vital tumult, athabasca falls, athabasca river, jasper national park, alberta, canada

Vital Tumult

Have you ever noticed
How exciting the tumult is
The uproar and confusion
How vital and present it feels

We battle through it
We quell the uproar
We resolve the confusion
We overcome

And it feels good
Even in the midst
Of the worst of times
These are the best of times

So I wonder how it is
We fail to acknowledge
Just how much
We love a good war

We are a species
Of adrenaline junkies
Bent on our own destruction
Because it makes us feel alive

Vital Tumult
Athabasca Fails
Athabasca River
Jasper National Park
Ablerta, Canada

Taken during travels, 2017

Doris Lessing introduced me to this notion, that we feel most alive during a war, and because of this we are both fascinated by it and, ultimately, attracted to it. Perhaps the thought had crossed my mind before, but Lessing put it bluntly and boldly in her 1986 Massey Lecture series, Prisons We Choose to Live Inside.

These lectures are among the most insightful explorations of our human condition I’ve ever encountered. Highly recommended. If we do not explore and acknowledge what truly motivates our actions, we relinquish our agency, our free will. In an unexpected way, Lessing’s presentation and analysis of social scientific insights became the basis of a spiritual awakening, as I began to look deeply into my self.