On the Redefinition of Surrender

(NORWAY, Sognefjord)

(NORWAY, Sognefjord) Ah, the lure of flight; the lure of freedom. (Photo taken by the author.)

Yesterday’s epiphany: if you fight against life, life will win. If only by magnitude; if only through volume.

After all, what’s one life against life. One mind against history. One spirit against the vast current of energy that bears down on everything like a tidal wave.

I didn’t quite realize, until yesterday, that I’d been battling for as long as I can remember, and that what I’d come to believe was equanimity was a carefully concealed passive aggression.

Now, I have to renegotiate the terms of surrender; do the work of redefining what acceptance means. In my head (what a hilariously redundant phrase: for the most part, “in my head” is all there is), I understand that coming to terms with life is the only way to actually fully live. But something in me resists this logic, denounces it as defeatism, and would rather live a defiant and drawn-out death.

But something else in me resists this chronic hostility too: an uncanny, unfamiliar and undernourished self that’s probably been lying in wait all this time. It understands my fear, it understands my reluctance, and it understands my hostilitywhich is why it’s waited patiently all these years.

You don’t have to make your kingdom come, is what it says. What’s already here is much vaster and richer than anything you’ve ever conceived. But you can’t live in both worlds.

True to form, I recoil from its invitation with petulance (ah, Peter Pan’s attachment to Never Never Land).

But it can wait. It’s waited all this time; it can wait a little more.

After all, it’s got life on its side.

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