Friday, December 7, 2012
We are almost there now! I read your words today with such a blessed sense of relief.
Julie, what a deliverance you are to me! "Focus is often a matter of deciding what things you're not going to do." Yes. Until that focus narrowed to converge upon Innermost House, deciding what things not to do was all I could do. All I could say was no and no. I could not accept the necessity of a world that was meaningless and Placeless to me.
I feel just as you say. "No fine thing was ever accomplished by acceptance." At least it has not been my destiny to arrive at anything fine that way.
Acceptance may be the last, best thing—as it was for me at Innermost House—but things don't seem to begin that way for me. And I am now beginning again.
Leah you are as patient as a flower. Let me return to your question about acceptance, because your comment today helps me understand what you were asking differently. You said, "I have been trying to think what meaning I was trying to impart when I spoke of "acceptance" and I think it was an acceptance of what has happened. An acknowledgment that the life you knew at IH has ended and your life would never be the same."
I so wish to say plainly what I mean. Innermost House was in the world. It is now lost to the world. What I possess of it inwardly is all that's left. I accept that unreservedly. I even embrace it. My course in life has changed.
I mourned for a year the passing away of an eternity I believed would never end. There have been days when I felt only an utter emptiness. I feel now what that emptiness was preparing for me. Innermost House is missing from the world, but it is not missing within me.
Pam, when you are so nearly silent I feel that I have vexed you. Give me your hands and let me speak to you. I do not need or seek more peace than I possess. I have enough to do the work that now is given me, and what will come will come when I plant myself more firmly on this new shore. I do not need more happiness. I already possess a lifetime's share and more of personal satisfaction. My unacceptance is not what it appears.
I am not a worldly person. I may never progress beyond forever beginning again. I am stuck with it whether I like it or not, and thankfully I do like it.
But because I have lived among the woodland birds and beasts and trees who share the beginning with me, it is easy to forget the people I have chosen for my daily companions. I have lived for a woodland eternity in one room with Achilles and Hector, with Socrates and Pericles and Aristotle, with Abraham and Moses, with Jesus and Siddhartha, with Arjuna and Confucius and Mohammed. I have lived with heroes. I have breathed their living breath.
I do not speak of books, but of living, breathing, speaking spirits. I have known Washington and Lincoln, Emerson and Thoreau near as their contemporaries must have known them. I have known them at their truest and their best. I have loved them and suffered with them. I have rejoiced with them.
And they none of them set out accepting what I would not accept.
The wonder to me is that my simple unacceptance has been enough, and they have loved me in return. They have loved the beginning in me, and valued my memories of the beginning as their own.
Sweet Becky and Alice, you are right. I agree with you. The living seed of peace lies within. It is only that, in my experience, there must be a great emptiness to receive that peace, or it dies before it has a chance to take root and live. Then we are forever left putting on peace like a cloak to conceal our unrest.
I now know what real emptiness is, and I have intimations every day of such a peace as I have never known in the world. I can no longer wait for dawn but stir from bed in darkness to greet the morning star.
And Rebecca, there you are waking to my self-same thoughts. Yes, maybe we checked that acceptance box somewhere else. And I would gladly check it again to keep faith with this incarnated condition.
Dear Dewey, thank you truly for your prayers. I am beholden to you, and I am grateful. Let's you and I unite to pray for Mr. William Least-Heat Moon.
Acceptance to me means accepting the truth before me. If Innermost House is lost to the world it is lost to the world, and I will not pretend it is not a loss.
But it is within me now, and I will speak of it and rejoice that it ever was.
For nothing now can change one fact: that somewhere once in all the world there was a foursquare house where all the ages and races and nations met, where all the knowledges and experiences of women and men were healed and made whole. To have known it once is enough forever!