Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Revelation of youth, part 1...what it was

It is November. I am 55 years old. I am walking from Union Station across Burnside in Portland, Oregon with my wheeled suitcase trailing behind me. I'm on my way to the catch the Max out to Beaverton to see my son and his wife for Thanksgiving. Clippity, clippity the wheels snap at my heels and I feel like a caricature of myself. I feel like I am something I have always dreaded becoming. I don't recognize myself.

I was in the crosswalk in front of all the stopped traffic and I lucidly recalled 1978, when I was crossing Burnside...I was 25 and I was in real bad shape. What was different about my life that kept me alive then? From where I was standing in the middle of the crosswalk on Burnside, I sensed that it may have been a miracle that I survived. My heart ached and I was seized by an overwhelming sense of loss....clippity clippity....I sincerely wished that the ground would open and swallow me up. My heart was breaking.

When I got home, I was dogged by my experience at the crossing. I want to understand how I managed to live when so many great souls were torn away in their twenties. Did I live because it is true that only the good die young or did I live because I was spared?

A focus of my week off work and indulging in the Holy Days was spent with Gus Van Sant's work. Someone returned Elephant to the library drop box last week. I picked it up and, looking at the cover, it occurred to me there was something that I needed to remember. After I watched this film, I knew had to take a closer look and re-visit all Van Sant's work. So I have been in good company this past week...The revelation of youth:

Thanks to Gus Van Sant and inmyownprivateidaho on YouTube

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