now air is air and thing is thing: no bliss
of heavenly earth beguiles our spirits, whose
miraculously disenchanted eyes
live the magnificent honesty of space.
Mountains are mountains now; skies now are skies-
and such a sharpening freedom lifts our blood
as if whole supreme this complete doubtless
universe we'd (and we alone had) made
-yes; or as if our souls, awakened from
summer's green trance, would not adventure soon
a deeper magic: that white sleep wherein
all human curiosity we'll spend
(gladly, as lovers must) immortal and
the courage to receive time's mightiest dream
- e.e. cummings
I was pondering the meaning of meaning (yes I know, yawn) and came across this poem by e.e. cummings exploring the spiritual honesty of space. That the reality of what is supercedes the imagined larger meaning or rationale with which we may adorn our earthly lives. Cummings suggests "time's mightiest dream" is nested in our own mortal existence, and yet... is that an existence in which "mountains are mountains," or sourced within some immortal "deeper magic"? It seems possible to argue for the harmonious and mysterious coexistence of both. We are the air, the mountain, the honesty of space; and, we dwell within the immortal stuff of time.
The relevance of this idea of the coexistence of life's elemental simplicity and the immortality of time pivots around a philosophy I shared in my last essay - that yielding, "I don't understand, but I accept," is one way of acknowledging the concrete truth of real challenge while opening the self to an underlying direction. Stand in the honesty of space, open to the conundrum of the meaning within. Sometimes a challenge is just that - a rock-hard challenge. Real, practical, problematic. Often it becomes more, a kind of inner shift expressed by a broken life path that alters our compass direction and redefines purpose. Do challenges cause us to lose cherished goals or set new ones? Undoubtedly both. Somewhere in the "complete doubtless universe" is the adventure of living. The personal discovery of meaning.