Definition of REVOLUTION
a (1) : the action by a celestial body of going round in an orbit or elliptical course; also : apparent movement of such a body round the earth (2) : the time taken by a celestial body to make a complete round in its orbit
a : a sudden, radical, or complete change
b : a fundamental change in political organization; especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed
c : activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation
d : a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm
Why do we call them resolutions?
I wrote all this last year and the year before that, and I’m a little wobbly from the truth I see in it for me now, today. I could probably write this same post all over again. And I am.
“I resolve to let things make sense.
Turning around to face the past year, I do know this, risk is vital and that life is random and capricious. Deaths of all kinds, physical and meta, occur without much notice. Using your precious time preparing for the moment when you’ll be who you are enough to do the things you want is a risk indeed, but not the one that will help you. By negotiating with demons such as After-I-lose-weight or Once-I-save-the-money and so forth in order to be who you already are, and you DO know who that is, is a kind of dying while living. Risking leaping while learning, just letting yourself take the damn lead, that’s the trick of it.
Even if it is terrifying, it’s aliveness.
I resolve to be who I am.
There is no glory in waiting, no nobility in waiting to live until later, until tomorrow, or until the time is right. My mother, who waited and waited and waited while she was alive, waited for something that I still don’t quite understand, always put off who she had been, could have been again, and simply waited. After her illness, I waited alongside her glimpsing parts of the me I should have been being, if not for waiting, waiting until she passed? And then? Get to finally be myself without fear of loss and reprisal? Have less on my plate? Just wound up behind where I could have been? Perhaps, perhaps it was all a process to get where I am today.
I resolve to live without waiting.
The year itself ends, a symbol of passage both of time but also life. A year dies, a year is born and we mark the end with lists and the beginnings with resolutions, perhaps it is all the same thing swirled in and out of itself. All I know, facing this transition is that holding back the self, the call whether through waiting, hiding, not risking, being one way at work, another outside of it, serves no one, certainly not you. Certainly not me.”
And yet, there was frustration at things not making sense.
There was challenge in trying to know who this person I said I’d be ok with being actually was.
There was most certainly waiting. And I wrote that then, and I still have felt the past two years have not made that much sense to me. There has been waiting. A lot of "dying" of parts of me.
Sometimes waiting is the thing that you have to do in order to not wait. Waiting as an action? I don’t know, it feels like one of those paradoxes.
Sometimes there is a desert and you sit in that desert because that’s where the work has to happen even if it doesn’t feel like work. Sometimes things take a lot of time to process, to grow, and to emerge from where they’ve been hidden.
I still don't know why I'm here, so to speak.
I am often embarrassed and frightened by my desires, the deepest ones, as if to admit the want is a weakness. Or worse, that admitting them is opening the gate to let out a hungry animal, that will then leap out of me and consume me. I know that seems dramatic, but it feels like that sometimes.
These desires are the transformative/transcendent experiences, the peak moments. Sex, food, grief, writing, theater, dance, music, magic, deep community, religion. All are the same feeling, on my own or in groups, I realize it’s a room of mirrors all of it the same dynamic and the same feeling inside of myself.
All are the same feeling because it is all the same thing. The source. And my role? I used to hope it was ministering. Maybe it is. Its convening, certainly, though over the past two years I feel that my spiraling has been inward, letting go of things, or having them be torn from me, or just...winding up with...less.
I'm thinking about how I've lived. And I have lived a life where I measure those out those moments, those transformative ones, and try to control them, or I leap a little too far in and feel overwhelmed afterwards, or I deny them totally choking off the power that is right there and poking at me and wanting out to run alongside me. There is a lot of shadow territory there.
I started off life with some heavy stuff, so it makes sense I’d either have jumped into it or left it in a box avoiding that work in favor of “light” things.
I don’t know that I resolve anything this year, save to continue revolving around the center of this understanding, spiraling inward? Outward? Which doesn’t always happen in space because of gravity, I realize but that’s the image that comes to mind.
Revolving. Hoping I find a center. Recommitting to and reclaiming some core things.
Revolutionizing in both sense of the word. And it feels like revolutionary times right now, at least it does to me.
We are all feeling it, I think, this pull towards realness and real systemic change is happening hard right now, and frankly, it will take all of us to pull this revolution off; a revolution of people, accepting the deepest truths about ourselves personally and culturally, light and dark. It will entail not hiding desires in boxes, not measuring them out with fear and a leash, but letting them run alongside, often leading the way of revolution, towards love and rage and hope combined. Written two years ago, it feels even more real now. I had no idea what I was facing then, maybe non of us did.
At least, that’s how it feels today, on this last day of so many years, my 50th coming soon.