Tuesday, March 12, 2013

different kinds of balance

In this particular take on the justice card we have a scale, unbalanced it would see, or perhaps simply in the process of swinging back and forth. We have a card of contrasts and juxtaposition: light and darkness, clear skies and raging storms, peaceful nature the man-made cities, towers, factories. What does it mean to have all of them portrayed just so? The hand move holds what looks to be a clock pointing at the number twelve, noon and midnight, beginnings and ends.

Balance... it was equilibrium that I focused on so many times last year, with Justice as my year card. Balance, the idea of trying to be even-handed, of trying to find that right place in between extremes, of adjusting and carefully weighing and getting it all to just enough, yes, enough.

Life isn't all about things we can balance out through or own efforts though, is it? Part of this 'Justice' and weighing is more in the grand scheme...that some experiences will be balanced out by others, that painful events sometimes lead to good ones, that personal failings we have, but also talents...and so on. People often say things along the lines of evil or suffering being necessary, that there would be no light without darkness, no appreciation of the good times without the bad, and so on.

True enough, I find, though perhaps not as comforting a notion as sometimes put forward to be. There have been times when I have found very much amusement and pleasure from such insignificant things, if only because there was nothing else I could laugh about or focus on. These days...simple moments, the most pedestrian of experiences and such strong appreciation, satisfaction in what someone else might see as utterly unremarkable.

You appreciate how nice it is to go on a walk through a city you like, to enjoy the weather and look around at your surroundings without quite that constant background of gloom, idle fantasies (of say, throwing yourself in front of a car)t hat you could never quite chase away so familiar, ignored and unspoken, same old same old.

You feel so accomplished when you calmly finish a task a few hours or even days ahead of a deadline, rather than staring unable to think or write until it gets so late that you begin to panic as you think of the consequences of failure, of disappointing people, and then stay up for two days straight, not letting yourself do anything else, crying from stress as you make yourself write and write desperately.

You find it to be so wonderfully ordinary when you can let yourself sit in a coffee shop for a few hours alone, drinking a coffee and eating an oatmeal and reading for school because it is such a contrast to so many other experiences, an illusion of sorts and a glimmer of feeling what other people feel when in fact you have not known what it means to eat a normal meal like a normal person since you were fourteen years old and still don't, really.

A constant state of storm certainly does make clear sky days so much more amazing, but perhaps the same would also be true in reversed. Ordinarily I hate rainy days. So much inconvenience, forgetting umbrellas or proper shoes and spending hours wet and cold. It rained once during the ten weeks I spent in Tunisia and I ran out onto the balcony to feel it, because it felt so amazing, after so long without...

Darkness and light and a scale that tips back and forth, back and forth. Justice and balance and what can we have, if not all of both? Is there a way to have the convenience of factory produced gadgets without killing off all those beautiful whales swimming in the sea?


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