Art, community, Creativity, growth, Purpose, spirit

Let the World Spin

Farrell Eye Mural

The enemy does not live in you.

Your life is not your foe. Not your wounds or mistakes, not even the hurt you caused.

Not your temper. Not your failures. Not the paths you taken or those you’ve passed on, not your reckless love or your absent god.

The enemy does not occupy your mind. The enemy does not govern your chemical imbalance. The enemy never existed inside you. You didn’t let it infiltrate, storm the gates. You are innocent of that, if not of everything.

The enemy, as it happens, resides in the world they yoke into the service of their riches. The enemy uses disconnection to drive you from me, to make us mock and distrust and discard sources of nourishment. The enemy floods you with cheap distractions then turns the floodlight on you when you dare to comment on your dissatisfaction. The enemy tries to convince you that your smallness, your hunger, are your fault and your burden: Fix it if you don’t like it.

The enemy does not live in you. The enemy is not your confusion, your spinning thoughts, your fear about what’s unfolding around you. The enemy exploits your perceptiveness. It jams the signals. The enemy thrives in inverse proportion to your disorientation. The enemy profits off your slipping grip and your grind.

Your coming unhinged is a feature, not a bug.

The enemy does not live in you.

What lives in you is the savior. The seed. The fairy dust and the holy grail. What lives inside you is the howl of resistance, the shriek of birth. What lives inside you is something mighty. A force. A tenderness. A sixth sense. A third eye.

What lives inside you is one pulsing piece of what we need to repair this broken masterpiece. What lives inside you is not the individual responsibility for fixing it. No single soul among us holds the blueprint for restoration.

Yet the blueprint still belongs to you.

Your fragment. Mine. The neighbor’s.

Your one tiny, obscure scrap tucked away somewhere deep. One fraction of one section of one line in a pythonic code. It’s easy to overlook it, the thin and possibly ragged thing that sometimes surfaces when you dig around under the noise. You may assume it’s just another bit of trash and your assumption is understandable. The enemy works overtime to convince you that all of what you make, all of what you are, is garbage. And the only garbage it wants of you is the kind that you can trade for rent and, if you grind hard enough, a mediocre medical plan.

This little scrap you find, it is a precious thing. A prayer flag. A treasure map. A page from the lost book. A corner of the fledgling constitution of the land we can only make together.

Find me. We’ll join the frayed edges, stitch by stitch, your with mine, then ours with the neighbor’s and with the next neighbor’s after that.

In this way, we’ll patch ourselves back together.

You belong to this creation. You belong to life.

The enemy does not live in you.

What lives in you is art. Not just Art, although you have that too — your song, your sonnet, your saute, your sway — yes.

Also the simple art of you.

Your art as curiosity, as wonder, as affection and fury and longing and tenderness. Your art generates connection. And connection poses a threat to the disordered order of the enemy. Your art chips away at the illusion the enemy sells us. Your art gives the world the antidote to despair and dehumanization.

Get ready. When you start doing your art — especially after a quiet stretch of recuperation — it will be a liberatory act. It will bring with it all the exhilaration and retaliation that liberation entails. The enemy will double down on its assault to your senses. Your doubt will become the enemy’s weapon. Because your art, as simple as it may seem to you, begins to redistribute life’s riches.

When you make your art, you will feel a surge of something. It will be hard to discern its source. It will make your heart shudder. It will make your mind whirl. That surge will swim right alongside the lies the enemy throws at you. It may seem like the art itself is foolish, and you are nuts for doing it, or that doing it is making you nuts. And wouldn’t it be a relief to stop and return to a surer course?

The stability on offer is a death sentence.

Let the world spin.

Your art exposes the lovely and terrifying truth that’s been right here all along: that in our very weakness lies our hope for survival. That we are creatures wired for mutuality. That we have to weave ourselves together. That we have to love ourselves together. That we have to call on every buried, mystifying, unsophisticated, unexpected form of art in order to save what we still can in this wounded world.

The enemy does not live in you.

In you is a sacred thing.

You, a sacred thing.

Photo by Dan Farrell on Unsplash


1 thought on “Let the World Spin”

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