In time this too shall pass …
The clock chimed … Midnight.
She fled into the concrete darkness of the city.
Her time now spent & a slipper left behind.
For one last dance she was his,
Lost in the dreamy sparkles of their moment.
But nothing lasts forever.
You can’t keep your moments & details,
Anymore than you can stop time.
Midnight… & her details return to the city & life from whence she came.
In time, This too shall pass…..
Nothing lasts forever. In time all of it will pass away. My body, this building. Depending on your beliefs, potentially this whole earth could pass away. I have no idea. But I do know that nothing lasts forever. It does not. So why conceptually do we feel like it does? Why do we feel like we are only OK if we can ‘keep’ something? All of it will fade away, and yet we spend so much of our time trying to acquire things, acquisitions. Things. Notches on belts. Numbers in the bank. Shoes in our closet. But none of it is of any consequence when we are faced with our own mortality. None of it.
I mean, there is nothing wrong with acquiring things, I love a good pair of heels just as much as the next girl. I just mean when acquisition becomes our single desire, our single driver, then there is most certainly something wrong. Surely. If we all stopped trying to acquire ‘things’ then what would happen to the world as we know it? How glorious. If we all just stopped consuming. Just stopped. Would we cease to exist? Our total human consciousness, would it stop, suspended in time? I doubt it.
I’ve no idea what I’m saying. Just a fragmented, stream of consciousness from my delusions of grandeur. Nothing more. I don’t fucking know. Spewing my Times New Roman out to nobody, anybody and everybody. Screaming it out to anybody that will hear.
I recently watched Out of Africa with Robert Redford and Meryl Street. Have you seen it? Oh you must. Positively must. It’s a breath taking movie. Tears flowed from my eyes the whole last half of the movie. And of course the enigmatic Robert Redford, Oh I could die. But the things that woman went through, the suffering and the heart ache. In the end she lost it all. All of it.
Another inspiring story of a woman ahead of her time. The movie was based on the authors life. Her actual pain and struggles. She left the country of her birth to have an adventure, to explore a new country and to follow a man. What struggles and heartaches she faced. She was a pioneer, an adventurer. She spent a large portion of her life working and gripping for financial survival with a farm she ran on the planes of Africa.
In the prime of her life and her adventures set in a time where women were only defined by the men they were attached to. Her sense of self, determined by her marital status and social standing. In her own right she was an amazing woman. Amazing. A fighter, a progressive woman full of fight and passion.
Throughout the movie there is of course a love story. But what I love so much about this movie, is that it is not a traditional connection. The relationship of the two protagonists challenge the social conventions of their time. Their relationship challenges her own ideals of love and expectations.
She is free in his love and the moments they share, and yet over time she unconsciously places expectations and obligations on him. She doesn’t realize until its really too late that what she loves the most about him is his sense of freedom and flight. She realizes near the end of her time there and only after all of her loss, only after loosing most of her things, that keeping any of it did not matter. Does not matter. She realized that ‘having’ or ‘keeping’ anything did not define her. When her adventure was over, when she was stripped back to bare, when she had to return to her country of birth with nothing more than the clothes on her back, it was only in this moment that she realized her sense of self. She knew she was here, alive in this moment. With out all her external definitions, she was still her. An amazing, strong woman full of life and colour. Bare. Free.
Throughout their romance she grapples to define it, to place it in a box. To tie it neatly with a bow. She tried to pin him into the social conventions of the time. Marry me, keep me, let me keep you, stay with me, I want you to be ‘mine’. My love for you will not change because of a piece of paper. She was stubborn, struggling to see out side of her conventional upbringing. In the end when she was bare, she knew he was right. The movie ended with him flying and free, free in his death as he was in his life. She realized much to late. I just sat on my couch amongst my cushions and cried and cried. I have seen it a few times. Before now though I had never understood the significance of their relationship. Cried and cried. So many lessons still to learn. I just hope with all my stars that it is not too late. That we don’t learn all the significant lessons after our youth is spent. After my youth is spent.
