Twice in my life I’ve started down a road and kept going, even when the road narrowed and turned into thorns, brambles, impenetrable darkness. A symbol of my refusal to accept that I had made the wrong choice in the very beginning. Years later, when I read about the theory of “sunk profits,” which describes a past investment that shouldn’t but still affects your decisions about the future, I knew it was what I had done in those situations. Kept going, because with so much invested, it felt impossible to let go, even though that something turned out to be full of pain and darkness.
But clinging to what has always been wrong, whether a person or a system, because . . . why? it’s familiar? you’ve put so much into it? you fear the unknown? means missing out on the possibility of something different, something better, something beautiful. Deny something’s fundamentally wrong, and you deny your own power to change it.
Power, by Adrienne Rich
Living in the earth-deposits of our history
Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate
Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil
She died a famous woman denying
her wounds came from the same source as her power
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