“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heartbeat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch, (London: Penguin, 1994),
Do you find this quote describing you at all? Once in a while? Frequently? All the time? Never?
I know that Mary Anne Evans, writing under a male pen name (a different post altogether!!!), describes a dilemma for us, and I think everyone knows, knows it deep down inside…feels it.
Here is the dilemma: if you allow yourself to really see…if you are living so as to strengthen and establish eyes of the heart and soul that truly see, then all the wonder and glory and brokenness and tragedy and beauty swells in sound and presence so as to be a magnificent and overwhelming symphonic tide! Standing on the beach of perception, and staring out at that vast and glorious sea, every living thing a player in the cosmic orchestra. But, this life is costly, often lonely, and can be overwhelming, especially without companionship…and companionship worthy of the challenge, and not “crabs in the bucket” who will pull you back down into the miasma with them.
The alternative: choose to not be overwhelmed by simply stuffing “cultural cotton” in your ears! Music, video-oriented media, fashion, objects, hobbies, the list goes on…even friends and family can serve to “dull the roar”.
Sadly, you do indeed become spiritually blind, spiritually deaf, and thus inevitably spiritually dumb, …and then you walk, the living dead thru a wonder world, having eyes and not seeing, and ears and not hearing, and a tongue stilled from the soul’s truest longing to sing in gratitude and wonder at the living and vital home we have been given.
I think that Ms Evans was a bit cynical, and who could blame her given the sorts of barriers and prison walls she was thrust into as a woman in that time…I’m not so sure that we “wad ourselves with stupidity”…but I do think that she accurately describes the results, when we choose not to engage our world with living hearts and souls: we become stupid in the older sense of the word, and stumble zombie-like thru our days, miserable and hungry and desperate to consume anything that looks living, only to infect that with our death, instead of being infused with its life.
No wonder zombie themes are so huge in our culture right now!
Here is an exhortation: take a chance, and make a change…if you need to. Set your heart on higher things, and actively seek to see, to hear, and then finally to speak! Ask someone to work within you…She has many names, and will never turn away a true request made with humble heart. And then practice some form of expression as your outlet.
Hey…why do you think I love poetry so much? This whole thing is one Amazing and Wonderful Poem!
Blessings to you this day, and oodles of love, peace and joy as always shmeared with mounds of Grace!