Walking the Perimeters

But I don’t want to go among mad people, said Alice.
Oh, you can’t help that, said the cat. We’re all mad here.

~ Lewis Carroll

There are days and there are days. Today is one in which I awaken with the insight that all of us are mad. All. Some seem to revel in it; just look at the cartoon debacle in the US political arena any day of the week. Others appear to hold it together extremely well until something jolts us into our most vulnerable of places (the death of a loved one, a terminal illness). Even birth itself can inaugurate the unraveling. The cosmic egg is cracked. Brilliance emerges; the artist, the ballplayer, the botanist, the lama. The ecstasy, the suffering. Who wouldn’t go mad in the face of it?

What form, our pleasure? The madness of the composer, the scientist, the athlete, the saint? Are we hard wired to push boundaries, frontiers of justice, mercy, of knowledge or compassion? The fleeting forms of beauty or fame, of times in forest or studio, do we seek the expansive ocean or the surging tide of faces? Knowing the challenges one encounters in courting excellence, do we instead select the cloak of invisibility, of mute complicity, of service so selfless that we dare not ask another to share our burdens?

We do the best we can in managing life; enjoying it, even rejoicing. And the further we deplete that expressive bank account, the more surges forth to be revealed; the greater the challenge in ushering or stemming the flow, as dollop by gush it seeps from our pores onto the page, the canvas, into opulent anterooms or out onto the squalor of the streets. Drip, drip, dropping into the core of our humanity, dislodging the veils until we stand shivering and naked, the mime unmasked, the orphan turned out into the cold; is it possible, we wonder, to contain the truth of what lies revealed? Who are we, and to what purpose on this green and growing earth have humans been fashioned like gods and demons? Surely it is not simply to consume everything in sight, Pac-Man-like until, exhausted, we mulch back into soil from whence these formerly fecund bodies were contrived by a hand both delicate and careless, in turn?

30 comments on “Walking the Perimeters”

  1. Oh…Bela…
    I’m not sure how to express the impact of your words…right here…right now…in this moment. A wave of knowing singed with a very deep sadness welled up from my heart center and immediately released as tears flew down my cheeks. I will read this again, and feel these feelings and it will strum the compassion for humanity as a whole, as we stand in the wings and watch this all from the sidelines.
    I do believe…I HAVE to believe that the energy of love, compassion, and kindness can tame this raging madness.
    Thank you for the expression of your beautiful soul…I am truly touched this morning. I have to go with a loved one to possibly receive dire news this morning. Connecting with your words give me strength. Have a wonderful day, Belated! Blessitude 💜

    • Aloha Lorrie – though I am surprised at your response to my post, I shouldn’t be. Just because I can view this condition as I see it with eyes wide open, unflinching – it doesn’t mean there are not days in which I, too, feel abject sadness at it all. To affirm your dearest wish that somehow love and compassion can turn the tide, there are also days in which it feels as though we are truly experiencing the death throes of an old paradigm that has outlived its usefulness. How this will all play out is yet a mystery.

      Hoping your loved one’s news results in redemption of some kind, and wishing for you the strength required to support both of you through what is yet to come. Blessings, dear Lorrie, and love ❤

  2. Beautiful written, as always, dear Bela, quite beautiful. As to purposes, we can only forge our own imaginings, mine being that life, the universe — call it what we will — is (t)here to gradually become aware of itself, and we, meaning all beings and life forms as individuations, act as the axons, the dendrites, the microtubules that connect life’s neural network, aided by the inorganic, the satellites and keyboards we fixate neurotically upon in our cloud of unknowing. We are all mad here, in a tender way, the greater part of us, anyway. The beginnings of wisdom appear to dawn in realising our own absurdity. Beware the sane person who cannot laugh at themselves, eh? Sending love to Hawaii and Manchester, via the network. H ❤

    • Aloha, dear one:

      Yes, Manchester, the latest in the mis-taken madness, such as it is: took the pill to make themselves larger, instead of realizing they were small of mind and stature, simply slaughtering parts of themselves, cutting off their own sad appendages, misguided, so young, not yet properly in-formed. When madness assumes this form, it is pernicous, mostly due to ignorance, and remains, at least to me, piteous.

      Our ‘tender’ madness, on the other hand is not harmful unless delusional, but then again, our collective dendrites convey feelings overlaid with conditioning and too much fear, seemingly especially nowadays. What have we become? Where are we going? Questions likely not asked 6000 years ago and more. “What a piece of work is man!” Indeed, though I vascillate between compassion and outrage, often in the same breath. My own brand of madness, such as it is on any given day, is to re-member. My garden is my sanity and sanctity in this quest.

      Thank you forever for taking the time and focus to probe my proper meaning in my writing, Hariod. It means so much. I don’t seem to be adept at conveying thoughts in a simple and direct way and am often misunderstood, though I suspect all serve the great unraveling. This post was written in sympathy with my own mad inclinations at the fore, yet of course I realized the echos, given current global events.

