Sooo…we meet again…
By Elizabeth Cutright
© 2012 The Daily Creative Writer
Over and over, the same old thing, that clearly recognizable pattern, that damn eeb-and-flow. How many times have you restarted, rebooted, reignited? How many times have you found yourself facing down the same set of obstacles you already thought you cleared yesterday, last week, last year?
I don’t know about you, but the cyclical nature of life can definitely be a downer. It’s frustrating to find yourself staring down the same barrel of the same gun you managed to wrestled out of fate’s hands during your last scuffle. Why is it back? Why are the same problems resurfacing? Similar gangsters roughing you up and pushing your around, and around and around.
I guess one way to look at is that you’re merely just rounding another bend in the spiritual path of life. As Sarah Ban Breathnach writes in Simple Abundance, “the biggest surprise on the soulful journey to authenticity, whether as a philosophy or a spiritual path, is that the path is a spiral. We go up, but go in circles.”
So that’s what’s going on!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up from the daily grind only to realize I’m just the shadow of Sisyphus, pushing that same goddamn rock up that same hills. So happy when I reach the stomach, and so puzzled when I watch it roll right back down to the starting line.
Is that what you call progress?!
But perhaps it’s not the linear life we should be aspiring to in the first place. Just as memories grow richer as the years pass, wine gets a little tastier as it ages and the classics can reinvent themselves with each perusal, revisiting your own acre of life challenges can offer a new perspective, a better solution, a tougher – but truer and longer lasting – lesson.
“Each time around, the view gets a little bit wider,” Ban Breathnach explains.
But circumventing the globe of your own existence doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve stalled out. Progress is always possible – especially once you’ve realized you’ve landed in a rutt.
“I’m reminded of just how much of a spiral the authentic journey is when I get stuck in a set of circumstances from which escape seems impossible,” admits Ban Breathnach. “When this occurs, I ask myself, ‘what’s the lesson here, so that I can move on?’”
Of course, regular followers of this blog already know the answer – the lesson is to keep on keeping on. Keep on writing if it feels dull and dreary. Keep on painting even if you keep revisiting the same still life. Perhaps the next incarnation will be the right one.
And always, always, check in with yourself to make sure you’re not taking shortcuts and skirting corners.
Ban Breathnach admits after examining the most recent playback of her daily life, she’s at her most “circular” when she ignores those regular artistic maintenance duties: morning pages, Artist Dates, solitude.
“I know that if I’m not experiencing harmony in my daily round, I’m not participating in the process,” she writes. “So I start again. Begin at the beginning.
This week’s been one of those lost weeks – sick in the beginning, recuperating in the middle and catching up right before the weekend. I haven’t had much time for the “negotiables,” and so the morning pages have been pushed aside. My daily reading has been abandoned. I feel like I’m merely a wind-up toy, charged up and pushed into the action so that I push all the right buttons and earn my taste treat for “a job well done.”
But ignoring our writing or are artistic needs is not a job well done. It’s abuse. It’s a dereliction of duty.
So I’m heading back to the page again. And I’ll keep on going, over and over and over, in a mighty circle, because, as poet Wendell Berry reminds us, “The life we want is not merely the one we have chosen and made. It is the one we must be choosing and making.”
All Content is the sole Property of Elizabeth Cutright and The Daily Creative Writer, if you are reading this blog on another site, it has been reposted without the author’s permission and is in violation of the DMCA. © 2012 The Daily Creative Writer
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