“A little kingdom I possess, where thoughts and feelings dwell; And very hard the task I find of governing it well.” These lines were first formulated by Louisa May Alcott and yet they roll over my tongue through the tips of my fingers onto this screen, expressing what I consider to be a core aspect of the human experience. We seek to reign and rule over our hearts, minds and souls. We grasp at control, all the while knowing that the kingdom we are faced with is a divided, deceptive place that we cannot begin to understand, let alone rule. How do we go about turning this place into a wellspring of life? In my experience a classic coup de foudre* generally does the trick.
John Burroughs said that the kingdom of Heaven is not a place, but a state of mind. Friedrich Nietzsche, furthermore, pointed out that the kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart – not something that simply comes upon the earth or after death. In my mind C.S Lewis ties this all together with his compelling conclusion, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world” or perhaps another kingdom.
“In me, in you
Wide eyes and paper crowns
Time will hold us,
Time erode us
We’re wrinkling, chilling out
We are wondering where the wild wind blows
We are happy here ’cause the wild wind knows
What we are
In me, in you
Named with codes of arms
A world inside us
A feast, a harvest
Each of us a slum, a star
Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die
We will look our maker in the eye
Raise a flag and then drink to your health
Who is he that can comfort himself?” – Brooke Fraser
*a sudden unforeseen event, in particular an instance of love at first sight.