In the fall of ‘no’

I don’t know what the title means, it just came to my mind. ‘Yes’ seems so invasive, so active, so demanding. ‘No’ means to stay with myself, peace, nothingness. ‘Yes’ is outside. ‘No’ is inside.

I have as a desktop image a photograph of a path in the forest, full of bluebells (here it is, if you’re curious). Sometimes I find this image oppressive, but now I find it strangely liberating. A path that I don’t want to end. I don’t want to move forward. I don’t want to reach any destination. I just want to be here. Is being here a ‘no’? ‘No’ to what? ‘No’ to being somewhere else; ‘yes’ to being here. In this place and no other… no other. Here. I don’t want to go back either. I just want to be here, with ‘my’ bluebells, with the eternal path in front of me, the path that never ends, the wheel. The path that exists in itself, not to be walked, but just to be. Why must a path be an invitation? What if it just is, with no intention?

A path that is not walked will be covered by vegetation. It will disappear. How many paths have been buried by dust, by time, by other paths? How many steps of others like me, before me? I don’t want to walk. I am not tired; I just want to be here. There is something in this place for me. Maybe it’s the bluebells. Few things are as ephemeral. They all come out together, last for a few days and die all together. On the following Spring, they will return. Beauty is ephemeral, but in this picture, I can stop time and remain with the bluebells.

Maybe this is me or at least me now. The man in front of a path. I don’t see myself as the man in the path, but in front of it. I am here. The path is a ‘not here’. A search is not a search. Everything was already here. A path is not a ‘yes’, it is a ‘no’. A ‘not here’, a ‘not me’. An ‘I want to be somebody else’. But I don’t. I’m surprised about my own confession, but I do not want to be somebody else.

Let it rain, let the wind blow, let the waters flow and the fire burn. Let each thing have its development, let becoming have its day.

Carl G. Jung, The Red Book

What then is ‘the fall of no’? ‘Yes’ and ‘no’ depend on the point of view. They coexist as opposites, totally dependent on one another. When we say ‘yes’ to something, intrinsically we are saying ‘no’ to an alternative, and vice versa. None can fall without the other one. They both fall or they both stay. Can’t I stay without leaving? For me to stay, must a part of me leave… die? That part of me constantly on the move, unable to stop, the eternal vagabond, with no homeland. The eternal ‘not here’ that I also am. Shall we then say farewell, my ‘self here’ and my ‘self that leaves’? Or maybe not, maybe they will be bound by an invisible thread? Go, then, but I shall stay. This is my place, my now. Go.

Looking at this path in front of me, I see the ‘I am not’ as if I were in front of a mirror. The two sides of a reality. The ‘I’ that is now and the ‘not I’ that would walk down that path. The ‘not here’. The ‘not now’. The other.

If I put a foot on the path, I will change, I will be another one, at least in part. The ‘I’ that I am now will die, cease to exist. The walker dies and is reborn with every step, always a different person, a constant change.

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don’t know where it goes
But it’s home to me, and I walk alone

[…] I’m walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the borderline
Of the edge, and where I walk alone

Green Day, Boulevard of broken dreams

Can I be the one who stays and the one who leaves? Can I be the ‘no’ and the ‘yes’? Am I the ‘I’ and the ‘not me’, the other, at the same time? Too many questions for a sunny morning in the forest…