The Hard Pack - It's Killing You

A preface for the Feral Hearts among us:

You’re about to embark on a post that contains words like “divinity” and some of the language is basically evocative of creationism, or maybe that was just me? In any case, I will admit to being fairly skeptical at first pass, but I’m just going to go ahead and implore you to kind of like hang in and suspend the feral-ness of your own heart, and if it’s helpful I can lead you through a meditation to really get you in the zone so you can dig into this post while preserving your cynical integrity. That's a thing now, PS, by the way.  

Okay, so imagine you’re under a pine tree or something, and then some rando in the throes of an existential soul search wanders by and just sits near you, not even looking at you - like they're clearly talking to themselves - and you’re just kind of over here, feeling awkward and also excited (because eavesdropping is your favorite pastime) and (oh! it’s also important to pick your creature, like what kind of creature is your feral heart embodying under the tree? This is important. Did I mention it's important? Well, it is. You wouldn't be a human under a tree, you need to be a creature about it. Mine’s a badger 9 times out of badgers even crawl under pine trees? I don’t know, it’s fine.)

Okay, back to it. So you’re curled under this tree, you’re a creature, the self-talker is IN it, you're hearing all of this and trying hard not to laugh because the second-hand embarrassment alone may kill you. And then like halfway through, the divinity, the slightly over-reaching metaphor, the when-the-world-began speak drops away. It was arguably necessary to get to where we are now: nodding right along and still so feral-heartedly dubious.

Something will maybe/probably click somehow roughly 3-18 months out.

Or never. Either way. 

Okay, bye and xo and things like that,

I find dogma unappealing, an automatic set-up for division and failure. When we attach ourselves to immovable stories, heels get dug and we can't hear anything over our own certainty.

But there are a few things I believe in all the way , and this right here is one of 'em. Because it helps me visualize the ways in which I think we're all the same. It helps me remember that underneath our layers of self-projection and inherited patterns, your core looks just like my core looks just like their core. 

So here's what: we all contain a piece of divinity. Every single one of us. It sits in our middles. It is heavy. It is golden. It is the piece of us that knows everything we will ever need to know. It is the piece of the Universe that was implanted into our DNA when the skies went boom and this gorgeous and tragic place became our home. It has always been there, and it can not die because it is not of us -- it is of the divine.  

As our lives begin to happen, depending on our circumstances, sometimes dirt gets tossed on top of our golden middles. Sometimes it's just a touch, easy enough to sweep away with good friends and a healthy dose of self-belief. But sometimes, it keeps piling. Sometimes, there's so much dirt that it starts to get dense and hard. Our middles become totally obscured.  We live unconsciously in darkness, under the hard-pack. 

But then a small miracle: we start to realize that something feels off -- we're unfulfilled or scared or angry. Then -- right then -- it is our job to dig. We start with ourselves -- we're useless to others if we haven't dug ourselves at least some of the way out -- and then we move on to our people. We collect our people, and we dig. Sometimes it's slow and arduous. Sometimes it's frighteningly quick.

We dig and dig and dig. It's late-night conversations about marriage and parenting. It's making a meal because their cat died and that's real and you get it even though you're not really a cat person. It's saying, "I know," when they tell you they're scared they might never love themselves. It's celebrating a win they need to tell you about but don't feel they deserve. 

The digging gets messy because dirt can be dirty. But you show up anyway because there's a part of you that knows this is the only way to live that's really worth it.

And then one day we look up and notice there's a light. It's running straight up and down. It's in us and it's in them. We've dug down far enough so the light's creeping out and the light's creeping in. There's a crack in the hard-pack.

This might make us weep.

The weeping is good.

Because the light and the water -- that's how things grow.