Has anyone ever asked you that lame question,: Would you rather be happy or would you rather be right? To me, that’s always been a giant a no-brainer. I would rather DIE IN HELL and be right. OBVIOUSLY. Thank you.
The extreme suffering of repeatedly butting my head up against a brick wall, and perhaps age, are leading me to very slowly revise my view. It’s funny, I had lunch with my friend Rip (RIP IS A PSEUDONYM) last week (at some horrible Mexican place where the food…oh forget it). Anyway, after being clean for a time Rip has now become a total pothead, and he was mentioning how you spend a whole ton of energy making a decision to get clean and sober, and then you spend a whole ton of energy making a decision not to stay clean and sober, and that once you’ve made the decision not to, part of the reason you don’t want to get clean again is that you don’t want to “lose” or “waste” or “let go of” all that energy. (You may have to be an addict to follow this line of thinking but if you are, you’ll recognize it and relate to it instantly, as I did, and welcome aboard).
So I recognized that line of thinking but I also kind of thought, Oh dear. Because it’s obviously, on some level, insane.
And yet the very next day I realized that’s in some way what I’m doing with my book(s). I have one book my agent’s been trying to sell for months, and another book that’s been bought and, as happens, it’s been difficult to get the full skinny on. And I have not in any way, shape, or form let these books go. I’ve done and am continuing to do all I can, but I’m not trusting that whatever is going to happen, or “supposed” to happen, will. Whatever is supposed to happen is what happens. My view is that agents, editors, the publishing world, the people who sell books, the people who buy books, and basically the whole universe and everything in it should all act according to my plan and if they don’t, I’m going to hold out till my dying breath till they do. Because I WORKED MY ASS OFF ON THOSE BOOKS. I OPENED MY VEINS FOR THOSE BOOKS. And what I’m seeing is: Good luck with that.
One reason this blog has been a giant relief/release/surprise blessing is that it is simply unbelievable to write a piece and more or less immediately send it out to the universe knowing that someone, if they’ve a mind to, will find and read it. Part of my angst over my work is ego-based, but another part is simply that I’ve worked hard on something and finished it and now I want to give the darn gift! I can’t wait to give the gift! Look!–here’s a book! Look!–I want to show you my essay, my story, my post!
The generosity of my fellow bloggers, all you thoughtful, careful readers, how and why and that people respond have already revealed themselves to be part of an unfolding mystery. And somehow I feel that the blog, and whatever comes of it, is going to lead me closer to letting go of some of my most ancient, seemingly hard-wired ideas. That you have to work really, really hard and there’s NO MONEY. That nothing ever works out FOR ME. That I can never, ever rely on ANYONE BUT MYSELF. (Again, you may have to be a driven-by-self-centered-fear addict to get this). Because for things to “work out,” whatever that means, isn’t what I really want. I want to be released from bondage. I want to dare to accept the gift of reality. I want to live, as they did in medieval times, knowing that the most seemingly mundane moment is shot through with metaphysical significance and weight.
“For us, then, circumstances are not neutral. They are not things that happen without any meaning; that is, they are not just things to put up with, to suffer stoically. They are part of our vocation, of the way in which God, the good Mystery, calls us, challenges us, educates us. For us, these circumstances have all the weight of a call, and thus are part of the dialogue of each one of us with the Mystery present.
Life is a dialogue.
‘Life is not a tragedy. Tragedy is what makes everything amount to nothing. Yes, life is a drama. It is dramatic because it is the relationship between our I and the You of God, our I that must follow the steps which God indicates.’ (L[uigi] Guissani)…[P]recisely because this You exists, circumstances call us to him. It is he who calls us through them. It is he who calls us to destiny through everything that happens.”
My books aren’t in limbo, in other words, I’m in the midst of a dialogue! A drama! My destiny! I’m having a relationship with God (if only, just once, He’d speak!) So just for today, let me want to be happy more than I want to be right.