Have I mentioned that my ultimate goal is enlightenment? My inner self-hater says, ugh really, you are so lofty, Elise, what about making a million bucks? My inner self-hater says, Elise, you are so arrogant to even think you can attain enlightenment, although my inner self-hater also scoffs at the word "attain." But it is. My inner self-lover (not sure how I feel about that term as it smells of sexual things, but maybe that's okay?) says, why the hell not? What better goal is there? And my therapist says, Why not Elise? Sounds good to me. And it's this kind of official (the woman's got a PhD) external validation that keeps me from doubting myself too much. Her seal of approval also brings up my need for validation, which is another item on my lengthy THINGS TO TRANSCEND list, and the very thing that brought me here today to share with you.
I just read the following passage from The Way I Found Her, by Rose Tremain:
Grigory had an odd way of walking, with his head thrown back as if he were navigating by the sun...
"Why do you watch the sky, Grigory?" I asked.
He ran his hand through his Vonnegut hair and scratched his scalp. Then he looked at me intently. "In Russia," he said, "to stay sane—to stay alive—you must transcend. You understand what I mean?"
This passage illuminated my quest from a new angle. If you just substitute the words "With children" for "In Russia," it all becomes clear: why I'm yoga-ing as fast as I can (okay that might also have to do with recently having turned forty), why I'm constantly working to accept and illuminate my darkest aspects instead of trying to amputate them like superfluous thumbs, so that I can mine them and turn them into a gold of sorts, use their very oily toxic essence as stepping stones to enlightenment. This blog aspires to be an example of that alchemy, at the very least I use all the dark stuff to laugh at myself in a good way, and laughter, like hugs, is important. It's also why, when faced with the question of sharing or withholding, I choose to share.
I understand so much of the enlightenment equation on an intellectual level, and at times these truths get integrated, and now with the help of the above passage, I can see it practically as well. Life can be a never-ending festering boil of a time when you're dealing with small children 24-7. Most times I feel like a grotesque moody asshole and then I feel like shit for being so moody. So. To transcend the insanity for sanity's sake. It's really not so lofty after all.