Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Loss and Gain

"Loss and Gain"

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware
How many days have been idly 
How like an arrow the good
Has fallen short or been turned

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this 

Defeat may be victory in 
The lowest ebb is the turn of the

     This one is not for someone else.  This is a hurdle in my life journey that I have refused to engage.  I never did care for 'the hurdles'.  I much preferred an outright sprint.  Those nasty things that got in the way of the finish line.  They sure looked like knee bruisers and toe catchers to me!!!  I never entered that race.


     Black and White.  Yin and Yang.  Credit and Debit.  Good and Evil.  Always seeking the 'balance'. I know when training the sheepdog, initially we want them to naturally come to balance.  It feels good and right.  Then they can work from there bringing the flock directly to you.  It feels comfortable.  A little further on, you have to have them feel comfortable out of balance.  They must trust that there is a reason for this and that it will be good and all work out the way it should in the end.  Maybe that is the way gain and loss is too.

     I have been bitch-slapped with this issue.  I just want to ignore it.  My driven nature and hard work ethics has allowed me to reach many of my personal goals.  I have had favorable luck to fall into some of the good fortune bestowed upon me.

     Maybe life is like a game of Tetris where life is throwing you blocks, but you only have the time and energy to place them where you can.  It is not so easy teetering half-way up the structure, to go back and silly putty in the voids that you also inadvertently lose along the way. At the end of the day, you re-evaluate and there are some big areas of emptiness that you will have to be brave and skillful to fill in.  You must fill those in.  If not you lead a life out of balance....all the time.

     One doesn't want to waste too much time looking at those around them, wondering, what the hell went wrong there?  Or on the flip side, WOW isn't she or he just an amazing evolved human?  You know darn well that they had crossroads to make right or left turns at.  You also know that these wise well adjusted individuals have had to deal with loss and gain too.  Point being that you are not the only one on the planet to feel this way.  It has to be universal.  "The genius is knowing that what is true for you in your heart is what is true for all mankind" -RWE.

     The simple question we must answer, is why lump loss/gain together?  Easy kindergarden answer: is that if you do not gain anything more, you will never lose it.  And how desperate do we become not to process and mourn our losses???  Well, watch that TV show 'the Hoarders'.  Something has gone terribly wrong there.  I am almost positive that is some form of mal-adjusted loss/gain issue.  Desperate to not lose anymore.... what ever.  Desperate to fill in the missing Tetris Blocks.  Scared to let anything more go.  Where is the breaking point?  Where does a soul become so hollow that there is nothing left? Now that is crazy deep stuff.  My issues are merely scratches in a teflon pan in comparison.  However, I sometimes feel that my fried eggs are ready to slip off the pan...

    I have tried the "living in the moment" mode.  I don't think it works entirely well for me.  I am a visionary.  You kill the visionary if you take away the vision.  It's my mode of transportation through life.  Yes, I will take it, and I know that I may never be fully satisfied in  the moment.  I think I can take that too.

     "Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure" - Ben Franklin

     Maybe I am just a sheepdog that is more comfortable a little out of balance.  Maybe that is why I like my dog Tic, when others don't.  We are both a "little on the muscle", and covering a draw that only we can feel. 

     Early this summer I found out that an old wilderness horsepacking buddy of mine, Penny (only a few years older than me), had passed away unexpectedly in the hospital from an unknown malady. I mourned her all summer.  She was a full of life, grab it by the seat of the pants, wild-west woman!!!  Not sure how many times my uncle bailed her out of jail, but I think a few! I liked her! A lot!  His retirement party she pulled up on a Harley dressed in leathers and changed into her LBD for the event.  How friggin' kewl is that?

     Well here's a spin on my agonizing (loss/gain) struggle.  Yesterday, I found out that she is ALIVE!!!

"The rumors of my demise have been
greatly exaggerated!"
-Mark Twain

       So happy!!! So relieved.  I will make a bigger effort to be a better friend.  We will have a celebration of life ceremony with someone who is still ACTUALLY alive.

      Reflecting deeply on my 'make it happen vs let it happen' saga, I am not a very good victim of life. I can not see myself sitting in some rocking chair lamenting about how life was not good to me.  However, in my semi-vast readings, there is  a common  theme woven throughout, and that is living fully in the moment.  Hmmmm.  Maybe this is in two different planes.  Maybe you can have the make it happen and let it happen at the same time.  The Yin and the Yang.  The Gain and the Loss.


Loss and Gain

Not mutually exclusive,
rather mutually inclusive
            Complementary forces that interact
        to form a greater whole in a complex world
        To engage fully you can't get 
        away with partial experiences