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Being better

Written by Zoe Catherine Kendall on Thursday the 25th of November 2010
Being better (26/07/10) - the personal touch

Now there's a concept I can subscribe to - being in the eternal state of my existence, eternal and transitory, everything and nothing all at once, furiously calm. This is how I think about life, about what it is to exist. I am trying to grasp and express that energy, it's almost tangible, I can nearly feel it between my fingers, squeeze and embrace it through my movement. I want to be able to play with this existence of mine, to explore its potential, to be the architect of myself. I think of just sitting, of just being, and of experiencing true serenity and enlightenment in this simple state as one of the greatest aspirations I could strive for. As well as this, I'd like to bounce effortlessly from mundanity to the magnificent and back, to float on the surface of my experience without thinking about how to be, and to bask in those euphoric moments of enlightenment and clarity as I would like to bask in the sunshine, hourly. Identifying the painful spaces inside myself forms a wonderful part of a process of release and facilitation. It's a process of personal liberation that I am speaking of, a huge gasping sigh of relief. Yes, at times I have felt heavier than lead and yes, I have almost drowned in moments of my own despair, floundered and faltered after significant internal events, but I am turning these tragedies into opportunities for growth, I am learning from them, I am allowing myself the time to find out how to 'be better'.

A couple of months ago I met a person who shared with me their version of existence, took me into their bed, fed me, cradled me, regaled me with stories of their past. Through this experience I learnt something of another's view point on life, and how their little tragedies had shaped them. I learnt how similar we all are, how the lines which define our separate living patterns coalesce, how we are all battling with the same questions about the future, and trying to cope with ourselves in a way that can allow for maximum happiness. We are filtering immediate experiences through a lens of our own time, something unique, transfiguarative. I guess this is what we are, individually, this is what we can offer in terms of perspective and decision, and ultimately that is what will define our greater effect.

And now, on writing this, I am battling with the end of that collision, the dissolution of what was, albeit briefly, a sort of communion. I've always felt the end of intimacy severely. I grieve it, it's seems to me a sort of existential loss, a personal degradation. The challenge, I suppose, is to find meaning in what at the time can seem devoid of value. Closure is almost like allowing yourself to open up again, to refresh yourself after what feels like a grubby affair, that of disappointment and disillusionment. What is gained from the end of a union? Personal freedom may be experienced on one hand whilst a sense of isolation may be the interpretation of another. Ironically, nothing has actually changed, and you both continue to exist, as before, regardless of proximity, a fact that is very reassuring. But why do we value these exchanges so highly? It's as though they take us back to a familiar place, as though some form of past loss is beginning to be rectified. We are reuniting, we are coalescing again. So why is that such a desirable state to be in? I guess it brings us in to step with our own nature, it's an innate condition. Our very existence is demanding of that state of union, it's less of a choice, more of a need. One analogy could be when you wake up in the morning croaking for water. It's not a questionable process, the intention doesn't require further explanation, it is a simple and necessary function, something beyond language, simple need.

I pause aft er using that word - need - it's such a dirty word these days, a cuss - she was so needy. I am starting to realise that what that expression really means is I had nothing to give her. Needs are basic, they are existential, they make sense. I am not suggesting that somehow it's okay to be totally reliant on another because that would take away the right of that other to easily exist, but I do think the exchange of mutual need with that of mutual offering is a worthwhile and wisening process. The key is balance between the two.

I guess what I have learnt from the end of this latest union is the balance of together and apart, of self and other. I feel as though I have lost a playmate, a fellow explorer, but I see that I have gained some insights and some independence. It would seem it was a worthwhile value exchange after all, if not a little uncomfortable at times. And now I am starting to feel open again, starting to feel refreshed. No doubt this process will repeat itself, but I'd like to think each time I grapple with it, that I am managing to 'be better' within it.