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The Difference

Some things come out of the blue. Not all. Some come out of the purple of Tyre, from a sudden, untouchable wisdom. From a beloved.

I was despairing, as only my particular hyperbolic, nearly-died-but-didn’t, always-slightly-terrified self can be. He heard my fear, and my resolve. He heard my action-right-now-plan-first, fast-heart, tight-breath, exhausted piloting of my body’s inexorable march through change. He knew it would not get me where I wanted to be. He knew I did not know that, except in the ossified repository of warring philosophies comprising my education, my life.

All needing a stir.

I had talked lots. He had listened. Lots. I had cried – healingly, sufficiently, clarifyingly. There was no intrusion.

He said then: ‘Do you remember the morning after we met. We were in the library of that falling-down farm house talking, coming to know each other as fast as we could, and at some point you said, “I never give up.”’

I nodded. I cherished that morning.

He went on. ’I admired then, and do now, that strength in you.

‘I also wonder if now might be the moment to embrace the difference between giving in and giving up.”

Can there be visceral, cellular conflagration of wilfulness and a rising of recognition, of disrobing and re-robing without cords? There can.

The difference between giving in and giving up.

Yes. Giving in. That bold, passive, abstruse victory. I found it first in the Quakers. I reawakened it re-reading Quaker thought this year. And as if I need finally to let it happen to me, I found it there in – from – Christopher.

Giving in is not the same as giving up.

Stepping aside to step forward.

To ease into in order to arrive.

To be in order to be.

Tyrian without tyranny.

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