See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
As we grew up, we imagined ourselves to be cups, holders of things. We evaluated ourselves to see if we were hard workers, physically fit, financially prosperous, and whether we had good relationships. These evaluations made it so work and play became very different things. There started to be much to accomplish, although the days became somehow emptier. The more identities we held, the smaller and more elaborate the world became – until we could no longer explore it, since we were too busy mapping it. Responsible adulthood is a euphemism for brimming cups of identity.
But all of those maps and roles aren’t the truth and they break us.
We work until our health fades, we can’t work anymore, and cracks appear. Then we discover how to practice discretion in what we do, and discover also that there’s no difference between work and play if we do what we choose with a whole heart. These discoveries mend our cracks with gold.
We are defeated, we realize that we can’t create the world as we wish we were, and more cracks appear. We realize that ideas about right and wrong are meaningless – that the mighty moral fight between good and evil, us and them, is justification for anything. We mend our cups by demonstrating what we believe with our lives rather than words. Our cups begin to shimmer in the light.
Every time words show themselves to be empty, they run out of us and we crack again. Most of the stuff of “responsible adulthood” is an obsession with semantics. Most of the struggles we face are attempts to recreate the world based on self-assigned identity. Most of our fears arise from this same darkness and have nothing to do with the lives we live. Every time we abandon discussions and mental mirrors for life and immediate experience, we mend ourselves and glow a little brighter.
At some point, if we play too long at the edge of the darkness, we stumble in. Then a shudder races through our worlds and we are completely shattered. The scarred and tear-stained ones – the adult children, the survivors and recoverers – are mended with the most gold of all.
You and I will both be cups of pure gold before it’s over. Oh, how we’ll shine.