I’ve managed to turn brooding and melancholy into a cottage industry. It’s what I love and hate most about myself. I write much about embracing the moment, living into the time as it is given us right now. For example, here. There is an inexorable draw like a lover’s fragrance to mystique in the artist’s emotional vocabulary. It’s hip and sexy to be a little sad which, ironically, is the only thing that keeps us happy…well, keeps me happy. I must drive God up the wall, if that’s what God does when frustrated. There are times my heart seems to hate me. What causes some to shrug their shoulders can paralyze me like well-stuck spider’s prey. Where others build healthy todays on the good gifts of yesterday and the hopes of tomorrow I remain stuck in a yesterday that for me was better than good; it was holy, Otherworldly.
I’m working hard on this (because the meds are only partially helpful). It is hard spiritual work for me, but I’m making baby steps in claiming the brightness and immediacy of now rather than pursuing a pinkish yesterday or projected tomorrow. It’s the best way to show love to those given to us. Presence. Eyes open. Ears tuned and ready. Mouth closed. I love the times in the gospels where Jesus looks directly at those he is about to heal or to whom he is about to speak. To look at someone iris to iris and see past the decor of image and the fear in posture and see him, see her, see me or you as they/we truly are right now is a gift beyond all telling.
People, places, events, experiences; all of these root themselves deep in us, in me. They become a part of the turning pages of the Spirit writ large on the lives of those of us who believe, who boldly affix our little story to the Great Story. An early morning (late night?) reminiscence that pushed itself upon me is evidence of this kind of existential intrusion that hurts, but that I really love. I write of it here.
Jesus is convincing me as I continue to read of his deeply personal exploits among us that that, too, is my task. Live in such a way that whoever I am at this moment is the gift I give to another even if that ‘me’ isn’t the stellar individual my inner press kit says I am. The task at hand, together with the I AM God, equally present in every moment, is to better define my past and let it go. Such authentic encounter with people, with places, with…life, is the best, well the only, way to really live for tomorrow’s yesterday.
So be it.
2 thoughts on “Living for tomorrow’s yesterday”
This turn toward the at least mildly negative dates from the 19th century. Prior to that, you rarely saw it among creative artists, because they lived on the patronage of wealthy persons. Once they began being forced largely to make their way through life without patronage, the negativity came out and it worked its way into the creativity of virtually every artist in every medium. A few like Dvorak appear to have avoided it.
After a time, I’m sorry to say, my observation is that the negativity began to feed on itself. Artists began to produce their forms of art with each other as the audience, and only the negative, the depressing, really resonated. Eventually even the general public was partially drawn in. I’m afraid to go see TWELVE ANGRY MEN, a play I know nothing about, at the Elias Center for the Performing Arts, just because I know it was a product of a 20th century writer and I am afraid it will be a down experience that will send me home depressed.
From an artistic point of view, sure, I’ll buy this. Spiritually however, the arm of a merely rational explanation is far too short to name, let alone define what it is I seek to share in these kinds of posts. It helps a bit with historic context in a general sense but completely misses the point on the deepest level. All the same, I love when you share your not inconsiderable insights, John.