To turn harder we must dig deeper.
Like a rower, we carve hard into the fluid depths of our soul to find a resistance that will help us turn.
It hurts at first because that deep place is still ‘me’ and wants to stay untouched.
But when we are hurtling in the wrong direction down a swift river we must turn hard.
Because I love ideas, the idea of the turn is attractive. ‘I shall pivot…. Over there, later. And it will be good.’
But when I arrive at that planned point, I am still focussing elsewhere, either ahead to a fantasy or back to memory. That spot, that looked so good before, is no longer right. I’m too busy (hurtling along the river) or not ready (watching the river flow) or afraid (as I hear the sound of the rapids). I chose growth, but wanted an easy turn.
So the choice becomes more and more difficult, the moment less convenient, the action more abrupt, if it is to have the right effect.
If the soul has been silenced too long, when it finally speaks, it demands big action. In the frantic world of achievement and progress, we rarely help our souls to speak about the essence of growth; we always leave it too long. So our world is full of people hurtling down the river of time, needing to pivot, to turn hard and painfully, to where their soul points.
I hate the pain of the turn, the turbulence, the narrow focus on the moment, when both past and future are invisible. I defer that pain, though I know from past turns and travels, that I need to make the turn to craft my growth rather than suffer a series of accidents.
For after the turn our whole vista, past and future, has rearranged into strange shapes.Was that me, now that I’m looking differently? What am I becoming, now that I’ve turned? With age, growth doesn’t slow or end, it just becomes a harder question.
Even the future we craft deliberately can still feel madly strange. I have made changes I thought would be ‘sensible’, only to discover myself out of the river and into an alien space, whose strangeness is both entrancing and terrifying.
Yet growing means we must seek this strange place even if we do not know why, or what we are to do there. It is the essence of the adventure of living. And because I’ve been lucky, sometimes, to have had great guides, mentors and elders, I’m grateful for what has emerged.
In this way we are constantly in transition, rarely arriving but full of living the journey.