Things fall apart…

No, not my furniture! (At least, not yet!) I’ve been going through some internal turmoil lately, and a deep emotional abscess burst open over the weekend. Somehow this poem came to mind by Yeats:

Slouching towards Bethlehem

W.B Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

OK, I’m not feeling so totally apocalyptic right now. 😉 The craziness in the Middle East does seem to apply to that poem’s imagery, though…

I had the good fortunate to go to a wedding at Green Gulch Farm (a branch of the San Francisco Zen Center) over the weekend. I’ve been attracted to Buddhist ethics and philosophy for some time now, but have never attended any ceremonies at a sangha. My sweetie has a friend who was marrying a monk (if that’s the right word?) from the Zen Center, and we were invited.

In short, it was a beautiful ceremony; I won’t go into details. But, as my own relatively short marriage ended recently, and this being the first wedding I’d gone to since our separation… suffice it to say I had a meltdown later on in the evening. 😦 Seeing that couple, promising to honor each other and uphold the virtues of Buddhist practice, the nagging thought “why can’t I have that?” kept looping through the back of my mind. It’s not a commentary on my relationship (which I’m quite grateful for!) but it did reveal a deep, untapped sense that something was profoundly wrong. Anyway, we had lots of long talks that evening, and I’m doing better now, but getting that “puss” out of my system helped me see that my life is not going as I planned not too many years ago. What’s the saying, “man plans, God laughs?” It was a wake up call to take stock of where I am and where I’d like to be going.

Meanwhile, practice conscious living… that includes being attentive to my furniture making as well as my statistical modeling, friendships, cooking, bicycle repair… I need to let go of worrying about some sort of specific plan, and get back to the “basics” of living.


One thought on “Things fall apart…

  1. Oh lordy, I can connect to this. You know I guess that when we create a plan it is almost guaranteed not to work That's the cruelty of life. Of course, I'm not saying you shouldn't have direction. I just think that we can't expect our plans to always work out. That's life.

    Larry, you probably needed a good cry. Even from that short hike, I knew that deep down how hurt and disappointed you were, but that doesn't mean you should give up on love. Matter of fact, it would seem that you are doing quite well in that department. Give it time!s

    Thanks for the comments on my blog. You have been one of my greatest cheerleader, supporter and friend, please know how much that means to me. So get focused with your passion and yes, I agree; the Serenity Prayer is simple, truthful wisdom that I need to adhere to. It will come in time.

    As for today, I really should be job hunting, but I just don't have it in me. It will happen. I will get motivated. I just want to not think about school for a while! Hugs, sweet friend, Heather


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