The Through Line
What's it all for? I mean really, what. is. all. this. for!?
We take brave steps forward and end up two steps behind where we started. We let the fire burn, we let the tears fall, we let the air clear, and then...we do it again.
We show up. We make mistakes. We get beaten down. We show up to make more mistakes.
We let our hearts break. We take chances. We leap. The net does or does not appear. Who cares. It doesn’t matter.
Either way, we’re still left with longing and aching and being misunderstood and having to walk alone sometimes after some more times.
We get there… I mean, really really ARRIVE and then WHAM! get thrown into ANOTHER journey. (Maybe we’re not really getting ANYWHERE.) We soar…really really SOAR to WHAM! be shat out like useless cow pies in a lonely field.
We spend all this time and energy and money on healing. All the retreats and workshops and books, gain all this wonderful knowledge, really advance ourselves spiritually just to find ourselves doing something super unenlightened. Like quitting a dream job, finding ourselves at the end of a relationship that was supposed to be "the one," eating genetically modified junk food in front of mind-numbing television, or yelling at our kids.
Hang with me, this is where I begin to make my point.
It’s clear that we don’t move in a foreseeable straight line in the drama that plays out in our outside lives. It is mazes, spirals, dances, and unforeseen circumstances. It’s like constellations in the night sky. Reaching one way for a light in the dark and then reaching an opposite way for another. Weaving a web to connect it all, and then tearing it apart for the chance to connect somewhere else.
And all the while… all the stupid beautiful while, my friends… through all the stuff that doesn’t always make sense. All the while through the mazes and detours. All the while, there is this THING we can’t see that leads us on.
Like one single thread that never breaks. A thread that pulls us through. A beautiful golden line that runs through it all and weaves it all together. The source behind every nameable, seeable, touchable source. In theater, this is called the through line. And really good actors are in touch with their character’s through line. Because the through line is the reason the character does and says what she does. It's what pulls the story on.
No matter how many times it looks like she is making stupid choices or going backwards (things aren’t always what they seem) or forwards or thiswards or thatwards (Hello, Dr. Suess), the through line connects all the choices, movements, failures, successes, and situations in a deeper way that can't always be seen or known while in the middle of living them.
A play, a drama, a novel, a television or movie series with a clear through line is one you stayed tuned IN to because you know it’s going somewhere. You know all the smaller stories are leading from a deeper, bigger story place. You can FEEL it even though you might not always be able to make sense of the drama that is playing out in the current episode, even though you might be screaming “WHY, WHY did you just DO THAT!?” to your favorite character. You know there’s a deeper reason why. You can feel it. That’s the through line. And we, my friends, all have through lines.
So when the drama in this life (or on other planes) gets intense. When the alchemical fire burns too hot. When we take a fall for the five thousandth time and don’t think we can take one more. When we’re not sure whether or not we have another chance to take. When it makes no fucking sense whatsoever.
When it’s altogether maddening, it helps to remember that there is a solid, unbreakable (YES I do mean UNBREAKABLE) thread that weaves your entire soul, spirit, and human existence together.
It’s a line that carries through all the drama. It’s a line that never waivers through all the spirals and detours and side trips. It won't quit on you no matter how many times you give up on it. It’s a line that you can’t fuck up. (But sometimes you have to try.) You can’t break it. You can’t shake it. You can’t lose it. Even when you feel like you have. Maybe especially when you feel like you have, because you don't really begin to find it until you've really really lost it. (The Taoists have been telling us this for centuries.)
But it’s like a conveyor belt that will bring you another chance if you miss this one, even if you're sick of taking chances and don't want one single more. It’s your through line. And it’s straighter, narrower, more eternal and more righteous than any bible verse could ever convey.
And no matter what it takes, no matter how old you are or aren’t, no matter what your life looks like on the outside–a sexy impeccable tango or a drunken line dance in a bar–all the ups and downs and circles and riddles and mazes and successes and failures are all weaved together by one solid, unbreakable, inescapable through line.
So, when every step, misstep, detour, escape, loss, or gain (when followed all the way through) lands you smack dab in center of your own life every time, maybe you really can't fuck this thing up.