By the Crossroads (part 2)
This brings a certain nonchalance, an indifference to the direction one happens to go. To drift aimlessly as the leaves in the wind, appears in contrast to be the very definition of contentedness. I realise that meaning is a falsehood, the most powerful of all cruelties—to drive one always forward, as if the destination is perpetual and lasting.
But leaves are not free from the cruelty of the world; to be swept ever which way, directionless and without power to change their destination. If we are to be free we cannot behave as the leaves. If the destination is false, then it is false for the leaf as well, yet it suffers anyway. But how does it suffer from a lack of attachment?
Is it that the leaf is unattached, or is it that it is destined to remain subject to the winds, in a way always attached to the swirling chaos of air. To behave as a leaf is not freedom, anymore than it is freedom to allow chaos to direct ones life. To give in to the chaos is to submit to the forces of perpetual change, and being a constant: chaos too is a master of those enslaved to it.
It is no small matter, our flattery of the birds. Their grace and their power; chirping whimsically as they subvert the forces of nature. How jealous we are, to build flying machines, if only we too could be so free. If the birds are so free of the winds it is because they embrace them eagerly; if they are so commanding of nature it is only because they obey it.
To be as the birds, obeisant to nature, to harness the winds of change to rise ever higher. How shall we model our concerns as the birds?
To be free from the chaos, one must accept it as the absolute truth of life. It is only from a place of acceptance can one move forward. The birds cannot rise within the air by fighting against it. The fish who fights the currents will be washed away.
But what of the leaf? To be the leaf is to suffer chaos as ones master, whereas the bird who fights the wind will surely fall from the sky. To remain in flight he must traverse the winds, know them intimately and negotiate with them. They will not always grant to him. But he has wings, and with his wings he may also disobey the winds. It is with his wings that he may choose. The choices he makes are his doings and will always be his to reconcile. Whether he rises or falls he will always be the subject of the outcome.
He rises and falls, moves forward, sometimes backward. The wind is not always benign; it can be violent and biting. When stormy and turbulent, he may choose to remain grounded for the winds care not for his safety. He chooses his destination, opens to the air and carries himself hence, where he may choose his dealings, his inputs and his movements. The winds may buffet the air but they have not the power to deliver him. When they yield to him, he will reach his destination, but always by his own power.