Looking for the Gray

Today there is much, too much, shaking in my world.  The earthquakes resolve to shake my foundation at its core, create chaos out of order, and test my resolve and discipline in ways that make me question the very existence of either.

Yes, it is a time of discovery.  In some respects, I feel ready to become a wanderer, a leather tramp, a searcher.  In others, I feel the roots I have established are too strong to break and the reliance on me too great to leave.  Today I discovered great strength and weakness, love and loss, humility and great pride.  I have cried tears for a friend in his loss, laughed with a friend in her idiosyncrasies,  longed for a friend in her absence, and reasoned with a friend in his mistake of judgement.  I’ve been pushed away, pulled inward, and left to wonder.  I have felt the tremors grow and the skies open up.  And I am left to wonder why I give a fuck.

Of course I know why I give a fuck.  Caring is the external expression of passion.  Yes I care, yes I love, and yes I get pissed.  Yes there are times when I can offer a great big hug and smile and times when I just want to beat the living hell out of something.  I try to cater to the former but certainly need to deal with the latter.  I hate seeing such desperate sadness in others (it takes me to a place I don’t want to go) and I hate feeling unworthy, unwanted and without understanding.  I want to help, but sometimes in moments of utter desperation I need some help as well.

True, I feel like a whining pussy losing his mettle.  Sometimes I like that whining pussy though.  He’s vulnerable.  He’s willing to learn.  He’s a small boy in a room preparing for yet another in a series of the “beating of your life.”  He’s the Yin.  He’s been there.

In other moments I like being the brutish man who could knock your head off before you got that silly look off your face or not give two shits if you wanted him or not.  He’s defended that boy more times that he can count and helped him survive countless encounters with countless morons who would hurt him.  He’s the Yang.  He’s been there.

Ordinarily, though, I strive to live in that fine line that separates Yin and Yang.  Actually, it doesn’t separate the two, it is where they join.  That thin space where Yin and Yang become One, where White and Black become Gray.  Yes, that is where I usually can be found, roaming that subtle balance between the Boy and the Man, the Idiot and the Asshole, the Weak and the Strong.

I like incorporating the two.  I’ve learned valuable lessons from both through untold experience.  No, I am no Born Again Anything.  I haven’t found Jesus on a burnt piece of toast telling me how much I am loved.  No, I’m not lucky enough to have found an external crutch on which I can lean.  Rather, I’ve had to find an internal strength from which to draw on.  I can’t lean on a crutch, I have to stand on my own.  Jesus doesn’t command me to love, I feel it inside me and I make it a light to share.  Nothing is forced with me; what you see is what you get, whether it’s Black, White or Gray.

Today, as I faced down demons and angels, memories and fears.  I learned quite a bit.  During those moments I simply wanted to crawl into a ball and cry, I stood up and said, “I claim my right to feel humility and grief.”  During those moments I wanted to beat the living tar out of some imagined foe, I stood up and said, “I claim my right to be angry and hurt.”  Both actions seemed to bring me back to the center, to that place where both are One.

That, in itself, is the great testament to non-resistance.  Once you allow miracles can happen. We can overturn the tables on the moneylenders and then turn around and feed those who need us.  It’s in our nature to be dialectic, it’s when we resist and judge that we often find our suffering.

So, I’ll go hug my kids and dog and wait for a phone call that may or may not come.  Yet, I won’t do one ounce of preparing for later.  It will come if it will come.  I’ll appreciate this moment and care less about the future.  Well, I say all that, but I know somewhere there is that Boy who will be begging for this cup to be passed away and the Man ready to throw it at some tormentor.  I know they’re there, and I will hear them.  Then I will look for the Gray…


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