“Running against the walls of our cage is perfectly hopeless.” I love a well-turned phrase and Wittgenstein knocked it out of the park with this observation. So much of my time in life has been spent “running against the walls of my cage.” It is comforting, now ensconced in my 7th decade…early therein, albeit…to be able to find the grace to not run so much. I am trying to follow the advice of the Beatles and, “Let it Be.”
It is so essential to learn to let it go, to surrender, to let come what may. But the ego fights this step toward maturity tooth-and-toenail.
Marianne Moore wrote a beautiful poem about this surrendering:
What is our innocence,
what is our guilt? All are
naked, none is safe. And whence
is courage: the unanswered question,
the resolute doubt, –
dumbly calling, deafly listening-that
in misfortune, even death,
and in its defeat, stirs
the soul to be strong? He
sees deep and is glad, who
accedes to mortality
and in his imprisonment rises
upon himself as
the sea in a chasm, struggling to be
free and unable to be,
in its surrendering
finds its continuing.
So he who strongly feels,
behaves. The very bird,
grown taller as he sings, steels
his form straight up. Though he is captive,
his mighty singing
says, satisfaction is a lowly
thing, how pure a thing is joy.
This is mortality,
This is eternity.