I haven’t written in a few weeks. Mainly I’ve been wrestling with some demons who followed me to the centre of this country even though I didn’t ask them to. When they arrived and tapped me on the shoulder to say g’day I just about threw up. Just about, but not quite. Instead I clutched my stomach and limped for a while under the pain of having been found again. Only this time with nowhere to run. The centre, it turns out, is the furthest place from everywhere. Any step in any direction is one step closer to somewhere I’ve already been. So here I am. Unwelcome guests gnawing at the walls I built.
They say these things happen. That by the time they reach the centre those who run are caught. Its the old story of the labyrinth and the Minotaur. Actually the other day I met a man who described the Minotaur in a way I’d never heard before. He said the Minotaur casts a big shadow but is actually very small. I like that. A little demon with a big shadow. I suppose then the best way to look at demons is with the sun directly overhead. To have everything out in the open. So that’s what I’ve been doing, small portions of truth in safe spaces and it seems to be working.
I wonder whether lots of people look at their demons with regret. As if demons are somehow a blight on the record. Something like, “Oh, that's my demon, guess I’m unworthy of anything but a life in the underworld.” I've had that thought. Occasionally it slithers up and in between the others so that the general picture in my mind is a tapestry of admonition. Today I was listening to Annaka Harris talk about consciousness and free will. She doesn’t buy the latter. And when pressed on the idea of regret she is quick to say its useless, or worse, maybe harmful. Why? Because, she says, regret supposes things could be different, but they can’t. Which isn’t to say one shouldn’t feel sorry for things done or not done. Only sorry isn't driven by self hatred (like regret) but by compassion for injuries caused by a mistake.
Anyway, in the case of demons - and allowing myself a generalisation here, as if someone who needs to hear this is reading it - maybe those pesky things we hide away have on occasion done some real harm. Even then it isn’t helpful to condemn oneself. Its more helpful to have a little compassion for the once innocent within. A little compassion might go a long way to making friends with pain and suffering.
Of course that’s not what my ego wants to hear. I’d rather take the titans road and beat myself up for reasons I don’t fully understand, probably little demons with big shadows. Anyway it doesn’t help. So here’s to a little compassion and a long way.