Of course it’s not just by being good that we think we’ll be deserving of escaping life’s difficulties.
We imagine that if we make enough money (always more than whatever we have now), have enough friends, own the right kind of house or car, or make a name for ourselves, then suffering will not be able to touch us. That everything will be ok.
And all the while we’re pursuing this, we’re turning away from life, denying our inescapable part in it. It’s another version of the mountain myth about which I wrote in September.
I wrote yesterday that part of growing up (which may come very late in life) is finding out that this is not true, and that there is nobody to save us from life itself.
But releasing ourselves into life at last is our opportunity to discover that we don’t need saving at all. That our life, which itself is so incredibly unlikely, is holding us at every moment. And that this is precisely what makes all our joy, delight, trouble and pain possible at all.
Photograph by Emma Gregory