      Blessing you on this day, wishing you warmth and bliss where it may arise within and without. You are a treasure. With love ❤

  3. I am here now dear Bela picking up your thread.. 🙂 now seeing what is written.. Beautifully expressed..
    Mad! I was once thought to be.. LOL… really I had lost the plot for the best part of 2 months in a six months recovery from a total nervous breakdown… Where by I was a nervous wreck not keeping a limb still, weeping at any given moment, and zonked out with Prozac .. Thankfully they went in the bin.. 🙂 As I joined the rest of the world in its madness.. 🙂

    Getting caught up in the madness of the world global events as we do often makes no sense at all.. As we perceive the world has gone mad with such horrors that unfold almost daily via our news feeds..

    “We do the best we can in managing life;”.. And that dear Bela is all we can do.. to make sense of our world.. We would really need more information.. As to see WHY it is the seemingly innocent suffer.
    I have tried standing back, being none judgmental.. Seeing the lack of LOVE so many have nothing but hatred spoon fed into them.. They see nothing else. and believe all they are told.. Not unlike ourselves who are also spoon fed information of various types..
    The real blessing Bela.. is in our Deep understanding of something more.. Something both of us KNOW beyond words we can tell others about.. For its ingrained within our subconscious within our Spirit..
    And I have to believe as Mad as this world will get.. ( and I believe it will appear to get madder yet.. ) that all is well in the world for its all as it should be.. For greater things are at work here as we move through these changes..
    I try to remind myself of this often when the tears stream down my cheeks and my heart aches..

    Gods or Demons?( I often thought we were some sort of space penal colony where the dregs of the universe had been planted to sort themselves out. ) WE Fell out of grace.. and are working our way back.. Who knows..
    All I can do is my BEST.. Love more. Judge less, and pray that we will wake up to our failings as human beings and treat each other and Gaia with more respect, love and kindness..

    Sending Huge hugs your way dear Bela.. Aloha.. ❤ ❤ ❤

    • You are so wise, my friend. Much of what you say resonates. I love how you quip you had ‘lost the plot’ – unsure if this is a Brit expression that double entendres, but I will take it to mean you lost the plot of the story, so to speak. Which of course is always written by someone else until we grab the pen into our own trembling hands. So, so glad you did just that.

      Needing more information – of course. But we’re not going to get it from The Mystery now, are we? Not the questions we burn to know; thus I have to reorient said questions, widen the net and release expectations of ‘what life is meant to be.’ I love Hariod’s viewpoint here, and agree with much of it, however I approach a similar understanding differently due to my gender and personality.

      Madder yet, oh, yes. Indeed it shall. We are in the throes of a paradigm shift, and it’s not going to go easy on those who fail to see its necessity. In my humble opinion.

      It’s ‘funny’ you mention tears and heartaches. Last Sunday my dear husband went for a bike ride down to the ocean cliffs and returned, asking if I’d like to accompany him in some ‘shoreline cleanup.’ We filled his truck bed over the brim with plastic, metal, tires, old chairs, useless upholstery appendages and other rubbish. My first reaction was tears at people marring the beauty of such a sacred space with their careless hands, then came the outrage. So I do this, as well. At the most unexpected times.

      Space penal colony! I LOVE this description! And I’d agree with it, too – save for the exquisite beauty of this earth – isn’t a penal colony supposed to be more Kafka-esque? On the other hand, perhaps it looks that very way to those still mired in anger and illusion – did you and I and others as well come to help and then – oof – get lost in the illusory muck as well – or did we, too fall from grace, as suggested – who the bloody hell knows? As you, I work on the very qualities you mention. To leave behind the moral outrage and remain positive, failing another adjective, and focus on the beauty and opportunities for enlightenment for all; the release from suffering.

      Love to you, and many thanks for your presence in my life, Sue ❤ ❤ ❤ Aloha.

      • Yes its sad when people throw away and do not think of the consequences to the environment.. When I was in Scotland as we rode past a lovely wood plastic bottles were strewn along the roadside..
        On returning home on Sunday we took our Granddaughter to a farm park as we had not seen her in a while.. She loved it.. and we had a picnic..
        On a table next to ours a couple with two children were just leaving.. They got up walking away, leaving paper drink cups on the table that blew down and two plastic bottles and empty crisp packets.. A Bin was right by their table..
        I went along and picked everything up..
        It makes me wonder what their homes are like.. NO respect at all for anything ..

