Life Shrinks or Expands in Proportion to One’s Courage -Anais Nin

Or, uh, be careful what you wish for.  As I mentioned a few weeks back, this chicken is about to cross the road and wonders what’s on the other side – free range or a barbecue.   Miss Nin’s comment came to mind at this juncture because I heard her speak at a previous flex point – college commencement so many years ago.  Nearly forty now.

I had no clue why she was deserved of an honorary degree.  What’s so great about sleeping around?  And why would you want to write about it?  Interesting to me now is that the realization that I then had far less knowledge of what was going on inside my head than did she.

All those voices!  Id, ego, anima, shadow et al; Mom, Dad; and cultural stereotypes roared up a cacophony while my own only piped up a few notes now and then – most notably in the throes of  life’s more beautiful duties.  Cannot but take a while though I guess, for experience and effort to begin create a melody out of all that noise.

It’s quiet at first, but soon enough clarity increases and then the dynamics ensue.  As it becomes more crisp and apparent you can either begin to not worry about scorn or embarrassment and try to hum along or else at your peril drown it out with some sort of overindulgence.  It won’t go away.  In other words: “the requirement [is] that a man, whatever his age or station, pull out of his reflexive behaviors and attitudes, radically reexamine his life and risk living out the thunderous imperatives of his soul”.

Further, “The terror he may feel on the high seas of life is understandable, but in relinquishing the imperative to sail on, in giving over to an ideology or to dependency on someone else, he loses  his manhood.  It is time to come clean, acknowledge the fear, but live the journey.”*

Gulp.  We shall see what we shall see.

*James Hollis, What Matters Most

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One Response to “Life Shrinks or Expands in Proportion to One’s Courage -Anais Nin”

  1. phi16 Says:

    Great quotes.

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