Sunday, January 11, 2009

Failure : Life

As you know, a full life cannot bloom without the experience of failure and loss. Without them, empathy for others and patience with one's own exasperating internal life are both impossible.  Too much failure or loss crushes the spirit, you agree, but not enough untethers it, makes it unreachable.  My biggest failures and losses have been divorce, career dead-ends, a blown inheritance, and the consequences of a violent, undisciplined, selfish, brilliant father.

Those are the big ones.  They barely did not crush me.  I have felt sorry for myself more often than is good for any man, but I have also turned out to be a stubborn son of a bitch.  I am guilty of cowardice, but I'm also gifted with resolve and willingness to look inside and acknowledge honestly what I find (a man does not lose 60 lb.s of his own volition and keep it off, otherwise; a man does not keep the kind of friends that I have, otherwise.)  Once, an acquaintance said to me, "you are dedicated to your own happiness," but she was young, and simultaneously missed and got closer than she knew to the real truth:  what I'm dedicated to is cutting through all the veils of illusion between my occluded mind and the liberated spirit stirring beneath it, as it stirs in each of us.

I'm not the best actor in the world but not for lack of 'talent,' whatever that is ("talent" is a real quality, I'm just not sure exactly what it is, or if it's dynamic or static.)  But acting does--as a friend who knew me in my craziest, NYC days, recently reminded me--embody spirit, whereas writing locked me for too long inside the hall of mirrors of my mind, wrapped me only tighter in a twisting tangle of veils.  

Liberating spirit is a life-long, messy, awkward, humiliating process. Some of you know that.  Some of you do not.  

I may or may not have prostate cancer.  At the moment, I'm taking bets at even odds.  I'm probably going to be more direct here than I have been in a while--about myself.  If others do get caught in the whirl of fast-moving emotions and thought, they will remain either unnamed or treated with at least as much respect as I've extended to them in the past.

This is not my journey alone, just as no war is only that war.  War is war.  Life is life.  Spirit, I dare say, is spirit.  I'm a reporter on the only front to which I have access.

I hope you can say the same.

2 comments:

suzy vitello soulé said...

"what I'm dedicated to is cutting through all the veils of illusion between my occluded mind and the liberated spirit stirring beneath it, as it stirs in each of us."

Right on, Sweetie! I am energized and in awe of your recent posts.

And happy to see the wordmeter up there. Liberate, David. Liberate!

David Loftus said...

Best of luck, David. Hope the news in the future is, on balance, good.