I can’t do this thing alone. If there is anything I have learned in sixty four years on the planet it is that. I simply cannot subscribe to a philosophy that tells me to revere individualism, rugged or otherwise. If I wander in my own mind alone, I have entered a bad neighborhood, so I have relied through the years on trusted guides, whether in books or in classrooms, at homes or in gatherings.
I really resist advice. I doubt that people have enough wisdom to lead me directly. I also doubt, have learned to doubt my own direct vision…it is too full of my own prejudice. This is like scientists who know that what they call objective vision relies on a set of specific procedures, tools, and on peer review, which includes agreement through repeated results. I get a result. Then you repeat and get the same result. In this agreement we begin to trust the result. That is why when they say certain things scientists have credibility. They should be trusted. The procedures are reliable, time tested. I too can appeal to the procedures. But not when they say other things.
So I resist advice, but I do not resist certain procedures I have tested for myself and put in my life.
Here is one. I open. I ask of my world in openness. I become alert. I don the garb of the hunter in a certain sense of patience. I make certain gestures, knowing that while sincere, they are inadequate, ill framed, of themselves not useful. I also know that they change things and that in the changes there will appear situations or items that are useful. This is like the hunter flushing game. Then I trust this as true and turn into the skid at that moment, follow what rose up.
This procedure has held me in good stead. I got sober this way. It led to 12 steps and eventually a way to take all 12 steps. I got a career this way, a wife this way, Oregon this way. I started blogging like this. Now I have searched for healing like this, keeping the gestures in place (this must be, because I gestured in good faith and integrity demands follow through), but mainly following the path that has risen before me.
In this way, I am not alone but in dialogue with my world.
If I were alone on the path I could not run for long. If I were alone on the path, if I had to stop, I would wither. Sometimes on the path I do have to stop and watch the pacesetter disappear in the distance. Then the wolves nearby had better be my friends. Otherwise I am lost.
Who You Left Behind
Running the long path,
you outpace me, the others
who also race on.
I call for you, Wait,
I call, but you are steady
with a graceful lope.
Winded, the wolves halt,
turn yellow eyes to question
me as I stop too.
February 26, 2009 9:08 PM