4am. Suddenly wideawake. Deep winter darkness. A hushed silence broken by one word echoing through the field called body:
I sat up. Lit a candle. Renounce? How curious that this unlikely word arose in mind here, at exactly the same time in the morning (it was a Saturday, too) as when she exhaled her last.
Pedant that I am, I reached sleepily for the dictionaries. I’m aware that my native tongue often hides subtle meanings beneath its everyday usage. First I clarified the breadth of meaning; as I did so the word took on skin-prickling relevance to my life, as it plays, nowadays.
Well, I thought, this is worth a scribble.
The dictionaries elicited an unarguable take on the life of this unofficial renunciate – I’ve inserted the gist into the pasted dictionary text:
Renounce – (rɪˈnaʊns)
v.t. & i., & n.
1. Consent formally to abandon, surrender, give up, (claim, right, possession).
– abandon, surrender, give up, all claims of personal doership, all stories of trauma, blame and fault, all rights to fruits of actions (especially those applauded), all possessions that are subject to change…
2. Repudiate, refuse to recognise longer, decline association or disclaim relationship with, withdraw from, discontinue, forsake, (~ treaty, principles, person’s authority, all thought of, design, attempt, friend, friendship; ~ the world, abandon society or temporal affairs).
– repudiate, refuse to recognise longer, decline association AND disclaim relationship with all that does not enliven, beautify, arouse gentleness and kindness; any phenomena (including people) posing as the Real or the agent of the Real. (The Real has no agents. Unless you include everything.)
– withdraw from, discontinue, forsake all conditioned assertions which deny the actual intimacy and interdependence of all Life.
3. Refuse or resign right or position esp. as heir or trustee.
– refuse to take any hierarchical, authoritative position, or allow others to sign one up. (Which is not to abdicate responsibility, but to be perfectly placed – in choiceless awareness – to act in the instant.)
4. Give up some habit, pursuit, etc, voluntarily, e.g. to renounce smoking.
– give up the habit of pretending to be an unawakened ‘me’. It’s entirely dishonest.
5. In Card Games – to failure to follow suit because one has no cards of the same suit led.
– and in the Life Game, fail to follow, always. Repeat – fail to follow. The lifemap wearing one’s name is unique – a one-off – its unfolding exquisitely designed according to Life’s unknowable agenda (and being a groupie is always a self-betrayal).
[From Old French renoncer, from Latin renuntiāre to disclaim, from re-+ nuntiāre to announce, from nuntius messenger – Collins English Dictionary and The Concise Oxford Dictionary]
Five times I say: I do, I do, I do, I do, I do.
And another twice, because I’m fond of sevens (and so was she):
I do. I do.
– miriam louisa
Painting by Sophie Ploeg
A call to Life———and a marriage to the Keeper of Nothingness. I may read this more than 7 times today.
It IS a call to Life, isn’t it? The bit about renouncing “all that does not enliven” has been haunting me since it was written. This isn’t some Pollyanna position, but one that ceases to dumb down and deny…
Goodness! Thank you for commenting. It’s lovely to meet with you here, Cara.
Loved this… Powerful and resounding… Yes, I agree with your exchange with Cara, that renouncing what is false creates the space for what truly lives… It is a hollowness that is vibrant and giving.
It’s a scribble that will be loved by free-fallers and loathed by fixers. I’m still settling with the depth of its implications… but the “I do” is unshakeable.
I love your comment Michael. Thank you for taking the time to read, ponder, and generously contribute.
And I will take the opportunity here to express how much I appreciate ‘your’ writing. ⭐
seven is my favourite number. 🙂 Mx
Snap! … [Another Aquarian thing?]
Thanks for leaving your ever-enlivening trace here Melinda.
Of course…. how silly of my… the Aquarian thing. Such joy to play within this. Mx