Sunday, June 15, 2008
Ponder this Sunday: fascination with the difficult
"Your perception determines the way things will behave for you and toward you. We tend to perceive difficulty as disturbance. Ironically, difficulty can be a great friend of creativity. I love the lines from Paul Valery: "A difficulty is a light; an insurmountable difficulty is a sun." from Anam Cara by John O'Donohue pg 155.
He goes on to say that this is a less popular way of viewing things that are skewed, uneven, blemished. "Deep within us there is a terrible impulse and drive toward perfection. We want everything flattened into the one shape. We do not like unexpected shapes."
In many ways, and at this time of my life, it is true for me that I want regularity, I want my world to be flattened into predictable events, I want simplicity. Of course, this is impossible. It goes against the natural evolution of life. And at the same time as I think I desire predictability I am endlessly attracted to people, place and things that are difficult. They tend to have such depth and mystery. My mind is always stretching to understand and widening to encompass these imperfect visions.
I think I am a simple and straight-forward person. Perhaps I have all these difficult people in my life to draw me into realms I would not traverse were it not for them. So many of my friends are complicated, talkative, extremely busy and highly achieved persons. They are, I think, drawn to me due to my simplicity and quiet. I am drawn to them as I receive inspiration and energy from their extroversion.
Are you drawn to what's difficult? Or do you run from difficulties? Can a simple shift of perception turn a difficulty into a friend? Can you think of some creative "doing" that arose directly or indirectly from a difficult person, place or thing?
photo: burnt wood buried in the sand at Morris Island