Avoiding Inspiration

It’s like I’m trying to prove something to myself. Every “fresh start” stumbles on a flu bug, or something similar. I am not going to call it self-sabotage. I’m not going to label it at all. Because this is life, and I am beginning to think that the proof of devotion isn’t necessarily the steady path, but the continuous fresh perspective.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “inspirational”. I see it used a lot lately – mainly in connection with (not necessarily in the context of) B.’s situation. I am wondering if direct language is actually a way to avoid emotional experience. Maybe I will always be a poet because I am dissatisfied with language.

I try to think without words, because words carry implicit judgement. To see things as what they are, requires me to push the words away when they come to mind. “Making sense” of something is the end of experience, the end of listening. Being aware of what is, doesn’t have to mean I have to label it as what it is from my perspective.

And yes, I am completely cognizant of the paradox – or/and the hypocrisy – of contemplating all this: what I am learning here.

There is an inherent paradox (hypocrisy) in the attempt to be self-less and empathetic. How is empathy not still making something about your own experience?

I have never been one to give B advice. But a sounding-board returns an idea, and I’ve been that. Now I am struggling to just listen; I’m learning that there is a wisdom in silence, and a discipline in not trying to “make sense” of things.

Is it wrong of me not to be “inspired”? Because I am not. What would her conscious, unequivocal process of dying inspire me to do?

And, no: we are not all dying as she is now. Some Buddhist monks put in enormous amounts of effort and energy in contemplating their body’s inevitable decomposition. To really live with their own death.

“We’re all dying.” Shrug.

You might as well put on ice skates and glide right over the frozen lake in March without looking down.

It is a deflection of the truth of the situation one is being confronted with. It is a deflection of someone else’s experience. It is a deliberate avoidance of just listening.

Using the word inspired should require the articulation of the specific action that one is being called to perform, “I am inspired to…”

I have admiration. Honestly, no more than I had before, because B has not surprised me at all in her… words carry judgments, and “grace” is a loaded term: equilibrium?

No wait. She has surprised me. She got a dog.

She is not a “dog person”.

Maybe, just maybe, I am inspired to accept that I do not know the truth about anything at all.

3 Replies to “Avoiding Inspiration”

  1. Words are always problematic for poets, because the real language of poetry doesn’t yet exist. I’ve spent the last 50 years trying to find it or invent it. No success so far. And what you say about just listening – sometimes I am glad that I seem so far removed from the world that when people talk to me it doesn’t make me think; it just flows. R

  2. I love this: “Maybe I will always be a poet because I am dissatisfied with language. ”
    Loving it and simultaneously dissatisfied, even frustrated with it. That’s perhaps what some people call “creative tension”? I don’t know.

    In my experience, people who are dying–actually physically dwindling into the realm where the body shuts down–are often surprising. A dog! Who knew, right?


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