Friday, June 12, 2015

get gripped

“I could either shut up, that’s the end, get on with dying. Or, get gripped, which is what happened.” 

-Jenny Diski, on the decision to keep writing after being diagnosed with terminal cancer

This quote really spoke to me this morning. Though Diski is speaking of death quite immediately, I'm thinking of it in more generally - like, isn't that one of two choices we face? The other, I think, is living with desire - or getting gripped, as Diski says it. Facing obstacles or impossibilities - that vast roiling sea on the shores of which we either die or find a way to the other side - forces the choice of allowing the end to come or finding the way forward. The problem with desire is that, often, it feels like it is bringing us to the end, too. Do you jump in the sea and swim? And even if the waters are parted for you to walk across on dry ground, the columns of water at your sides could crash in on you at any moment. But then there is what's on the other side that keeps calling to your heart, gripping you, and you keep walking.

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