Friday, March 14, 2008

The Beauty of Struggle

Those are the Mission Mountains which are due east from Polson about 2 miles I guess. I don't have words to explain what living in the brilliance of their shadow does for me. I always wanted to live near mountains, but never dreamed I'd be so close to ones like these. I can see their peaks from a couple of the windows in my house on a clear day like today.

I think those mountains struggled a lot against the glacier that formed them. Or maybe it was the glacier that did all the work, eh? At any rate, they are a reminder to me of the beauty that can come from struggle, whether it's the struggle of tectonic plates and ice ages, or the struggle of one human soul trying to make her way in the world. And while they don't seem to be struggling now, I'm sure there are underground movements at work on them all the while they seem to be resting.

The Electric Orchid Hunter left this comment on yesterday's post: In my opinion that book has got it all wrong. By nature, we don't put up a fight, don't expend more energy than necessary; life is all downstream from here. Situations and people like those two men are more like rocks that you wash against and end up clinging to, assuming that that'll stem the tide, prevent you from being swept over the cataract. But what these rocks actually do, is prevent you from moving at all. Clinging to these rocks leaves you marooned.

It is only when you realize that you can swim upstream unaided, that you don't need to give up and drown, or bleach and dessicate on those rocks, that you have undreamed of potential and resourcefulness, that the river of Life breaks its hold on you.

And here's my reply to him: EOH,

What a beautiful and thoughtful comment. And I agree with you. I actually believe in struggle as a positive force sometimes, a builder of character and a strengthener of spiritual and psychic muscles. When people say life can be lived without struggle, I wonder what kind of life it would actually be. But when is enough enough? And how do we get our thoughts moving again in whatever direction works for us - be it upstream or downstream? The process described in the book helped me do that.

I highly recommend checking out his blog - just make sure you've got your Webster's Unabridged handy!

I dream that more people in the world could find such an eloquent way to agree to disagree, or agree on some points and not on others, or disagree with respect. Don't you think the world would be a better place?

I'm headed up to spend the weekend with the cowboy. This is major progress for it requires a 45 minute drive which I feel I'm up for at this point. I'm wondering if it's time to leave these beautiful mountains - the opportunities in Missoula or Kalispell, or even Bozeman would be much better than what I might find here. Then again, I would have to leave those mountains and the incredible network of friends and associates I've developed here over the past 5 years. I'm glad I don't have to decide today.

Have a great weekend and I'll check in with you all on Monday.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes just getting away is best, have a nice, comfortable weekend.
Warm thoughts sent your way,

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about all the sucky stuff...a55holes and the knee and more cr@p than any one person should have to deal with. But I'm so happy you get to spend the weekend up in the mountains with someone who enjoys your company.

Diva Carla said...

Hi Angela, so glad you are getting away to a pleasant weekend. I am astounded that this surgery has a year's recovery. I understand though how it interferes with your blogging. I have been unable to write or make art for months, since Mama died. It could be grief, or maybe I am depressed, or maybe I am just simmering. I wish I was a neighbor so I could help you out, now that the family has gone.
An earlier work of A-H had a game that has helped me, and it is really easy to grab when the shit hit the fan: choose a thought that feels better (than the one you have now). I've pulled myself out of deep holes with that one.

YOu are magnificent. You will prevail!


The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

All the best for the underground movements at work on you although you seem to be resting... There is no doubt in my mind that you will end up exactly where you need to be. How smooth and polished you will be when the glacier has melted!

Anonymous said...

Since you've not finished telling us your story, I don't know what it was you were running away from when you moved to Montana. Have you considered that "it" will also follow you to Bozeman or Missoula?

Angela said...

Thanks, Carolyn & Kelly. We had a great time. :)

Carla, I think of you so often and still check your blog. For everything there is a season - grief takes a long time. My thoughts are with you.

EOH, you are a very sweet guy. :)

Anonymous, You might want to re-read the post. I have no desire to leave where I am, but economic necessities may prevail. I'm curious. What compels you to leave a post like that??

bella said...

Hope your weekend went well.
And I'm happy for you to have these mountains that speak to you of your own truth.

Rick Hamrick said...

I hope you feel inspiration toward the move you need to make (or no move, at all), Angela!

It still is a puzzle to me, when the discussion around 'struggle' comes up, that we even attribute it to inanimate objects. What if it were possible for two forces in opposition to work it out between themselves, much as you praise the people who can figure out how to agree to disagree?

That's not struggling, at least not as I see it. It's working to find common ground, even if that ground shifts over the millions of years the agreement may cover, when we talk about tectonic plates.

I guess, for me, it boils down to a difference in work and struggle. Work need not involve struggle, which connotes both effort and suffering. One can work one's butt off without suffering, as that's nothing more than an indication that not all of you is committed to what you have chosen as your path.

Just another view, offered with respect for the views already presented, Angela!

Angela said...


As always, I like your views a lot! Your point about the difference between work and struggle is well taken and I'm working on it. :)

Journey Through Life said...

How wonderful to live near such powerful mountains. You know what a lover of all nature I am. I can just imagine the energy and awe that you would get with these mountain peaks in your vision everyday!

Anonymous said...

I second the recommendation to frequent Electric Orchid Hunter's blog. :)

Diva Carla said...

Reading Rick's comment, I am reminded that the degree of STRUGGLE is usually in proportion to my RESISTANCE, as opposed to effort which is just how we get things done in the world of duality, and dense energy we call matter.

The inner struggles, which require very little physical heavy lifting, are the ones where I have most resistance, and therefore, feel that I am struggling.



Angela said...

Yes, Carla!