“Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves”

literary jukebox

 

Daily quote from a favorite book, thematically matched with a song. A side project by Maria Popova.

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.

It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.

Mark Nepo in The Book of Awakening

Song: “Green Gloves” by The National

Education could be understood as ungloving ourselves. If we follow David Foster Wallace,

the real value of a real education … has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:

“This is water.”

“This is water.”

It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out.

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One Response to “Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful post – I love this — “beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.”

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