Compromise. We all do it, to small or large degrees. We all move away from the things we want, tell ourselves that the reasonable thing to do is give a little, give up a little. The people who hold out, who reserve a part of themselves for something more, even in the face of less – they really are the foolish ones, intractable, and staying put.
Because the world keeps on spinning without them, and this challenge to gravity leaves them behind. Feet refusing to touch the ground, heads always tilted to change the view – no-one ever gets ahead this way. Better to find a less lofty vantage point from which to conduct this life, a more sensible way to steer the course. Or the race gets run without you.
And so people give a little, give up a little. Piece by piece they extract their more difficult parts. They lance the longing and the desire, they drain it from the day so it can’t obstruct when there’s work to be done. Even when it finds them at night, even when it revives in dreams. They get used to waking with a morning ache. Concession is required for an easier life.
Of course there is the other side. Words are rarely accidental. It can also mean to jeopardise. To endanger and to weaken. You have to be careful of how much you lose, what you give up to get where you’re going. The wasteland of that middle ground. A vast expanse of feeling nothing.
The removal of your vital signs – was this how you compromised? Was your spirit already gone when I tried to bring you back to life?
(I never did learn the art)