Compatibility is simply the ability to exist together, to be congruous or consistent with others. And while we all search for compatibility there must be the admission that compatibility is pandering to the lowest common denominator. Is it that we want an existence surrounded by only those who are consistent and congruous? While, we all defend the peacefulness of harmonious living, there is vivacity and electricity in the incongruous. I think of Phillip Glass, Steven Reich, a Grateful Dead Mickey Hart drum space, heavy metal guitar riff, old school urban rap music: all full of disharmonious sounds. They push us to question what is pleasing to the ear. Sometimes, what sounds like nails on a chalk board can ring perfectly in the mind when the mind races with anger. Harmony is beyond the audible. There is an inner harmony, a space within that has its own rhythm. Like a constant wall of sound, that rhythm plays endlessly. At times it is quiet and faint, like water drops off leaves into a newly collected puddle under a bough of a tree. There is no syncopation to their falling. Like lightening rippling across the sky, unpredictable and random beyond the leading edge of a thunderhead, the spider webs of light have no orchestration.Traffic around Dupont Circle, the high tide at full moon pounding Folly Beach light house, the crazy wind driven by a hurricane have no rhythm, yet even in their madness have beauty and can be captivating even in their destruction.
Life is not harmonious. We seek harmony, compatibility and rhythm. It may be a human weakness. A flaw and an attempt to control our surroundings. Nature is not harmonious. Creation is not on tempo. The flow of a river, the falling of snow, the wind through the chimes can only be understood logically with chaos math and non-linear thinking, and then only partially and by but a few human minds. Not everyone can conceptualize these things. The force of life, love, and the core of human nature is not predictable. We are not compatible because we have a spark of the divine at the core of our souls. It is that fury and random energy that is divinity. It does not submit to human will and will not be organized easily. So why fret? Revel in the wildness, our innate wildness.
I want to run from the homogenized. I want to taste fire and touch the sky. I want to stop trying to swim across the river in a straight line, instead rolling onto my back and letting the wild river carry me down stream. I will reach the other side in due time. It is in the panic that we drown. It is out of fear we never enter the water. It is out of hubris, we put on life preservers and flotation devices and try to conquer the river.
Compatibility is overrated. Life from a can of condensed cream of chicken soup is not living. You won’t go hungry. You will not starve. In fact, you may get quite fat and content, comfortable in the pale existence, but safe and without threat. Until you drop dead of a heart attack and your whole life has been a continuous can of cream of chicken soup. I’d rather go hungry. I want to sweat and bleed and strive. I want to burn my tongue on hot peppers and eat mysterious orange vegetables. I want to be challenged and risk the wildness and push up to the edge of the abyss. It is over that thin ridge where truth lies. You can’t get there from your Barca lounger.