wisdom

I Belong to This World, Not Another.

The Universe began uniform, as a plasma or a primordial soup, and then exploded into diversity, distinctions, and a proliferating variety of forms.

One element became two and then three and then seventy-two, and then they all recombined and their recombinations recombined again. The Universe differentiates, it achieves complexity, it branches out, it synthesizes, it works out more subtle nuances. It keeps doing this, it presses on, further elaborating itself to seemingly no end.

Pondering this, and being conscious and alive in the midst of it, is awe-filled, overwhelming, mind-blowing, nothing any one of us can quite wrap our minds around entirely. It is the same with our global population, our collective culture, and our individual lives. A process in the ongoing middle of elaborating itself.

As it is in this inspired and creatively maladjusted little microcosm called Rebelle Society. We are a band of misfits hanging out together in a space constructed and maintained against the odds of entropy. We write, we sing, we pray, and we express ourselves with heart-rending openness and an unrelenting will to truth. We come, we go, we write consistently, and then inconsistently. But all the while, we faithfully accumulate words.

One afternoon, I read a piece by a Rebelle named Kristina Ambrosia-Conn, and I felt our kinship as sisters who do not know each other personally but who are already made of the same blood and patterned after the same spiritual DNA. She wrote a response to a prompt she had received, in turn, from another sister named Oriah, a simple prompt, one I found exceedingly generative and surprisingly fecund.

As you answer what you belong to and what you are made for, you move back and forth between stable poles of inquiry that weave you into being. Building momentum, you begin to discern more clearly the energies that account for who you are and what animate you.

You discover essentials and mutations, you play with the edges of your separate self and begin to bleed, melt, or merge into the Earth and its environments that you have always already belonged to and have been forged from.

You find belonging and you find substance and you find meaning because you expressed it into being.

Here is my small contribution to our collective task of responding.

I ask of you, sisters, respond to me, who responded to Kristina, who responded to Oriah, who responded to whoever came before her: in this Great Chain of Being we interconnect, we bring our lineage stretching all the way back to our origins forward, one that taps directly into the divine wellspring of the archetypes that compose Mother Earth and our shared humanity.

I belong to this world, not another.

I belong to the long contemplation, to uninterrupted reflections at seaside cafes and quiet coffee shops tucked inside strip malls.

I was made to ponder it all.

I belong to that intrepid tribe of soul-searching, adventurously-hearted seekers who flirt with edges and part veils.

I was made for giving secrets away, for progressive honesty, and for true self to come to life and to emerge.

But I belong to multitudes and I was made for more.

I belong to blisteringly hot deserts, steep-graded mountains, vast-bodied oceans, windy coastlines, precipitous ridgelines, and dry, tumbleweed-laden washes.

I was made for endless cycling in these habitats, for the fortitude of 10,000 revolutions, for devotion to cycling for cycling’s sake, for persistence, for going it another round, for giving it another whirl, for iterating another iteration. I was made to iterate, iterate, iterate, embellishing, adding, amalgamating, purging, refining.

I belong to the open road, yes and always, but also to the canyons and the car washes, wherever there arises spontaneous opportunity for the quiet contemplation of the deeper mysteries.

That is to say, I was made for epiphanies, the subtle interweaving of latent connections waiting to be made, for insight that gradually refines into wisdom.

I was made for a new summons, an awe-struck grace from unknown reaches.

I belong to the dictates of evolution.

I was made for partnering with the constructive forces that are buried in our psyches.

I belong to love in its manifold and subtle forms.

I was made for it even if I carry a dense thicket of conditioned obstructions to its flow and its fruition.

But I belong to no one in particular, to nothing but whatever the complex flow of life’s movements under the sun, moon, and stars turn up, that is, I was made for the pilgrim’s way.

I was made for enjoying the moment and for accomplishing feats, for the how and the what, for glory and humility, for compliments and insults.

I was made for surrender and strength, flexibility and firmness, sweetness and nastiness, sanity and insanity.

I belong to Sunshine and Chaos.

I was made for Moonlight and Order.

I belong to this crazy, complicated mess of an existence, and I belong in it with everyone.

I was made to make sense of it all. I was made to heal the rifts, mend the frayed edges, seal the cracks, and make medicine in the darkest, most diseased and dysfunctional places that protect the very tenderness and vulnerability of vital human beings underneath defenses waiting to be nurtured to greatness. 

That is to say, I belong to the transcendence and tenderness of being most human.

I was made for holding every experience in the palm of my hand with infinite gratitude, vanquishing regret and resistance with the blessing that says “Let fate be affirmed!”

I belong to this world, not another.

I was made to take root into this painfully limited but abundant reality and not continue in a daze of imaginative fancies and overblown, untethered hopes. I was made to work with the materials that are found and forged on this Earth.

So, I belong to 1.8 billion-year-old black metamorphic rocks and 200-year-old cottonwood trees and the primitive sea creatures that live aquatic lives in the rivers underneath my canoe.

I was made for emerging out of this primordial black-and-white matrix, to incarnate fully into living, colorful matter, a child of the last years of the 20th century, a woman aware and awake to the times in which she was planted, from the two-dimensional page to full immersion, awakening as movement, embodied as flow, released into fluid dynamism, to eddy, to succumb to the pull of the tides, to give into the swift current!

***

Sarah McKelvey is a free spirit who enjoys introspecting, speculating, and writing about life, love, synchronistic experiences, identity, psyche, self-cultivation, and her various misadventures. She typically writes in the context of traveling, and is informed by Eastern wisdom traditions, depth psychology, and the iconoclastic teachings of Alan Watts. Words are her favorite medium. In her pursuits, she pursues truth, beauty, and goodness, and hopes to, through her endeavors and writing, promote a life-affirming attitude that belongs on the spectrum of love. She lives along the Front Range outside of Denver, and practices psychotherapy professionally.

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