What is, is.
Posted by Oli on Sunday 26th October, 2008
As you’ll doubtless know from my blog earlier in the week, I’ve been struggling to come to terms with T’s death and my thoughts and attitudes rising from it. It’s been hard and I’m really grateful to everyone who took the time to comment and leave me words of advice and wisdom and I completely respect those of you who were angered or upset by my post.
It’s funny how sometimes things come along at just the right time to set your mind straight. On Saturday morning, as I was preparing myself for a first step towards following the path I’ve wanted to stroll down for years, I checked in on the blog of friend and fimmaker Chris Jones, director of the soon-to-be-Oscar nominated (if his campaign pulls it off) Gone Fishing, where I read this post.
I’ve always admired Bruce Lee, but strangely not really for his films. I’ve never really been a huge fan of martial arts movies, although anyone can see the amazing talent that he had. What’s always impressed me more is his philosophy on life. The Tao of Jeet-Kune-Do is the book Lee wrote about his own form of martial art, his own Karate-style form of combat he developed over a number of years. But more than that it’s a tome about life and how to approach it.
Reading about his words of wisdom to Marlyn really struck a chord with me. “What is, is,” sums up the way I’ve generally always tried to look at life, but something which I had begun to lose sight of in the maelstrom of life that’s whipped up around me in the last week or so.
I realise now that a) T was a loving and caring person who would’t have held a grudge against me even if she’d known how I was feeling and b) there is little I can do to repair whatever damage I perceive to have been done, so there is little point in letting it get me down. In fact, Marlyn has helped me even more in an email she sent me:
“When I was very young a woman told me that “one is dead when one is forgotten”. To this day anyone I’ve known who has died is still very much alive in my mind. The idea brings me peace and comfort because I can visit any one of them when ever I wish. And you can do the same with your friend. Don’t beat yourself up for thoughts unspoken, grudges held. It’s what IS. Let them go. You only stop yourself if you don’t.”
I don’t think I could have worded anything more succinctly and I sincerely hope that the renewe perspective I’ve been given can stay with me as I move, in Chris’ words, onwards an upwards.