Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle. ~ Lewis Carrol
For years I have been drawn to books by women who - say - take six months out of their lives to live in a cottage on the beach and write and weep and walk and think and be left the hell alone. And many times in my life I have longed for a hut in the woods where I could go to be completely alone, where the village Wise Women would quietly and invisibly leave meals at my door, never disturbing me while I howl, cry, sleep, drift, draw in the dirt - and be face to face with me. During those times, I do not want a happy medium: a little time alone, a little time with friends. Frankly, "happy medium" is a big fat lie. Or as my younger friends say, "It blows." Happy medium is neither this nor that, it's flat, featureless, boring, and a sell-out.
Remember that old adage, "All things in moderation"? What?! Why? Even when I was a Stepford Wife living in the suburbs and making meat loaf and protecting the status quo, my brain would turn that adage around: "All things in excess." If my whole body is telling me to be alone, it doesn't mean kinda-sorta. And it also doesn't mean forever. I wonder what our world would look like if we listened to our bodies more and paid attention to messages from our emotions, the real emotions - not the ones we concoct to keep from knowing what we feel ("Oh gosh I am so confused") or to keep from speaking what we know ("It's not you - it's me - I am so screwed up").
And I wonder what the world would look like if we didn't judge other people who aren't just like us. Any of these sound familiar:
"She should get out more; it would do her good."
"Team building is a great way to create bonds at work. Let's all play minature golf."
"If I've told him once, I've told him a million times . . . ."
I've had several more training sessions at the BCCL since I last posted, each adding more drops of insight into my parched bucket. And yesterday I went to to the movies, my favorite form of escape, to see Tim Burton's wonder of a Wonderland in 3D. At one point the beings of Wonderland are trying to decide if this Alice is the real Alice, and the Mad Hatter tells her that if she's Alice, she has lost her "muchness." Later she summons her muchness to slay the Jabberwock, and between those two events, she accidentally introduces herself to the Queen of Hearts as "Um." Now Um is neither this nor that, and even Tweedledee and Tweedledum are more clear about their identity than Alice is about hers at that point. Do we wander through our babyhood as Much and gradually lose our muchness to an Um before we can move on to claim a self unclouded by opinion (others) and doubt (self)?
Alice insists that she must be Alice because Wonderland is, after all, her dream: there would be no Wonderland without her. But everyone around her madly gladly sagely fondly loudly insists that she is not who she knows she is.
Mad! They're all mad!
The young Alice asks her father if she is mad, and he gives her a wonderland of an answer: "Of course you're mad! All the best people are!"
What if "bonkers" were our benchmark instead of the current standards of civility. Wouldn't that be a huge relief? Couldn't we then create a Much of a Much self? Wouldn't we then be seeing - and creating - a world in which anything is impossible - and therefore Wonder(land)fully believable?