“I don’t need to assign you any homework. The possibilities of your already fluent mobility seem endless. It’s a rare thing.”
More rain. We stayed up talking about taxonomies. As I drifted off to meet you in my dreams, I felt the weight of soreness in my shoulders from attempting handstands. With satisfaction, I likened it to the soreness in my heart. That’s how muscles feel when they get stronger, so I’ve heard.
There are these moments of terror as you invert into a handstand: your head closer to the ground, your feet reaching towards the sky, your mind freaking out at the possibility of toppling over. The only way to reach beyond is to sit with the terror, practice being with it, realize how to exist with it and that you have the ability to rise above it.
We spend so much time trying to tame this world, to assign classifications, to understand taxonomies. There’s a world beyond definition, though. Below: two pieces on this strength to create openness even in the face of terror, to challenge the world as we know it by turning upside down. To maybe discover “what no one expects: the exquisite range.”
“Every day, in countless ways, you and I convince ourselves about ourselves. True art, when it happens to us, challenges the ‘I’ that we are.
A love-parallel would be just; falling in love challenges the reality to which we lay claim, part of the pleasure of love and part of its terror, is the world turned upside down. We want and we don’t want, the cutting edge, the upset, the new views. Mostly we work hard at taming our emotional environment just as we work hard at taming our aesthetic environment. We already have tamed our physical environment. And are we happy with all this tameness? Are you?”
— Jeannette Winterson, Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery
And listen: so it goes that the work demands. It is what I have chosen. In that work, I stand with others and they bear witness. We bear witness together, and then we survive. Then we do it again, and again, and again.
It would not be possible to survive, if we did not return often and able-bodied, to the subterranean well of ourselves. This is what it is. The crucial necessity of this choice that we’ve made, is the act of the deep dive.
Understand me though: terror exists, whether or not you look at it. But when you possess the strength to hold it, even a little, entire latitudes open. The space it carves is cragged but it sparkles in the sun when it rises and it is like nothing you’ve seen and it would be impossible to ever hold because it is dazzling it is light.
What no one expects: the exquisite range.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
— from outwardandbeyond