When I was a kid (and okay, I feel silly writing that; let me put on my white beard), I wanted to figure out the way. I wanted to find the answer that was always right, the tool that was always useful, the rule that should always be followed. I still want that. Right now, right as I consider letting go of that search, my mind’s rebelling, saying “But there are lessons that should always be followed! Like–like–kindness!” And okay, mind–but shh. Because I don’t think it’s true.
I think Watterson’s right. My first (young, childlike, passionate–immature) wish was to have hard and fast rules. I wanted compromise to be better than commitment, or commitment to be better than compromise. I wanted peace or revolution. I wanted my lack of activity to be Laziness (to be destroyed!) or Rest (to be defended!). I wanted something to be Worthy, or Not. Just now, I want (come along, struggling mind) to let go of this need for rules that are always right, and open up to responses that are, here and now, appropriate. Perhaps sometimes I should love–and sometimes I should reprimand. Sometimes I should relax, and sometimes I should redouble my efforts. Sometimes I should hold on, and sometimes I should compromise.
It’s psychologically reassuring to have an obvious, inviolable truth–but even the continents move. And on a smaller scale where they seem still, I don’t think I’ll walk very far if I insist on taking steps with just one foot.