There is no ‘Happily ever after’ Cinderella and her slipper. There is no fairytale ending. Because in the end there is death. Death is the only true ending to our time on this earth. There is not one ‘thing’ that will give you an ever after. Not that house or that guy or that job or that car or having a baby or a wedding. Because in the end, none of those things are an end. They are all just another part of your journey. We, I, get so hung up on ‘having’ and ‘keeping’. But life by its very nature continues to evolve and grow and change, as do we within it.
I want to keep you, I want to hang on to all of this. I want to be kept, I want some one to want to keep me. I want because my social conventions tell me that having theses things define me and then I am then ok. If I can keep you and you can keep me then I am defined by your attachment to me and I am ok. Lovers, friends, work, home. All of it. But I truly don’t want to be ‘kept’, I want to be free, free to just be. Deep down I know better. And yet, I am often overtaken by the desire to ‘have’ to fill my sense of being. Maybe if I ‘have’ a ring on my finger I will ‘be’. At least then people will stop fucking asking me, so still single Aj? Do I really have the courage, the sense of self to really, truly brave the rest of my time here free of those kind of connections? Am I brave?
I of all people know that being married to some one does not mean you can ‘keep’ them. It is just a piece of paper. In my case one that got fucking ripped to shreds in a glorious death. Being married or not does not make some one love you more or want to stay with you. And conversely not being married does not mean they will necessarily run off and leave you alone and undefined. Married or not, tied into traditional conventions or not, anybody can still leave or run away, because we are all truly undefined and can make our own choices.
Why do we grieve so when any chapter of our story comes to an end? We think we can keep it all. But the truth is this; there is no absolute moment. No defining time in our life that makes us. Our sense of self can not be suspended in that moment and then forever resolved. We will, as life will, continue to move along our path. We will continue to grow and change. Can we, can I just accept that everybody else, everything else is also just on their own path. That sometimes our paths will cross, sometimes we may travel together for a time, and sometimes it will be a brief glorious crossing of our paths and nothing more. Can I, can we let go of the need to keep it all? To not define our life by the other paths that cross our own.
I can not keep you, you can not keep me. There is absolute freedom in that. Absolute freedom. We can not keep any of it. Nothing lasts forever, everything, even the most expertly constructed building can fall to ash with a significant enough explosion. Your life, my life is not defined by any thing or anyone. Not defined by how many Facebook friends we have, or where I live, or if I am attached to a significant other, we are truly defined by nothing, we just are. We just are.
Am I brave enough to truly embrace that? To truly let go of the need to hang on to it all? I am not sure. What I know to be truth does not always match how I feel. Getting there, I know better, perhaps I don’t yet feel it, its just practice I suspect. Practice to remind me that I am as I am, just me, glorious me. I am.
In time this too shall pass.. The last few years this proverb has bought me so much comfort. Its exact origins are ambiguous. There are passages in the Bible and old Buddhist proverbs that talk about this ideal. Of the notion that everything, all material things and all of life’s experiences, positive or negative are temporary. That nothing lasts forever. The ideal reminds me that when things are amazing and beautiful, to make the very most of each of those moments because they will not remain, I can not keep them. And when things have been unbearable and I have felt like I can not take any more, I comfort my self to know that It will pass, I just have to ride it out, It will pass.
Dear Cinderella, Dear me, know there is no happily ever after. There is no end until death, and even that, is said not to be an end, just a part of another story. Know that you cannot keep this moment any more than it can keep you. Be open & receptive to each experience, each moment and each connection that crosses your path. As you flow through this life each thing will have something to teach you, or something you can teach it. With certainty like a blooming flower life will continue to unfold and bloom and curl, to feel the sun and the rain and life around you flow through its seasons, until your petals inevitably loose their colour and they beautifully crinkle with the life they have lived, until the petals perfectly return to the earth.
Exist only in this very moment, because with certainty, this too shall pass….