Saturday, April 10, 2010

Negative Capability

I begin to understand that my life up to the age of 30 was not, in fact, mapped out by me and did not occur according to that plan. That only appeared to be the case. The events of my life, from high school graduation onward, with the exception of a few isolated events (which though they radically altered my core beliefs did not significantly reroute the intended course) only happened to coincide with the plan I had laid out for myself at the age of fourteen.

Starting right around the age of 33, nothing has happened as I might have anticipated. I could choose to see a causal relationship between that and the essential end of my teenage-heart-generated blueprint and its subsequent absorption into the general "happily ever after" I had envisioned for myself, but I rather think that their synchronous occurrence is entirely coincidental.

I become aware that though it may be my higher self, God in me as it were, directing my life, I am in no way consciously determining its direction. The generalities, yes: profound love for my family, deep appreciation, intimacy and camaraderie with my husband, shared vision of a mindful, compassionate, environmentally conscious lifestyle--check. But as far as the details?

Well...I can't say I've been shocked--the epiphany has been far too gradual to call it that--but I've been incrementally surprised at the infinitesimal (if extant) degree of control I actually have over the pieces of the puzzle. Where we live, how we support ourselves, where the boys go to school, how much time I am able to devote to creative endeavors, seem to all be dictated by some benevolent force. And I am only now able, and still with some dubiousness, to use the modifier benevolent. There were months, maybe even years, during which I could not have been sure, and these were punctuated by brief moments in which I was sure that the opposite was true.

I sit back and relax. I have enough evidence, finally, that the puzzle pieces have been laid (notice the passive construction) in a way that will indeed form the whole picture of my life. I resist the desire to expedite their placement, not only because it is futile, but also because certainly its completion is tantamount to the end of my life, which I hope will be fantastically protracted. Therefore, it is with peacefulness that I allow those pieces to find their ways to fill each gap, bring nebulous color and line into focus as identifiable image.

I begin to feel the end of a period of struggle upon me, as I relinquish my imaginary control. My boys are happy, beautiful in their innocence and perfect intent; Dwaine and I are exultant in renewed love and the approach of our seventeen-year-anniversary; I bloom into the novelist I had not allowed myself to become until now; our home is abundant, eden-like in its tranquility and beauty; our friends are near--this year not only in our hearts but in physical proximity as well.

Such blessings. Where do they come from? My ribcage swells with gratitude, and I feel ready for the next leg of our journey, whatever that might look like, whatever the pieces of the puzzle, wherever they may land. I open myself to change. I open myself to stasis. I open myself to uncertainty. This is what Keats called negative capability. Being able to embrace what is wild, uncertain, mystical and strange in life, so as not just to experience it, but to become it. Yum!

1 comment:

  1. i am glad to see you are in a full on embrace with it all.