Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Things That Go Bump In The Middle of the Night
I woke up in the middle of the night and walked face first into the door jamb.
I shook my disoriented head, said "ouch" and continued on to the bathroom. I still don't know why I headed for the hard corner of wood instead of the opening. I could see it. But something about my middle of the night mind/body connection was not working.
I've been trying to figure out what this all means. Of course it has to mean something, right? I tried to find omens and symbolism in the why and how of it all.
Isn't that just like an artist? Looking for signs from the universe as to what it all means. In essence, art is the making of meaning of life. We live our lives, and then we interpret them through art.
That is our bread and butter.
Would it be easy for me to deduce that I was clumsy? That I should not wake up in the middle of the night and so deny myself any beverages before bed lest I have to peepee? That this was proof that I am a hard sleeper and why I have trouble falling asleep sometimes and waking up sometimes. Could I take this to mean that I am somehow faulty? Strange?
Different from others? Unworthy of independence? Unworthy of a relationship so no one else must be subjected to my sleepy clutziness?
Are any of you scratching your heads? Did I take it too far?
You bet your sweet patootie I did. I walked into the wall by accident, maybe because I didn't wait long enough before getting out of bed, I don't know. But that's pretty much it.
My mistake or accident or booboo is not some statement on the worth of my being.
How many times do we take our flaws to mean that we just aren't good enough, that there is something inherently wrong with us. How often are we afraid to face the page or the canvas or the audience and be confronted with our inadequacies?
Everybody messes up. Everybody is imperfect. Everybody loses sometimes. Why is it so hard to accept this.
Sometimes I wonder if this is an artist thing, since we are made so vulnerable by putting our inner selves on display in our art. Sometimes I wonder if this is a woman thing... always so concerned with what people think. It could quite possible be a human thing, just our insecure social animal way of being.
I have talked to some athletes, though, and I think they get a lesson in the practice of learning their sport that non athletes have to struggle through on their own. We can't always win. And rather than that being a declaration about our inadequacies, losing is actually PART OF THE GAME.
When we attempt to block ourselves from all failure, to shelter our kids from all possible pains, to hide every last flaw so no one has to know that we are not perfect... we are doing ourselves, our children, and the world a disservice.
How do we win if we are not willing to lose? How do we learn if we are not willing to make mistakes? How do we explore if we are not willing to be lost?
Here I am, still making meaning of my bump in the dark. I make it symbolic of internal struggles I am going through. I try to find the lesson in the weirdness and pain.
Maybe it's because I am still trying to get through this dark, and still trying to understand the more intangible bumps that I get all the time.