Last night I didn’t get to sleep until after 4 AM. This kind of night is all about a life review and personal database backup. For this purpose I venture far back into my past and work up to the present. Along the way many elements of my life are given a new form. Birth is what you make of it, and rebirth isn’t that uncommon. I’ve come to believe that I absolutely must do this work now and then. And it really is a review of now and then. While I’m indulging in this ritual I gather up pieces that have fallen off my database of defining experiences unnoticed and forgotten. Here I must change the metaphor to something more elemental like earth itself. They reappear lying along memory lane like the shiny quartz crystals I used to gather from the gravel of my hometown road on the way home from school.
And why would anyone bother to do this? Outwardly it seems like a waste of time if not a dangerous and potentially painful indulgence. Over and over on this memorial journey I find myself headed into a box canyon with apparently no way out. Something that I have put all the energy of heart will and muscle into accomplishing comes to an impasse and I feel defeated trapped or doomed. This brings up the most primal negative issue in my existence. “My life will never work.” That is my personal key to wisdom. I know this doesn't agree with the New Age trend of positive thinking but negative thinking taken all the way tends to flip to its opposite. Carl Jung recognized this as Enantiodromia wherein the superabundance of any force inevitably produces its opposite. It is equivalent to the principle of equilibrium in the natural world, in that any extreme is opposed by the system in order to restore balance.
My favorite teachers are ruined in a scandal, my boss goes under or runs out of money, I toil away hoping that patience and persistence will prevail and time and again I get to the end of another road and look up at shear impassable cliffs. When I take a course or a degree program I run out of funds or the school goes under, or both. Usually I leave with the hope that someday in the future I can pick up where I left off. But that never happens or, if it does it is never effectively the same. The saying, “You can never go home,” is paradoxically both true and untrue.
I’ve always identified with the foxes in a foxhunt. Like them I try every clever trick I can think of to escape to freedom but am literally hounded into submission. I’ve studied a number of passions that I hoped would lead to a career but each path arrives at a dead end and I have to abandon it. Then I take up something else with the hope that perhaps this is the one that will finally workout but it never does.
The few things that have worked out in my life have come so late that much of the original potential was lost in the limits of time. Last night I was again wondering if my entire life would come to nothing but a series of failed beginnings and unfulfilled hopes. I wish I knew which astrologer to attribute this saying to, "Cancer must occasionally indulge in a binge of awful expectations," but having Cancer rising Moon and Jupiter in Cancer I've come to appreciate it. Sometimes instead of trying to curb self pity or negativity its best to plunge in full on and get it out of the way.
To continue; many promising circumstances arise. When I inherited the money from the sale of the family home I had a chance to quit a deadening job and investigate new possibilities. But now the money is almost gone, I may have to go back to work before long, and the possibilities in this Town seam bleak. I’m always attempting to escape from bleakness.Yes! Now I’ve found the keyword: bleak. The 12th house is astrologically the house of imprisonment and as long as I can remember I’ve felt either imprisoned, or just recently escaped, with the Bloodhounds baying on my trail. And then it’s back to prison. But what is the true dynamic of this imprisoning experience. I’m always yearning for that which lies beyond the prison. There was a time in my life when I would visit the natural history museum when I was feeling most imprisoned just to view a particular diorama of the plains just west of my hometown. I would unleash a fierce passion toward the curled buffalo grass, cottonwood trees reaching toward the open sky, and the great expanse of land rising up and spreading out beyond the warm familiar clay dust. The reward was a nostalgic and almost unbearable longing.
With all my heart I wish to find the source of this deadening groove looping back again and again to the same entrapment. Truly I feel cursed and tricked, as if my life was never to be and never could become. In some way my very existence seems to not be approved and authorized by the great authority of the universe and nothing I do can ever make it a real life.
Everything I most value seems to out of reach. I get a taste here and there and that is what keeps me going. But full participation is always out of reach. And so I have looped back to the Monkey Bar experience as my first awareness of hopes and abilities that will always be out of reach.
Paradoxically, I feel that I can take on anything I want to take on and learn to do it. But there will come a time when I hit an impenetrable wall and must return to my old prison. Is this merely family conditioning, personal karma, or circular thinking? Whatever it is I haven’t found a way beyond it, although I find bits of insight here and there. One of the most recent blocks comes in the form of our desire to be in Arizona again. We experienced good energy, friendship and a feeling of protection there however it was financially a disaster. I lost my recently gained financial freedom, and many items that would be expensive to replace, and yet we both keep our hopes up that we can return soon. When I let the furniture and the little house go it was with the hope that I would soon be able to return and replace them. But that possibility seems to be getting further and further away. However, our connections with the people continue to deepen and I'm actually writing this at The Heart of Sedona Coffee shop. Now its out of my control but I'm still here.
What are the skills other people who have the life I want have that I don’t have? How do they find their way up the Monkey Bars? Remember the Monkey Bars? I believe that I’m a survivor and able to be quite resourceful but I reach a powerful block about entering this world. Yes, here I am again with the belief that I’ve never been fully born into this world and more significantly what such a failure implies to me. Somehow I came to feel that I’m not a real being or a real member of the earth population. Dear God you know that more than any peripheral acquisition or accomplishment I want membership in this world. I want to know the secret of life on earth. I want to unlock the prison door and explore what the dimension called life is all about and then I want to be able to share that which has been hidden in a dark corner as long as I can remember.
This may be the key to why I still feel connected to my ex-husband. He has always been in a similar situation. It’s as if we were lost and abandoned children together. To leave him behind forever was to abandon the possibility of healing this broken connection in my own soul. We shared the same penal Desert Island and I understood his confusion, pain, and frustration and his loneliness as well. But in reality our goals were incompatible. Thus he tried to pull me back whenever I attempted to move into the world beyond our shared prison. Originally we made a pact to move into the greater world together but his taboo is even greater than mine and in the end he hung onto our shared alienation fiercely.
This situation seems to become more poignant as time runs out. A vast network of images flooded my mind last night. Many things I’d long forgotten came back and I felt sorrow and regret for my forgetfulness. The things that were forgotten were things of meaning and value, things that when forgotten make you less. I felt that I was now living with a simplified cartoon picture of the life I’d once known. Where is the passion, the depth, the subtle shadings and details? They fell away bit by bit as if there was too much to carry in my worn out psychic backpack. The container of the conscious mind is neither as large nor as strong as that of the unconscious mind and must be mended frequently lest its few fragile contents slip out through the holes.
But now there is an unfamiliar sun just emerging on the horizon barely illuminating a new unexpected world. Unsolvable life patterns are much like Zen koans. These unsolvable dilemmas are the material with which we work out our individuated form. From our conscious social mind we charge forward with our understandings and successes, all things that define the known world. But it is with the unsolvable frustrating and unmanageable themes that our souls are formed. The known world always first emerges from the seemingly unsuccessful unknown.