When I was a little kid my mom wore contact lenses. At the time they were a new thing and were still made of glass. They tended to pop out or one would slip from my mom’s fingers as she was putting them in. They were hard to see, camouflaged in the carpet. She needed me to help find them. I was good at it. My eyes were already closer to the ground and my eyesight excellent. Even when I couldn’t find them, though, I always found them.
When I couldn’t find a lost contact lens I would look and look harder until I reached the point where there was little reason to keep looking. If at this point I truly gave up, at the precise instant of giving up, my eye would land on the lost lens. This worked every time. But I had to really give up. I had to believe without a doubt the lens was lost and that my mom might as well call the doctor for new ones. Then of course we had to repeat the process to find her regular glasses, the constant losing of which made contact lenses so appealing. The point here is that the only way I could find what was lost was to believe there was no use looking for it anymore.
There are lots of moments in the course of living that work this way. When you have to lose your life in order to find it. Another example is, I can make stoplights change to green. Not every stoplight and not every time; the conditions have to be just so. Obviously you have to be at a stoplight that is absurdly long. Then you have to have a sandwich or a burrito. The sloppier the better. The more difficult to get to your mouth the better. Select a food that requires both hands. Soup works, too. You need to be hungry. The stakes must be high. While sitting at the absurdly long stoplight, you have to decide you need a bite of the sandwich or whatever and then you need to commit to taking a bite. If undertaking this commitment means you need to put the car in PARK or set the brake, all the better. Once the commitment is made and submitted to, once the food is on its way, using both hands, to your mouth, the light will turn.
There was one occasion when after getting this far the light didn’t turn as I expected it to. The expectation: this was my folly. Only after realizing the light wasn’t going to turn and I was free to take a presumptuously large bite of my carnitas burrito with extra sour cream and guacamole so that sour cream, guacamole and greasy carnitas juice splurted onto my dry clean only shirt thus forcing me into a panicked commitment to find something more suitable than the single-ply toilet papery cheap-ass napkins shoved into the sack by the high-school age girl at the burrito place, only then, lacking a suitably absorbent medium to dab my shirt and facing the prospect of being disempowered from intervening before the glop stain had set, only then did the light change.
Finding something lost, engineering events so that your life flows through them demands detachment. The first shall be last, the last, first. In losing your life you find the deeper meanings eclipsed by holding onto life too hard.
There is a circuitry hidden between detachment and desire. God is abundant there. I would like to know more. That is much of what this blog will be about.