May 15, 2017

As much as I wish or imagine, life on this earth is not eventually going to turn out the way I want it to. I’m not wishing to drop a gray cloud bomb on a bright and colorful day. Life can be so wonderful, I want two lives at once, or three, maybe, so all of us can have more of the wonder. Reality, however, has a way of crashing upon a fully imagined sand kingdom.

The four realities I’m learning actually can free us to accept life on life’s terms, and free us to persevere into bringing the imagination to real life in concrete terms. These four realities are contextual structures within which we can do as much as we can do, and build as much as we can build, and love as much as we can love. They are not bad; they are just reality.

  1. We really are works in progress our whole lives. We come into life with knowledge and technology all around us in this country. Nevertheless, in spite of how much we know and how much we have achieved, every newborn child has to grow and learn how to do life anew. The best teachers of life are not, therefore, perfectionists.

  2. Clumsy is as good as we humans are ever going to achieve. No matter how far we climb up the mountain of perfection, we cannot get there. Even if we did get to the top, we cannot live there. Imperfection is a reality that we must always factor in that we will never figure out. What courage it takes to dare to move forward knowing that imperfection awaits our arrival.

  3. There is no such place as away. We are not going to get away from living this life. Wherever I go, there I am. The insides of how I am created go with me wherever I go. I am forever put into a position of being faced with feeling the feelings of what life brings, and having the needs that all of us have. We do not escape our selves. Of course, we can anesthetize our internal worlds, the feelings, needs, desire, longings and hope of the heart; however, the heart of how we are made, and whom we are created to be, still beckons to live wherever we are. Doing the hard work of daily living with myself could be a daily pathway to take me where I am made to go.

  4. It really does take a lifetime to learn how to live. I dislike this one the most. When I’m eighty-five, I will still be asking a lot of the same questions I was wondering about at twenty-five. The same ones I’m asking now. Maybe I’ll be great at living with the questions of life as I age; maybe I’ll let go of demanding the answers that will keep me from having to face life on life’s terms.

I think the best we will ever achieve is being able to live fully, love deeply, and lead well within the context of inevitable imperfection and neediness. That reality may be pretty good when it is all said and done — as we never stop climbing the mountain of imagination after falling from the mountain of perfection.