Monday, June 1, 2009

to climb or not to climb

maybe it's not a matter of getting over it. maybe it's more like getting around it.

in the book from which i shared an excerpt in this post is also found this sentence: "I'm just beginning to understand why parents never really get over the death of their child." in the song from which i shared lyrics in this post, i've come back and back to this line: "Just show me the way around it."

i'm thinking that's a better goal. around.

what does it mean to "get around it"? to accept that it is too high for me to overcome, too big for me to surmount, too powerful for me to leave behind. which is not to say that there isn't a next-to. or an alongside. or an on-the-other-side-of.

it's just a question of how to get there.

i think, at least for me, that getting around it looks like engaging with what else is there. that is, seeing things other than the insurmountable mount. yes, it's there, and it will always be: whether straight ahead, in the side-view mirror, just behind, or right back in front again. but the things that surround it will always be there, too. is it averting my eyes, then? trying not to see it? no, i think it's something more like widening--very gradually--my view, without losing sight of the mount. because there is an important lesson in recognizing the un-overcome-able, at least for me. it keeps the rest of the scenery in perspective, i think, and the rest of the surmountable in its place, when the i'm-not-big-enough is still in view.

still in view, yes, but other things are, too.

is it escapism? or avoidance? to choose to engage with the all-around-it instead of the it? no, it is honest, i think, to admit that i am incapable of sustaining a constant struggle to engage it--to climb the mount, as it were--and that sometimes, it is a gift to negotiate the conquerable, that which, once passed, will continue to retreat in the rearview mirror.

unlike getting over it, then, it's not so much a once-and-for-all getting around it; it's more, i think, like a getting around it and around it and around it. because, after all, there is lots to see and do even at the foot of a mountain. even if i stay perpetually at the foot.

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