“Everything about me is a contradiction, and so is everything about everybody else. We are made out of oppositions; we live between two poles. There’s a philistine and an aesthete in all of us, and a murderer and a saint. You don’t reconcile the poles. You just recognize them.” ~ Orson Welles
Folklore says (or was it the Farmer’s Almanac?) the brown stripe on the wooly bear caterpillars predict the severity of the winter. According to my found caterpillar, winter is going to be extreme because there is very little brown. I wonder, if I would search a bit harder, could I find a weather predicting caterpillar more to my liking … with lots of brown? Or, is it better to just reconcile myself to the fact that winter will be cold and snowy and way too long for my liking no matter what the caterpillars say?
Reconcile .. always felt like a defeatist word to me, shouting “I give up”. However, the older I get, I realize that “giving up” is not always a bad thing. Sometimes we need to give up .. let go to find a better place within us.
Love has always been the hardest thing for me to reconcile myself to. Love is supposed to be this warm, fuzzy feeling that we can not live without, love makes us stronger … “it is all we need” according to the Beatles. Once I allow myself to love someone or something, I can easily recognize the fact that love has a dark side, too … it has prickles, hurts and deep pains that come with it. Love is strength, yet, it also makes us vulnerable to that same person .. it can only exist with trust. The people we love the most, have the power to hurt us the most deeply .. but, we trust that they won’t.
Like the wooly bear caterpillar, we want that warm fuzzy brown part of love to be really thick and the cold, black prickly ends to be small.
There are many black prickles in my life that I guess I finally allowed myself to recognize .. I was living with them, accepting them .. ignoring them (isn’t that what you are supposed to learn to do?). Then, life threw a big rock at my head and woke me up (my mother surprised us with becoming deathly ill recently – reason for my blogging absence). It’s amazing how a single life incident can turn your world upside-down, shake it up and change perspective on so many things. The death of a loved one and the loss of a friendship are the blackest prickles for me (like most people), but the recent crisis brought out others. The black prickles of sibling disagreements, arguments and past hurts no longer tucked away … but awakened. The reshaping and changing of what family looks like. Added responsibilities not asked for that are tough to deal with.
Lovingly, crisis also brings back the warm brown fuzzy parts, too. The memories, shared experiences, laughs, and love are seen again, too. Supportive friends and co-workers shining bright for me … and lots of prayers and so much more. Reconciling myself to the fact that the warm/brown parts of love must co-exist with the black/prickly parts is the healthiest way to reconcile … it is not giving up, it is not closing your eyes, it is working with love.
“Distance either of time or place is sufficient to reconcile weak minds to wonderful relations” ~ Samuel Johnson
Allowing yourself to love someone means … you will hurt deeply when they die or leave your life in some other way. Loving someone means that you have opened yourself up to the possibility that they will hurt you sometimes or maybe even turn their back on you and walk away. Love means there will be arguments, disagreements and words that hurt you deeply. However, with truly loving people, those black prickles of love never outshine or out-warm the deeply warm, brown fuzzy part of allowing yourself to love someone and to be loved in return.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” ~ C S Lewis
In October, I saw life and love hang on a very fine thread … I saw the threads break and come back together in a new pattern … life and love are a tangled and very fragile web we weave. It is essential to build strong supports of love to survive this life we live.
In all the October turmoil, I did take myself away for short periods of time to get out into the fall colors with my camera. I will be posting my Fall Colors at my photo blog “Bear in Sight” soon. I have a month’s worth of life to catch up on ….