Friday, November 26, 2010

Living Wild Peace

"...I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them..." Annie Dillard

I spent most of my life on a search for peace--peace of mind, of heart, of purpose, of beauty, of love. Peace of everything. I created my idea of peace in my own image. I thought peace would be...peaceful. Quiet. Serene. Sweet. A shimmering little whisper of a thing that would barely intrude on my consciousness yet, would embrace everything that I am, or ever hoped to be, and I understood it to be something that one acquired by living peacefully and by doing peaceful things like meditating, yoga, prayer, good deeds. Well... I was wrong.
It turns out that peace is a wild thing...just like me. A nixie ( a mythical feminine spirit of sacred waters ). A wood sprite. A bandit. A little criminal. Peace is Wild.

Peace comes when the struggle for living authentically is fully engaged and passionately lived out. It comes when loving people becomes an expression of genuine intimacy and engagement and when the risk of loving is not measured against how safe and protected I need to be in relationship. Peace comes when we embrace the idea of justice and fully understand that there is no interior peace that can exclude the same for anyone else. Peace comes on little cat feet at the precise moment when we are convinced it has abandoned us altogether. Peace comes when we are living from, as Quaker mystic Thomas Kelly puts it, "that balanced, recreating Center which is our true home." It turns out that Peace lived wild is what makes us fully and completely long last.

I started this blog three years ago and it truly seems like a lifetime gone by. I was struggling in a place of harsh resistence; not wanting to make a necessary trust fall into a life that was changing whether I wanted it to or not. It was through making the decision to step off the edge and take my humpty-dumpty fall that cracked open my fear-hardened heart and allowed me to see a way to live the rest of my life integrated and whole with the wild girl, the little criminal, fully loved, embraced and redeemed. I decided to live wild and to accept the peace, and the responsibility, that comes with it. I decided to opt for reality and the gifts of the present moment--graying hair, diminished eyesight, slower running, fewer but dearer relationships, focused work and a completely restored sense of creativity and energy that has, as a boundary, the understanding that I can't do everything but I can do what I am able to do with my whole heart.

"...I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along..." Being "frayed and nibbled" has a beauty to it that I could never have imagined, or desired, and with all of it has come not only that long coveted peace--all wild and spinny--but real joy. I'm having a grand time!

~ Til next time then,


Kip said...

Sigh. You sure do write beautifully.

Michelle said...

Thank you Kip; it means a lot to me that you read my work and enjoy it.

Davis Gloff said...

Oh my.
Your writing is beautiful
as are you.

Michelle said...

Thank you Davis; I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. I hope you'll keep coming back and checking it all out; I write to be read!