Zen of The Backward Elbow

“Freedom from, is also a Freedom.” – unknown but sounds like J. Krishnamurti

I am fond of Zen stuff. I think because the word Zen doesn’t mean anything, it’s a direction of process, like the Tao.

One afternoon the guide was talking about the “Freedom from the elbow bending backwards,” and it was one of those things that lit up a new perspective. I’m free from all the things I can’t do, or in some cases, can’t do anymore. “Can’t do” is also a freedom, if I can see there are other views.

” I wish I could fly like a bird.”

But, my “elbow doesn’t bend that way.” I take a second and comprehend that fact.

So then, I can spend time grieving over what can never be, write and tell myself romantic stories about that way it could, should have been, must somehow be, pretend my elbow bends that way, or stand in the yard flapping my arms. Really hard.

Or, shift perspectives and invent a plane, glider, balloon, spacecraft, parachute, parasail, or one of those nifty gliding suits that mimic a gliding squirrel. (Not so sure about that one, seems a little iffy.)

It reminds me of aging. And how, due to natures living process, I start to develop “elbows that once bent backwards” but now need to be held in a new perspective, the “Freedom from the elbow bending backwards file.”

Things that once worked and now don’t, like a lot of jobs, friendships, passions, and many times it’s the body choosing to shut the door on some some normal function.

It’s going to be my chosen perspective that changes the attention, that changes not only the experience, but also my life’s direction.

People say, “Oh, that’s just the old “if one door closes another one opens shit.” No, it’s not. Because often people keep painting the closed door various colors, and keep attempting to open it, fooling themselves it’s a different door. It can’t be the same door, it’s a different color.

But an “elbow not bending backwards” is a terminal event, it’s not a closed door ” I can’t decorate it and pretend it’s something else. It’s the perspective of absence. No view. Nothing. It’s pointing towards a process, a doing, thinking, direction, that is now absent.

Today the “freedom from not being able to reach above my head” has turned to how “How utterly fascinating is the ground and the multitudes of infinite worlds within freedom.”

And, I can still reach for the sky, or fly, visit worlds, and bend the elbow backwards, because I own, illusions, delusions, fantasies, and tell myself amazing stories. (And we wonder why we struggle when we know the wisdom needed, but somehow miss the application part. The streaming thoughts have an intense pull, gravitational in nature.)

I love streaming thoughts, they just need a little rebalancing with the things that are right now in these moments.

What an amazing thing it is for us to have the experience of being human at all, to be Human growing into Being.

Bryan Wagner

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