        Lost the Plot .. is like losing ones Marbles.. I was gar-gar for a while.. lol.. 🙂 Thankfully I am now certified sane.. haha..
        Loved your reply Bela..
        And yes.. The Garden of Eden was always Earth..
        And I have long held a different theory about Adam and Eve.. 😉
        Love and Hugs my friend Enjoy your garden and the weekend.. So will I.. ❤

      • My love to you, Sue – bowled under with visitors and graduations just now – will respond in proper depth later – much I wish to ask you after your past two responses 😉 xoxo

      • Enjoy your visitors Bela.. sending you love and hugs. and look forward to our future conversations.. 🙂

      • Thanks, dearie. Tomorrow I’m over the hump 😉 xoxo

      • So yes, my little formerly madwoman, the only thing that separates us might well be the width of a hair. Sanity is subjective, I’m afraid.

        I am sure you’ve got a great Adam & Eve story – I’ve long thought the Patriarchal interpretation to be utter hogwash.

        I really have been mulling over your space penal colony image; it gives me a deep respect for your perceptions, because I do not think you are far wrong. I’ve so tried for so long to ‘fit in,’ to be simply ‘human,’ and I keep finding myself more and more lost and deluded. Enough to make anyone with any deep sixth sense connection completely bonkers. (Beyond this, we’d really have to email privately to continue what might be a wild and wooly conversation. Yet you affirm me more than you know.)

        Sending you love and buckets of virtual and multihued tropical flowers to brighten your weekend, dear Sue. Be well ❤

      • Thank you for the buckets of flowers ..:-)

      • Got it, luv, thanks 😉

  4. Your post deserves better than words I can craft (maybe more nuanced), though I will write them anyway…I think the madness is that we sometimes think we are primarily rational beings, and that in fact we escape the madness when we are at our most vulnerable, or when we make ourselves vulnerable…
    Or, at any rate, this is so for me. The more I open myself, the more open I become to others, to the mystery…Perhaps madness is the loss or the disconnect from that mystery.
    Thank you as always 🙂

    • Many thanks, VL – will respond soon – swamped with visitors and graduations. Soon! Aloha ❤

      • So, VL – you are too kind, despite the fact that you are a sensitive, talented wordsmith. I appreciate your own views on rationality and the need to open the heart (or so I’m interpreting ‘vulnerable’) to elude feelings of madness. Though some of us (ahem) are ‘too’ open and vulnerable and the madness stems from that very place(!) I am glad you have discovered a solution to alleviating your own sense of disconnection. I wish more could lay hands to their own key/s.

        Blessings, sweetie, always so good hearing from you! ❤

  5. Love this picture of Alice in Wonderland, one of my very favorite reads, and yes I do agree. I think we all, at times, need to be a bit mad just to get by in this world for sometimes trying to understand is simply out of the question. Well written.

    • Mahalo, Renee – we both love these old photos as well! And yes, a bit mad, indeed, even if we are completely unaware of it. Understanding being quite beside the point … ❤

  6. A very thoughtful poem of the concept of madness in this world, Bela. Very heartfelt, very real and also very reflective in an englitening way. ‘The fleeting forms of beauty or fame, of times in forest or studio, do we seek the expansive ocean or the surging tide of faces?’ I think with madness comes some sort of ego and we feel a sense of complancency. You alluded to the artist at the beginning, and as a writer sometimes I feel mad writing or mad in the process of trying to create something out of words. We try and try and want more and more when we feel the rush of a little accomplishment – and it can be addictive. It reminds me how sometimes I stay up to 2am writing a blog post or writing something in general.

    I really like your positive end – to rejoice and enjoy it all. There’s a need for madness to make us stop and ask ourselves why are we doing what we’re doing, and for what are we doing it for. In the context of the real world and current events happening today, sometimes you’d think madness has gone too far…

    Hope you are well Bela and have a good weekend 🙂

    • Mahalo, Mabel! Will reply soon – very busy with visitors and graduations. Soon! ❤

      • Mabel, I would love you to expand on this, if you have time, “I think with madness comes some sort of ego and we feel a sense of complancency,” although perhaps you go on to explain it when you expound on your own creative process. Very interesting – the success in your creation brings forth a surge of (adrenaline?) at the accomplishment, leading you to feel as though it’s ‘addictive.’ This would explain the ego part. For me, it’s more like, ‘express the amorphous concept! get it out! done! move on!’ … more like an obligation to share what I am ‘receiving’ from an unknown Source …

        As for current events and the global stage, holy cow. Yes. “That” brand of madness borders on lunacy. Too far is right!

        I am well, hoping the same for you, sweet of heart. Blessings to you on this bright day! ❤

      • Good luck with visitors and graduation ❤ ❤ ❤

      • Thank you! After today, things will simmer down a bit. 🙂

  7. VERY MUCHLY SO

    Very muchly so
    And yet

    If TIME
    (T – Temporary
    I – Illusion
    M- Mimicking
    E – Illusion)
    Is time
    Then

    Let go

    “Return
    Release
    Relax”


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