Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Saturday, January 06, 2007

tangled dead branches mixing with green

Just behind my development is a patch of woods, just stretching enough to convince you for a moment that the natural world is breathing, despite the widespread conquest of stripmalls and condominiums. The natural world is breathing in those woods, letting its finished tree branches fall to the dank, earthy ground to rightfully rot back into creation; comfortable with the cycles of life that incorporate animal crap into the roots of supple young sapplings twining upwards toward raven nests made from dead twigs, new vines interveaving with older generations ready for fire kindling, a sense of ease and acceptance permeates the wise natural world. Things die, stink, give life. Things germinate and come alive to sing and race and return. And death never has the last word, for the natural world. Decaying old things are part of the landscape, the food for life.

I went for a walk today with my family, feeling angsty about some (relatively) minor things. When people want someting of me that I do not want to give, I react. React with aversion and anxiety; words like, "flight," "get out of my inner sanctum" and more visceral feelings difficult to name rise up, and I fight the old crap within me that hinders me from calmly setting boundaries without feeling awry and dismayed, gruilty or angry for having to set them at all. I instinctively push people away when I feel they want something from me that I am not comfortable sharing or giving, when I feel their emotions, desires or needs intrude on my psychological space. Peace is disrupted and I am furious; how could so-and-so dare disrupt my peace with their feelings or perceived needs that conflict with my feelings and perceived needs? I become more angry over the disrupton of peace than whatever substantive issue triggered my internal dissonance in the first place. And then the self-hatred for being so easily thrown off course, for not being enlightened or spiritual enough to be what I intellectually understand.

And then I see that the natural world breathes just fine amid the animal crap, rampant, earthy decay and brittle dead branches leaning and tangling with sapplings and middle-aged pines. Life in the forest accepts that there is no life separate from bothersome things, no nourishment other than the crap of other beings and the decay of old stuff. There is no paradise in the natural world. Just composting. And everyone in the forest is okay with that, as far as I can tell.

I know this lesson is for me. Paradise me be out there somewhere in the Beyond with Jesus, but as an incarnate human being, there is no life separate from bothersome things, no nourishment for growth other than the crap of other beings and the decomposition of old stuff into energy I can use to become someone beautiful for God. No paradise here, ladies and gentlemen. Just composting. And I'm hoping to become a little more okay with that, because there really is no choice. Compost or die; compost and live.


ktismatics said...

Now that's interesting: nourished by the crap of life. I'll have to let that one work on me for awhile.

Amy said...

Jemila, I love the imagery you used. I respond much like you when my inner sanctum of peace and what's right in the world is broken.

I needed that insight today. Thank you.

Jemila Monroe said...

Hi Amy & Ktismatics,

Thanks for stopping by!

sonja said...

Jemila, I just found your blog and this post spoke to me so profoundly. It's an amazing description ... Thank you ...