I have a photo shoot with Jacqueline and her boyfriend, Austin, on Saturday. She is competing at the 2010 Natural Buckeye Classic Figure competition and has been training intensely to rid herself of extraneous body fat. Her physical energy is down to basic. She asked me for my take on whether to do the shoot on Saturday or put it off after the show.
My natural inclination these last fifty years is to slack off, take it easy, not push to only fail. That’s what happened in the late 1960s. I ran out of inner fire and came to a standstill. I’d been pushing myself for the wrong reasons. This is my reading today of what happened.
Pushing oneself can be healthy and fun. I just need to accept that I don’t always get what I aim for. The fun is in the tautness of spirit that comes when I go beyond what I am usually capable of doing, when I push and find myself on unfamiliar energy. The landscape inside me changes. I am in God’s land, the land of possibilities, not land I already know. It’s the pioneer spirit, the spirit of adventure and conquest that led European men to attempt the dangerous voyage into uncharted seas because the familiar limits back home they already knew too well. Sometimes home has become arid and dry. We need to turn on the juices again and danger and risk do that.
In my early twenties the risks were closer to the jugular, or at least, felt that way. Actually now, from the wisdom of age, I see that I had options back then, options unthinkable then but what a difference my life would have been. I am glad I didn’t take those options. I am glad I pushed in the door that was right in front me instead of looking a few feet on either side for the other doors to open. I am glad I came to America where I failed twice more and still struggle with the same elemental demons I faced then. My life became the intricate challenge it is because I pushed myself when I didn’t think I had it in me any more to push.
History is memory. We redo history as we gain new insights into ourselves. I know now that I didn’t stop pushing when the wind went out my sail. In my despair life provided me other channels for expressing myself. The failure was failure to gain what wasn’t mine to gain. The failure was the energy that kept me again and again reinventing myself and in the reinvention discover those places within me that now glorifies my life.
Posted via email from The Pursuit of Duende