Existing and resisting
I like to observe, one of the main jobs of my professional life is observing. I observe practically everything with the care and attention of who wants to understand every slow movement and every single shape.
I often find myself in situations in which, because of the social context, I resist social norms. In vain I try to be myself despite what everyone would like me to be. It has always happened, ever since I was a child.
I observe today’s society and in most cases, I see attitudes of Resistance. I, though, live in virtue of existence.
And I believe that the etymological root of the word ‘exist’ derives from ‘Ex’ and ‘Sistere’ which implies to stand firm. While ‘resist’ has it’ s root in ‘Re’ back which conveys the idea of stopping with ‘Sistere’ stopping. Not yielding to the impact of other bodies, facing up to, contrasting.
Then I observe the trees, I watch them in their silent being. Their anchoring themselves to the earth with their roots, their unconditional ability to be. I don’t notice resistance to what happens externally, I believe instead that they are able to stand firmly on their roots.
The trees that make us re-discover that ancient feeling of what is eternity: a time that never began and that never ends. The trees that maintain the sensation of staying and of living, fortifying their “staying”.
What is to come and that future that is lent to us
Then it may happen that the “staying” of a tree leads me to imagine that the future is something that happens and not something towards which we are heading. The tree in itself is still. It’s as if it is the future that happens. In Italian ‘avvenire’ and in German ‘zukunft’ : these two words that give life to that which seem not to be there. A future which seems to be lent to us in this moment. A loan that happens in our “staying”.
And so, identifying the future as something that will be but that is lent to us in this moment. A space, a time, a feeling and much more that can be given to us and that will be. If it shall be it is because I, by staying, make sure it is. Therefore, the sense of staying and not of resisting. The sense of not stopping behind, but to stay. Just like a tree, like an element which knows how to accept and welcome.
This future that in my “staying” I already live. The fact of already being in my future or in someone else’s future conveys the idea of considering my “staying” in virtue of the fact that this is already the future and that I have the necessity of caring for it.
Me on the dirty chair
The dirty chair on which I sit, will be a place in which someone will sit in the future. I am sat on their future seat. I could resist the fact that the chair is dirty, I could think that on this future I would like to stay firm or, better still, I would like to ‘exist’. In order to exist on this chair I would like it to be better, clean. I clean it by virtue of my “staying”. I clean it by virtue of fortifying the space that is lent/granted to me by those who will come after me. My “staying” wants to be more robust for everyone so that who comes afterwards will find a chair on which to exist.
Fortification for that which happens
I always believed that our “staying” should first of all fortify ourselves, then our community and lastly everything that we have. The ‘not being’ leads to weakening and to resistance towards what is stopping and what is happening less and less. Just like for myself in my Self, it is normal to go along with what happens and resist it instead of trying to “exist” it. The art of being can be nourished daily.
Meditation is not an act bound to a religion, it is a way to bring oneself into the state of the aforementioned tree. The art of undoing thoughts of resistance in order to facilitate the welcoming of existence. An emptying the ‘not being’ to then let it be filled with what we are.
The fortification of oneself through what happens.