manifesto monday: paradox


over the weekend cj and i wandered out to the coast. we found ourselves a lovely bit of sand on the ocean to spend a few hours together while we took photos, read, and wrote. after we had been there for a couple of hours i realized that i had no idea what beach we were on...i didn't know its name. this anonymous beach offered me something wonderful: solitude and refuge. i realized how nice it was to not know where i was. i thought about this for a few moments then realized what a paradox this was for me: i am a soul who deeply believes in "place" and knowing everything about a land's history and its contemporary culture. how could i be enjoying such a generic beach scene with no name?
i began to think of all the paradoxes in my life: i admire people who are constantly engaged in wonderful activities and endeavors; i admire people who have perfected the art of being idle. i want to choose for myself; i love rules and boundaries. i like to plan ahead; spontaneity is bliss. i want to surround myself with like-minded souls; i love variety and diversity. i am a feminist; i love to bake and paint my nails. i want things to come easily; i value trials and hard work more than anything. i want to be comfortable; i seek discomfort. i own vegan/raw cookbooks; i own lots of baking cookbooks that are practically made with sugar themselves. politics and "reality" fascinate me; fairytales and imagination grip my heart.
you get the idea? i am a very inconsistent person indeed, full of paradoxes and contradictions, and i wouldn't have it any other way. for a few years now i have recognized the importance of opposition in all has become my favorite way of learning and growing. so i was thrilled yesterday when i read an essay about paradox, and its unmatched power to help us become better people. Allow me to share just a bit of that essay with you:

"william blake, the great eighteenth-century poet, taught that 'without contraries there is no existence' and warned that 'whoever tries to reconcile [the contraries] seeks to destroy existence.' whatever it means that we will eventually see 'face to face,' now we can see only 'through a glass, darkly,' and we had better make the best of it."
-eugene england

i am oh so convinced that paradox is the way to discover the beauty in others and in ourselves. paradox isn't usually we must take a deep breath, sit with it, move through it, and allow it to teach us to love more deeply than we could have ever imagined. this i believe.

photo taken by me. march 2009.


Dee said...

Nice. I think paradox is necessary for balance too. It's healthy, normal, and I wouldn't have it any other way.