Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Gripping

Someone told me once that, broken down, there are two primary motivators in life-- fear and love. Warning, this is going to be one of those messy ones...

What is it about fear that keeps you immobile? This morning as I stood in the shower (woohoo and hooray for the washing) I thought about this blog. Yeah, I purposed to write this and had great ideas as to what I would write. Those ideas have now escaped me, so I will fuddle my way through this one and hope that the end of it makes at least some of the sense I was intending for it at the beginning. Back to fear. As it is well documented, I have been on this journey of sorts of late and the process is not always pleasant. Confronting the darker areas of my life that have for so long been repressed and relegated to the back corners of my mind is never an easy task, much less so when the mechanism for their repressing is being forcefully stripped away by circumstance. Someone asked me recently if I was enjoying what I was going through (referring specifically to the class I am taking) I honestly had to respond that I was not, but that it was good--it was healing... eventually. Right now it just hurts.

I have been unable to sleep well for the past several nights, my heart gripped so heavily by warring emotions that I sometimes feel as if it will rend itself in two from the struggle (a little cheesy, I know). I have tried talking it through with some people, but there is no clarity there, just further confusion. And so, I lay in my bed at night, tossing and turning for what seems like (and probably is) hours at a time of fitful demi-sleep. But again, I digress and am avoiding the thing which has sparked all of this--fear. I am afraid of change. Sure, I tell people that it is a joy to revel in and should be welcomed with open arms, and while that is true, when that change could unravel everything you hold dear, it is not (at least to me) always so welcomed.

Someone recently described a psychological concept to me that I think bears mentioning in this entry. The concept is this; there comes a point where the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change, and the person is motivated to change as a result. I have termed this concept 'the fulcrum.' I wonder what that tipping point is, you know the point at which I will just say, "consequences be damned," and run full speed ahead into what may be great change or great heartache? Is there such a point, or is that point a choice? Do I wait until something cataclysmic comes to bear and allow that to motivate me to change or will I rationalize away even that in my vain attempt to keep from getting hurt? While I appreciate the reality of the fulcrum, I can not help but wonder if that has not taken away the power of choice from the individual, from me. I mean, it would be wholly easier to contend that I am sitting idly by and not progressing because I am waiting for the tipping point of change when in actuality I am just acting like a candy ass punk unable to get his butt in gear and confront what lies ahead of him.

And so, I wrestle nightly with the extremities of change. The thought that change could be good and propel me forward into a state of unprecedented happiness is in a seemingly epic struggle with the thought that change could leave me hurt more and with little or nothing to show for the attempt. And so last night, I lay in my bed pleading for sleep to come, because in slumber I could find at least momentary respite from the pain of struggle. For a scant few hours there would be a reprieve from the battle to decide and I could hopefully just rest. It finally came. But then, so did morning.

On a happier note, I am writing poetry again. Since I came to Tulsa, it has seemed as if the creative switch has been stuck in the 'off' position. Of late, and prompted in no small way by my current circumstances, it seems to have been switched back on, and for that I am glad. Hooray for poetic verse, for rhyme and meter, for abstractions and grays where once there were only blacks and whites. Hooray!!!


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