Monday, September 8, 2014

The rock and the wave

... every man is an island. It is a truth that often the tolling of a silence reveals even more vividly than the tolling of a bell. We sit in silence with one another, each of us more or less reluctant to speak, for fear that if he does, he may sound like a fool. And beneath that there is of course the deeper fear, which is really a fear of the self rather than of the other, that maybe truth of it is that indeed he is a fool. The fear that the self that he reveals by speaking may be a self that the others will reject just as in a way he has himself rejected it. So either we do not speak, or we speak not to reveal who we are but to conceal who we are, because words can be used either way of course. Instead of showing ourselves as we truly are, we show ourselves as we believe others want us to be. We wear masks, and with practice we do it better and better, and they serve us well –except that it gets very lonely inside the mask, because inside the mask that each of us wears there is a person who both longs to be known and fears to be known. In this sense every man is an island separated from every other man by fathoms of distrust and duplicity.
- Frederick Breuchner, The Hungering Dark

The rock wears no masks.  It does not resist the wave because it thinks that it should be seen resisting the wave.  It does so because that is its true nature.  The storm howls and the wave crests, and the rock stands immovable.  Because that is what it does.
Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high, 
I fear not wave nor wind
Lord Byron, Adieu My Native Shore
The rock is no fool. We can learn a lot from the rock.


Brigid said...

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Goober said...

Well timed, Borepatch.

I sort of feel like a rock facing the onslaught right now, myself.

Feeling a bit buoyant at the moment for my taste, though.