Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Laying Them Down

So I posted this quote a month ago:
" 'Lay em down, Sethe. Sword and Shield. Down. Down. Both of em down. Down by the riverside. Sword and shield. Don't study war no more. Lay all that mess down. Sword and shield.' And under the pressing fingers and the quiet instructive voice, she would. Her heavy knives of defense against misery, regret, gall  and hurt, she placed one by one on the bank where clear water rushed on below."
And I just can't, to save my life, shake this quote from my mind. It's been following me like a ghost. Every time I think about it or read it, I can feel everything becoming more okay, almost physiologically. I love the imagery or laying your weapons down alongside a river. There's something wonderful about the juxtaposition of big antique weapons and a clear flowing river. Like you can't enjoy the river until you put down the weapons and allow yourself to be vulnerable. But I also love the instruction. Stop fighting the universe. Stop trying to beat the fates. Lay down all your "would have"s and "could have"s and accept what is. Stop feeling the feelings that harm you. Let them go and make room for tranquillity. Trust that eventually things will work out. Find peace with what is and what may be and your inability to control everything. 
In my journal, I made a long list of all the things I'm laying down. All the things that I have to let be what they are and accept them. All the things that I refuse to let control the future. All the things that I can't undo or change; that aren't worth regretting. And I feel strangely, remarkably, hugely at peace with my world. Right now. As it is.
Sometimes, I wonder at the ability of a complete stranger to change my life. Thank you, Toni Morrison.

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