The only answer is love.

I know it is obvious and pat and painfully unhelpful to hear, but everything else is a non-answer. Love is the only answer I have come to understand that can fully put an end to the question.

Life is a process of piling on layers of hurt and friction and then picking apart those layers again to get back to our core, authentic presence in love for a brief, shining moment before we plunge back into the messiness of living. I have come to see this conflicted journey as what the passage of life is most about. This process is somehow vital and intrinsic to our experience, because we are so deeply invested in the repetition to endure tragic outcomes over and over. We have brilliant mentors and beautiful examples all around us and yet we mostly cause and choose difficulty in big ways and in small ways…so it must be important to do it. To go through it.

Performer David Miller

We come to see ourselves as hapless victims of unfairness, of heredity, of luck, of the people around us, of the people who raised us. I see this in myself in the very moment I start my complaint. The very moment of grievance is the moment I have cut myself off from the force of life. You have never heard a better argument for the unfairness of my treatment than the one I can give. You will be on my side andsupporting my protest because my facts are sound and truly, there has been, whether large or small, an injustice. But in terms of my heart and in terms of the true effect it has in my presence, it matters only exactly in equality with the pain I assign it. It is possible to stand in the place of truth, counter to my tormentors, and still love them and love myself with the fullness of my being. As invested as I can feel in my pain at any given moment, I also have the awareness that it is my choice to release that pain when I have made myself ready to. It may take my lifetime, it may take many lifetimes to get there, but it is possible.

We justify the conflicts and hold them in front of our own eyes, making our lives about the things outside ourselves, as if they are somehow truly separate. We strive to triumph in SPITE of the people who plague us, when the truth is, that spite only enmeshes us more in the darkness. We waste countless beats of our heart wondering exactly how the eyes of others see us. But it is impossible to ever know. We would have to crawl into their skin…merge with their brain, understand fully their prejudices, abandon our own knowledge and perspective to ever comprehend what someone thinks about us. And then what? You would have to start this all over to know how the next person sees you and be desperately disappointed to have found no answers, because their perspective would be so perplexingly different..and then the next, and then the next. All we can do is work to be more and more truly who we are, beyond our inventions of self, beyond our constructs of personality. All we can do is make the choice to reside in the very love that vibrates at the core of every single one of us. It is shockingly available to us at every moment.

And then even now, at this moment where I have a small glimmer of more fully understanding this, where I have a fleeting grasp of the words to describe the feeling, I am already making your argument for you. I am feeling the weight of the injustice of life that makes my point seem so precious and oblivious. I am already invested in piling on the layers that disguise the only true thing I know of. And for nothing. I go to and invest in the nothingness of a future argument that may or may not ever exist. The lure of this is such a part of the every day that I know it’s such a vital part of why we were here.

And I also know that it is as simple as letting it go.

4 Comments

  1. I have to congratulate you on these particular photos. Exceptional work. Very Lucien Freud.

    Mundane Note: In 2011, you invited me to produce paintings of your dancers for a fundraiser. I painted fifteen, of which four sold. Except for the ones I’ve given away (John Michael, Jason), I’m stuck with several nice paintings that are lurking in my basement because I was never given the model releases that were promised when we began that journey together. I’d like to obtain the paintings’ freedom. A former employee of TMP told me that when dancers signed a contract, they gave you the right to use their images as you wished. In theory, you could grant a blanket release, if you would. An email would suffice. The paintings (one of which is of you) represent a significant interlude in Boise history.

  2. This read was deep. I have to save it and read it again to fully appreciate and understand it. Your brain works on another level my friend. Great writing. P.s. I love him laughing on his back. So childlike.

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