate attentiveness to the fluidity of the present moment – to be able to even find an opening into internal malleability below the upset.” ,
which is an earlier phrase from the same chapter as the quoted paragraph.
I have noticed recently that in times of stress or being upset, unpleasant events from the past are recalled causing more internal turmoil. Two of them in particular were curiously repetitive. One, that took place some years ago, in which greed was chosen and another, even older, in which I acted in an unnecessarily exaggerated way.
I wrote down how the two embarrassing moments were initially perceived and searched for a deeper meaning when looking at a longer time span. What came was that both events seemed to be guided by a search for freedom. And that they both provided a valuable visceral lesson, showing how more superficial ideas about obtaining status or being liked can bring about more imprisonment, in guilt, rather than the desired liberation. Ideas probably passed on to us, as you mention, and that I also may have passed on to those around in those moments. At the same time these situations reveal values such as dignity and subtlety, that were important and not manifested on these occasions.
This loosened the weight that these stories have carried with them, as if sliding down one of Molly Bloom’s delightfully relieving “ahh!”.
It seems like there is often a lingering element of ‘waiting’ for some spectacular occasion of epic manifestation that will eventually elicit an unignorable justification for a sense of thankfulness; looking for some supreme reason of occasion to be thankful, the gratitude for the simple little everyday miracles often get overlooked. Ironically, those very inwardly minute ‘reasons’ to be thankful seemingly will, in the multiplication of their consideration, contribute to the epic manifestations that leave us in a spectacular sense of awe and greater thankfulness, that existential ‘yes’.
For my wife, Darrell and other colleagues, all exercising endurance in pursuit of the potentialities of excellence in humanness, this dance is for you. But for you, I would not know how to dance. Thank you
To humbly share, a journey of considering simple thankfulness…
I thought this could be related in some ways to the subject of this blog.
Someone wrote a comment from this: “The main message of the song is
Thank everything what happens in your life…
Whether is fear, depression, humiliation,
happiness, gratefulness and love.
Thank all of them because that’s what makes you human.”
The idea of being thankful “retroactively” is pleasing and helps to soften the massive regret and guilt. Molly Bloom’s musings of beauty recalled is always riveting and touching especially in this voice. The gorgeous, ethereal painting chosen to be justaposed is stunning, sparkling, stellar – a perfect companion for Molly’s poetry.
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