Special Skills

The power of clarity is okay as far as it goes, but sometimes when something is too clear I ignore everything else which although it is confusing to me, is nevertheless real.
There’s no question if I knew how to answer some important questions or at least stop asking them I could move forward. What kind of questions?  Well: “Am I compromising or surrendering?” “Is this maturity or is it death?” “Who am I?” “Where do I come from?” “Where am I going?”
Actually I’m lying. I do know how to answer all these questions. They are easy to answer! Too easy. My problem is that they are so easy to answer that I can answer them in so many different ways.
“Where am I going?” Nowhere./My destiny.
Is this maturity or death? Maturity./Death.
Who am I? It doesn’t matter/Who Knows?
To summarize, all these questions just mean that none of these things — maturity, death, I, and where I come from to name just a few — are clear to me. To some other people I’m sure, or I’ve heard, or I imagine, handling these tokens properly and turning them in for what they redeem works fine. But to me they are like smudgy pictures that I have drawn and erased so many times. Some times I have even torn through the paper. The paper in this metaphor I think is either me or maybe where I am.
But like I was saying before I started lying, if I could just stop asking these questions I could finally move forward!
But what if I moved forward in the wrong direction? That’s another question.
It might well be nothing but dithering this “maybe my dog loves me” “maybe my dog is just an eating machine” stuff — I mean it’s a dog isn’t it?
But what do I mean “It’s a dog isn’t it?” And don’t I know what I mean by saying “It’s a dog isn’t it?” If I don’t know what I mean, then who does?
Who does. I have been listening to my tapes about how one of the names of God is Who. And needless to say I don’t know why I’m listening to them, or if I believe them, or what it would mean to believe that one of the names is Who, or that it isn’t.
More and more these days I think my only marketable skill — by which I mean my only survival skill, because I survive by selling myself, like so many who neither farm nor hunt do — I say my only marketable skill is being confused.

One thought on “Special Skills

  1. If you enjoy the drawing and it occasionally does some good, that’s entirely sufficient. More than most people accomplish.

    Your musings reminded me of a passage from my old spy novel — unpublished, since fiction is not one of my own marketable skills. Augusta Kirkland, a former official who was framed and resigned in disgrace, took a shuttle bus to the airport boarding gate. She reflected on her life, whose moments were soon to be counted:

    “A few building lights reflected against the raindrops that had beaded on the window. As she sat looking out, Kirkland was watching one of the raindrops as it traced its path down the side of the glass.

    The drop zigged one way, an eighth of an inch. Then zagged, a different direction, but still moving downward.

    She was 56 years old, though she told people she was 49 and they believed her, or pretended to believe.

    The drop zigged. Different movement, different direction. The only constant was its final resting place.

    Life was a series of moments, of movements. Of decisions made and decisions avoided. Of deeds you were proud of and deeds you wished you could forget. Of love fulfilled and love denied. None of it made sense while it was happening. It was only when a lifetime’s moments were added up that they led to a destination which, in retrospect, seemed inevitable all along.”

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