Winning Without Victory

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Winter Storms


What makes life a joy? Is it found in languishing, in the mental squalor of wealth? Or is it found in the trials and struggles that lead to victories that uplift the landscape of the world? 

The dialog is a brief exploration in the closing pages of the novel, Winning Without Victory, by Rolf Witzsche.


      Much later that year when the early winter winds swept across the sea; when the swells were larger and the breaking waves reached higher upon the beach so that there wasn't a dry patch left to walk on at high tide; Sylvia and I loved to be out there. We enjoyed our walks together on the beach. It seemed appropriate that we continued our walks even if it meant climbing through the thickets of beach grass and across old logs that timeless storms had blown in, even when it meant facing the icy winds.

      Or maybe it was because of the winds that we enjoyed being there in the winter. I always found it invigorating to be facing the winds. Sylvia evidently felt the same way. This feeling was reflected in her comments during our conversations, and also in her answer when I asked her one day if she was happy with the way our life together had turned out, and our marriage.

      "I love the wind," she said in reply. "There is nothing dull, stale, or trivial about it. It churns the world into a whirl of movement, and moves the mind with it, even if it chills us to the bones at times. I love to be in the wind, but all too often it seems to me that we find ourselves being blown along with its movement that sweeps across the world. We are blown along like feathers in a storm. I feel this is not the way our lives should be. A human being is greater than a feather. A feather has no mind of its own, and no power to change its destiny. But we are human beings, Pete. We do have a mind, and with its capacity we have come to stand at the portal of the kind of science with which we find the power to move the universe. Why then would we allow ourselves to be moved by it? We have the ability to stand up in the storm and be its master and command the winds, and have the winds obey us. Why are we reacting to the winds, when we should be acting? We allow ourselves to be tied to the Earth and struggle to get free, while we should tie the Earth to our humanity and uplift it to a level where everyone is free. We should uplift the whole of humanity with us, because we are all alive in this one world.

      "Yes, I believe we have raised our marriage up," she continued on another day and at another time. "We have raised it out of the woods of ancient conventions and placed it where we can see the sunrise and be a part of it. This has made us richer; rich enough that we can love more than we have ever allowed ourselves to love in the past."

      "But why is the place from which we see the sunrise unfolding, such a lonely place?" I asked. "It should be a crowded place."

      "It is a crowded place, Peter, we just don't see it yet. We had nearly lost our world altogether this summer," said Sylvia. "We may yet loose it, because too many people remain mired in the mud of the Earth without hope, and without light, torn by fears, without any of them reaching for the fire of life. Steve is right, we haven't even begun to uplift the world. That is why our place is lonely where we witness the sunset and the sunrise."

      "Still, we have done something," I reminded her. "There is a new wind blowing in the desert now, and Steve thinks it is a significant wind."

      "But who did command this wind?" she asked and began to smile. "Did you command it, Peter? Or were you but a feather swept up in its flow when the wind came up? I think your friend Helen's matrix of the universal marriage of humanity will be forever but a stagnant dream without the power of the movements that we all must create to bring our life into it."

      "Oh, you want us to change the world more deeply than we have dared to endeavor?" I asked.

      "No, Peter, I don't want us to be the dictators of change. I want us to be a part of a human hurricane that all of us will command together by the power of our humanity. But first, we have to learn to command the little winds," said Sylvia.

      "This means that we have to learn the art to be a commander of change," I said. "For this we have to be commanding ourselves to move with the universal principles and universal truths that we know."

      "Yes Peter, then we become the power behind the winds that sweep the world," said Sylvia.

      "I think we can do this," I said as I hurled a stick into the waves.

      "Am I dreaming too tall for you?" Sylvia added.

      "That's an impossibility," I replied.

      We watched an eagle while we spoke that day. The great bird was soaring above the cliffs at the edge of our bay. It soared effortless, so it seemed, with barely a movement of its wings. But how much greater than an eagle are we as human beings? I pondered this question. It seemed that there might be no answer forthcoming until we master the art of commanding the wind, able to stand up and face a storm and make it cease.

      "It's not a small challenge to be the Supreme Being," said Sylvia.

      "On the other hand I don't think that it is possible to be dreaming too tall," I answered Sylvia in return. "Doesn't a child, even as it stumbles and falls while it makes it way across the meadow, dream of running with the rabbits, flying with the birds, and looking down from the mountain instead of looking up to it, without ever asking how this can be possible. It simply trusts that it will run indeed, and fly, and look down from the mountaintop, and do more than this. And so will we, infinitely more. No Sylvia, we can't dream tall enough, Sylvia, because there appears to be no limit that we cannot step beyond as human beings, even to the point of commanding the winds."

      "And commanding ourselves," Sylvia replied moments later.

      + + the end of the novel + +

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(c) Copyright 2009 - Rolf Witzsche - all rights reserved