Saturday, May 2, 2009

holding on and letting go

Once upon a time, a long time ago, people with the wherewithal to own an automobile had to crank the car in order to get the motor going.

As the caption on this photo notes and the boy to the left illustrates, "Starting cars of the early 1900s required hand cranking. This was an art and also could be harmful to the person cranking. If the car backfired, the crank would reverse resulting in possible broken wrists or arms if you did not let go."

"Broken wrists or arms if you did not let go."

Cranking the car strikes me as a pretty good metaphor for spiritual endeavor ... or any other for that matter. Isn't it true: You really do have to put some effort into it all. It may require blood, sweat and tears in order to get things up and running.

But there is another important ingredient in the process: Somehow you have to find a way to let go if you don't want to negate all of that good effort, if you don't want to get hurt, if you don't want your heart's desire to come around an bite you on the ass.

On the one hand, there's no letting go before the engine is well and truly started; on the other hand, in order to get where you want to go, you really do have to let go and get out of the way. No one wants to get hurt by what s/he loves, but isn't that the result of holding on to what you love?

Look around. See for yourself. What is the result for those unwilling to reflect and investigate and do the work? And what is the result for those who are unable to release the spiritual endeavor they hold so dear?

I guess the matter is a little tricky in the sense that there is no letting go of what you love until it releases you. But no amount of intellectual or emotional wriggling will suffice: You can't spend your life imagining that others have accomplished what you hope to accomplish ... unless of course you want to break your wrist or arm. Isn't it your very own wrists and arms and car that need attending to?

There is no being at ease before you are at ease. There is no faking it, though certainly we might all do our best to fake it.

Blood, sweat and tears are just blood, sweat and tears.

Isn't that enough?

Isn't it time to be at ease and take a nice drive in the country?



    Better .

  2. I love you a lot, Adam.

    Goodbye. And thankyou always.

  3. Thank you.

    When cranking, you have to keep your thumb parallel to the rest of the fingers; you don't oppose your thumb to the rest of the hand. That way, if the engine backfires, the crank will (hopefully) push your hand out of the way instead of breaking your thumb. There's a metaphor in there somewhere.