This dichotomy between warriorship and lovingkindness. I chase after both. My wife would tell you that I am on the far end of the teeter-totter, all one way, bristling with knives and guns and agression, with only the occasional glance over my shoulder at the other side. Myself, I feel probably the other way, that I am all spiritual creaminess and love and kindness, and I arm myself and fight and train in order to get a little balance the other way. But that’s not accurate, not really. It reflects something true, but in a distorted way. I don’t know what I’m after. Some kind of truth. The truth of inhabiting both worlds, the strength that comes from tempering my body and mind in training for combat, and the strength that comes from loving fully, giving my heart without reservation, being open to everything this world that is going to kill me has to offer.
It’s as good a struggle as any, I suppose.
I often daydream about being able to go back in time, way, way back, to the dawn of our species, and to live with our earliest human ancestors in the wildness of a new world. Hunt dangerous game with wooden spears. Gather fruit and berries in some primeval forest. Sit in a circle around a fire, sharing the stories of the day. Live in a time without time. A world where all relationships are personal, where the world is intimate and vast, all at once.
Maybe it would seem impossibly impoverished to me. Maybe I’d die from infection after an insect bite or a minor cut, or from eating something poisonous, or falling out of a tree. Probably I wouldn’t last long at all, and the whole thing would be nasty, brutish, and short.
But wouldn’t there be glorious days of ranging across a vast plain, chasing game with a band of my brothers? Wouldn’t there be a star-mad sky pressing down close on us in the wildness of blackest night? Wouldn’t there be an intimacy with the known world that we’ve lost now? Wouldn’t I be in my place?
Don’t get me wrong. I love my life here and now. It’s an exciting time to be alive, every bit as wild and astounding as the dawn of man, or the age of dinosaurs, or the age of interstellar travel. I am grateful for these small handful of years.
But I am endlessly greedy for more.
In a hundred million years, there won’t be a single species on the face of the earth that is alive today. We’ll all have walked off the stage, and been replaced by something new.
Something we can’t even imagine.
I love this world and everything in it.