Arrows and Other Projectiles...
An arrow always moves backwards before its launch. It needs the pull back to summon up the energy it takes to be flung forward. I read this in a post on Facebook yesterday and it occurred to me, “why do we not see how this is what we humans do as well?”
Looking back, I have always pulled back into myself before launching something new, some new idea or version of myself. Always.
Being an Archer (its my sign), I can see so many metaphors in my life relating to this. It is also my podcast (yes, that hasn’t happened...yet) logo. I really want to get an arrow tattoo also but am waiting for inspiration to strike.
When I think of the arrow in its quiver, I think of the bow being stretched taut, waiting for the archer to draw the arrow and lock it in place, the bow strummed backwards, forcing the arrow and archer to remain locked in position until it is time, fully retracted, to be expelled forward. Now so many things can alter how far the arrow travels...quality of the arrow, strength of the archer, directness of the pull, deftness of the release. So many things go into how far the arrow travels, and it is completely dependent upon all of those things for its journey forward.
And so am I.
I cannot travel distance without the pull back. It just doesn’t happen. It isn’t possible. And I am so dependent upon the quality of my straightness, my own inner strength, my willingness to pull back, and the stability of my own release.
I have spent the last six months in a not so quiet pull back, withdrawing into myself, finding that there was so much in my life that I couldn’t live with anymore. And it was painful to examine the landscape of my life and find it so wanting. Not that the people, jobs, things in my life were not wonderful. I have been blessed always with the best worst things for sure. But it is a hard day indeed when you find that the beings in your life, though you love them, no longer fit the person you are. And you cannot go on, not even one more day, living like you were.
I have often wondered, sometimes out loud, more often to myself as to whether or not this whole last six months is some sort of final descent into madness for me. Like I have held on to sanity for years and now have just stopped trying. And there, I guess, will always be a part of me that fears my own mental demise. But I have been fearing that since I was a kid, and so far, all of my mental breakdowns, have actually been breakthroughs...so I guess I will go with what I know, and decidedly land on this new phase of life being a launch forward instead of a final demise into madness.
I never understand the pull back. No matter how many times I do it, or it is done for me. I always feel like I am losing my shit, not understanding why I am doing what I am doing, just knowing that I must do it. So I do. Understanding little and moving forward on pretty much a very flimsy grasp of faith.
It would appear that I have now launched, I endured the pullback, the wavering in my quivering, and with a tautness that feels like it would break me, have endured the painful release.
Now I feel as though I am airborne, flying through a vacant air, alighting something that will come, to what end I know not.
What does one do once the pullback is accomplished? What is one to think as one sails through the air, never being really sure there is even a target on which for me to land.
For me, at least right now, I am trying to just enjoy the view as I fly through the air, launched, for sure, but having no real clue as to where I am supposed to land.
Shall I land with a thud at the desired target?
Do I even know what that is?
Do I really have the courage to hit the bullseye?
Do I believe that there is an end point, or am I really just sailing to the next thing, landing with a thud, only to be pulled out and thrown back into the quiver with all the other arrows, and await another go?
What if I miss the target all together?
What if I land in a place that makes me unreachable? No more shooting myself at targets because my aim was off and now I am lodged into the massive trunk of an ancient tree, high above the reach of whatever brave archer committed to sailing arrow after arrow?
What if I am not the arrow at all?
What if I am the archer?
What if I never figure that out?
I like the idea of being the archer better than that of being the arrow. More control. But how much control is really required of a skilled archer? Everything seems to matter. The selection of the arrows, the quality of my bow, the strength of my body, the willingness to allow release. The willingness to retrieve my slung arrows, regardless of where they land and what apologies might be necessary to get them back.
Oh, I have launched a lot in my time. I have slung many arrows, and most have had enough trajectory to get me through this life. Almost as if, the golden arrows, the ones with heart and soul and love, have an invisible thread that never binds, but links me to them anyway. Bound to the arrows that I send out, each one, regardless and without reason as to where they land.
Oh, I am an archer. Determined to prepare and hit my target. And amazed at how my skill and craft has evolved over the years. And still, how surprised I am at the process, even though I have repeated it throughout my life, one arrow and projectile after another. Some landed funny, some landed hard, some landed exactly as I wanted to, and some might have been better left unflung.
For now, I stand vacant in my attempts. Having launched quite a few that seem to be taking their sweet time in reaching any conclusion. I have nothing really to do but wait, to allow for physics to do what it does, and allow for the gravity of living to play out.
So with that in mind, I look skyward, relatively unconcerned with where the resting spot might be for all the arrows sailed out. Instead, I seem to feel like my best use of this time, is to gaze skyward, taking in the trees, the quiet surroundings and trusting that all arrows come to rest eventually. Even mine.