Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wild Card

                     (for May)

we can't reckon with this wildest card

it's always gotta tango bass-ackwards
always break out from the wrong end
always careen fiercely against the grain

I wonder which perverse proto-quark
right there in the throes of the Big Bang
before direction was even conceivable
decided "I'm gonna do things MY way!"

since then the deck's been unstackable

smirking inside the fiery nuts and bolts
of the Universe   that Contrary does a jig
then a jog       then a reverse dipsy-doo!

so if I kiss you you might just smack me
if I search for God    I may find a pickle
if I leave now     I could arrive yesterday

what a weird   subversive   unholy mess!
it's a head-on collision--with ourselves!

each night I pray my life will Shape Up

each day I take back my chicken prayer


Energy is Eternal Delight.

--William Blake --


     Something there is that doesn't love a mall. Something there is that absolutely loathes whatever seems too tidy, proper, conventional and predictable. Something there is that always busts through unexpectedly out of nowhere, upsetting all our self-satisfied expectations, knocking all our fastidious plans into a cocked hat.

     We can call it the Devil, the Shadow, the Duende, Old Chaos, the Dark Side of the Force, it doesn't care. It just goes on doing what it's always done--heaving a big, nasty monkey wrench right into the workings of even the most perfectly meshing gears.

     It took me a long time to grasp that this subversive, uncontrollable Wild Card is in fact a necessary, inescapable part of existence. It not only pervades the entire universe, but also coils--perverse and untamed--deep down inside me. Whenever I get too cocky, too over-confident, too proud of my mind's presumptuous determination to chop logic, keep everything in precise order, control all important events, I can be sure that one way or another this primeval side of my nature will rear up and pull the rug fiercely out from under me.

     For which I'm finally learning to be grudgingly but genuinely grateful.

     Like most of us, I was condition by my upbringing, and in general by our global, westernized, supremely technological and materialistic civilization, to over-value mental mastery at the expense of my innate, unconscious, instinctual wisdom. On top of this, I was afflicted by deep personal doubts and often intense anxieties, so I found it all too easy to clutch at the delusion that my exceptional intellect could somehow conquer, or at least effectively manage, my worst insecurities and fears.

     But this desperate, stopgap, non-solution merely served to split me apart inside, polarizing sense and spirit, heart and will, mind and gut. The more obsessively I tried to dominate my mounting fear and rage through rigid enforcement by my intellect, the more ferocious and rebellious my still wild and stubbornly primal nature became. Talk about a no-win scenario!

     There was only one ultimate cure for this profound self-alienation: I had to acquire the hard-won humility to surrender my intellectual arrogance and so return once more to a holistic condition of psychological balance and healthy spiritual centering. Little did I realize when I started: my whole being's inner realignment would be nothing less than a life's work.

     To achieve this essential transformation, I've had to become less eager to flaunt my brain power, and correspondingly more attuned to the promptings of my core instincts. Compulsively denying them was never a viable option.

     My only real choice is between either repeatedly suffering the destructive eruption of these unnaturally repressed urges, again and again capsizing my world; or else finding some way at last to effectively integrate intellect and instinct--which also means fully accepting, rather than chronically resisting, those dark, irrational, elemental energies of existence.


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