My grandson Elijah
Falling Forward… Reflections on Our Fragility, Our Humanity, and Our Poetry
“ We hold the world, and everything in it, in our creative palms. We set and unset the limits of our universe to our advantage… or to our chagrin.”
I am fragile.
My fragility reveals itself
As my hardness…
My hardness masquerades as strength.
I can become strong…
When I am honest about my vulnerabilities.
Autumn comes. It arrives right after that season of vibrancy. It is the sometimes anticlimactic moment that interrupts the flaunting of our fecund ways. The season of fruitfulness that highlights our ability to reproduce our essential selves wanes, and we begin to shed our attractive regalia as we prepare for that necessary season of reflective dormancy.
In place of the boastful presentations of our potency, we find ourselves settling into that quintessential deciduous Now that exposes our many vulnerabilities. As the Fall approaches we involuntarily give up the appearance of invincibility, and assume the humbling stance of a nakedness that reveals all our curves… flattering or unflattering…
The self-conscious flexing of our perceived strengths that came in the wake of Spring and the heat of Summer, is replaced by a necessarily reflective and restful moment. This is the season in which our existential braggadocio can be replaced by a well conceived and executed rite of recreative confession. In that exercise, the fragility that masked itself as strength in the preceding seasons, gives way to a true honesty that can grow us… if we are ready… and if we allow it.
I am human.
My humanity functions as my reason
For every awkward fact about me.
But I will become divine
When I recognize the limitations of this humanity.
It is in this season of recreative confession and reflection that we can speak with authenticity about who we are… and about how we are, and why we are. It is in this quintessential moment that we come to know the reasons for the many “whys” and “hows” that become a focus of both our subjective, and our objective experiences.
The trees know what it means to be trees… The lion roars its definition of self… Birds find their way to the resources they need to survive. They build nests that are marvels of instinctual engineering…
And we, we are challenged to come to terms with what we mean when we say we are. In the wake of a truly reflective moment we come to confess that to truly be, we must make ourselves available to the most consequential notions of what our lives should mean to the world around us. We come to the realization that we must unlimit ourselves.
As a part of that unlimiting, we must discard, or at the very least, control all those influences that would cause us to become purveyors of the inconsequential. Those influences are many and varied in their presentation. They are religious. They are political. They come at us in well packaged literary, audio, and visual arts. They come to us as ego-indulging “social media” entities that seek to redefine our sense of who we are, and why we are, and how we should be to each other.
The thing these influences share in common is a forceful tendency to point us away from our responsibility to claim and direct the course of our lives. They hold up vanity as a thing to be aspired to. They point us away from our own potential, and toward fictitious heroes in fictional places.
The unlimiting of ourselves unleashes the potentials that lay dormant within. Unlike the trees and the beasts with whom we share this earth, we can be counterintuitive regarding the given circumstances that face us, and that we are complicit in creating. We can discover in this season that the boundaries of our humanity are not predetermined…
I am a poet…
Beyond my hardness
My humanity gives volition to my fragility.
But beyond that
I am god-like… I create my world…
My life is a process of falling forward
My godlikeness is not a function of any perfection that I have achieved. My life is one experience after another through which I learn to be better. Like you, I have known shame… as well as praise. I have stumbled, and I learned to steady myself over uneven circumstances. I have been wrong; but with the help of my humility I have grown wiser – and less judgmental.
The many stumbles that are a fact of our journey can become the motivation we need to move ever forward to our better selves, and to the kind of progress that can benefit our world. They become that if we do not allow ourselves to collapse in desperation from the potentially destructive heat of our many foibles. They become the force that pulls us out of the quicksand of a depressing complacency. That which depresses us can instead become a motivational force – if we avail ourselves of the right perspective.
One person’s destiny denying implosion – is another’s motivation to pursue a more progressive circumstance.
Life Is A Process Of Falling Forward
Our lives are in fact poetry in motion. The world we inhabit is a function of what we create – it is the result of what we do from one kairotic moment to another.
~We hold the world and everything in it in our creative palms. We set and unset the limits of our universe to our advantage… or to our chagrin.~
We are not unlike the trees and the grass in essence. When we avail ourselves of the nectar of life, we can become perennial in all our ways. That nectar is the passion that flows from a benevolent embrace of everything that makes the universe beautiful. Strengthen the weak if you are strong. Work to heal the afflicted. Comfort the broken-hearted. Join in the ongoing work to bring justice where there is inequity.
We are never just the unwitting victims of the circumstances around us. The unlimiting of our potential as creators of our world… indeed… of our universe, is the ultimate engine in our movement forward to a more fulfilling future.
R. A. G.
Roy Alexander Graham
President/CEO, FIGTREE ENTERPRISES, INC.
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