Lose and Love are only one letter apart...
- DON: We don't know ho much we are capable of loving until the people we love are being taken away, until a beautiful story is ending.
- Don: And that's the thing you'll realize when you organize your life into the structure of story. You'll get a taste for one story and then want another, and then another, and the stories will build until you're living a kind of epic of risk and reward, and the whole thing will be molding you into the actual character whose roles you've been playing.
- -A Million Miles In A Thousand Years
I’ve been thinkin’ a lot about earthquakes lately.
On Friday night I was hanging out with a couple of friends and we were reading through a book that explores the moment from the Bible when the prophet Elijah was in a cave and God passed by him.
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19:11-12
To put this moment in context the prophet had been working his tail off doing his life’s work, giving the message to the people of Israel and nobody wanted to hear it and in fact hated him so much they wanted him dead. So he ran. But God ran after him to ask him what the heck he was thinking running away. Elijah complained like a little kid, and basically God let’s him know he doesn’t know jack squat. And the first way he does this is by not showing up in the windstorm or the earthquake or the fire, but instead in the still small voice. Makes him realize that not only is God more the still small voice than he is any of those other things, that before God in his truest form would shop up all the other stuff would have to happen first. Basically he was showing Elijah that this was all part of the plan, the bigger story and Elijah’s character journey. Transformation, moving, shifting were all key.
We were talking about this, my friends and I during a windy rainstorm last Friday night. This week it was the earthquake that we talked about. We talked about how to endure them, what they mean to us, and how to find joy. We talked about how to not be surprised at after shocks and new shocks later.
Turns out there was an earthquake in Los Angeles about right at the time we were having this discussion. It got me thinking about all the earthquakes, the more figurative ones I mean, that I’ve been in lately and how important they are.
I learned the other day while I was watching a National Geographic special on the origins of the earth that the life cycle, which can epitomize at anything from a blade of grass to a butterfly, begins when the earth’s tectonic plates shift. That these earthquakes are not just an impractical and even deadly reality but that they must happen before life happens.
And then a few minutes after watching the National Geographic special I read in a book that our entire cellular catalog in our body is changed just about every 6 months. That basically you are not even close to being the same person you were 6 months earlier. Nothing is truly a solid here on beautiful planet Earth.
We tend to think things are under some sort of control all the time. But even underneath all the rocks you stand on there is an ocean of magma.
What this means is that the only thing God really ever set in stone was the 10 commandments. And even those were made to be transformed, abolished even. God himself said that they weren’t the point, that Jesus is the point. His son, a living being. He is the only absolute.
Everything is so alive, even the rocks.
We should settle it now and not be surprised at these earthquakes.
If we’re gonna grow we gotta get shaken.
War of Art
- Pressfield: The enemy of the artist is the small-time Ego, which begets Resistance, which is the dragon that guards the gold. That's why an artist must be a warrior and, like all warriors, artists over time acquire modesty and humility. They may, some of them, conduct themselves flamboyantly in public. But alone with the work they are chaste and humble. They know they are not the source of the creations they bring into being. They only facilitate.