I‘ve been lurking in shadows this week, Malcolm said, naming his growing indifference and irritability – “blacker and denser it is” (after Carl Jung) the less we embody it.
Boldness helps to spread encouragement, I thought, and free things up. And simultaneously lurking in the shadows the less I embody it, equally paralysed – frozen feelings, timidity, unable to breath.
Passionate champions like Malcolm: he just can’t stop struggling with the question of how we can make a difference – wrestling with how to bring about change. Then later – Most of us would rather not get involved, he said beginning to showing his annoyance. The next day when we met again Malcolm lost his temper.
Splitting us up as “good guys” or “bad guys”, we all have our primary storylines. Like men of boldness and paralysis commonly do, at times I feel far away. Or the other guy I was staying with, constantly intoxicated by desire for a woman’s love, the lurking shadow of aloneness in a house of cool colours.
Far away, incessant airport music in my ears I am heading back – in Glasgow Airport Departures heading back from Scotland after a couple of busy days. Day one I put the deal on the table and to begin with we seemed to be making progress. Boldness and I noticed myself liking Malcolm’s champion passion as we faced each other. Visibly relaxed, and easier to breath.
Then she came into the room.
She’s the one I have to sleep with at night, he joked. Disembodied, a cloud was passing over us as we felt the temperature of the room beginning to fall. The next day it was even worse. Malcolm lost his temper. So it goes.
If you have taken this rubble for my past
Raking though it for fragments you could sell
Know that I long ago moved on
Deeper into the heart of the matter
If you think you can grasp me, think again:
My story flows in more than one direction
A delta springing from the riverbed
With its five fingers spread.
Adrienne Rich, from Later Poems (p199)