A Year Later

In retrospect, I was too wackadoo in the moment to realize that the first day of the rest of my life was: APRIL FOOL’S DAY.  Of course, now I see it and, wow.  What a sense of humor the universe has!

You may remember, Gentle Reader, the circumstances  last year that led to our departure from the Bay Area and the hejira that followed.  But seriously? April Fool’s Day? When suddenly we were thrust into a completely different world and life and experience.  Unprepared to a certain extent given the precipitous nature of the decision making process.  Stressed out of our tiny little minds, we were like refugees trying to maintain a semblance of normal life. Trader Joe’s was a beacon of regularity.  And wine.

Now, things are swirling through the world like cyclones, and every day brings a new set of things to shake one’s balance.  Nuclear meltdown, global tides of unrest, bankrupt institutions.  We’re still trying to keep body and soul together here on a basic level and having a perhaps remarkable degree of success.   It’s hard to really  measure what you do because of course you’re IN it, there’s no distance between You and Pressing Events.   Like bugs, heat, whatnot.  Rampaging pigs and the onset of snake time.

But what I thought about today is how you FEEL going through something like this.  Like any difficult situation, it doesn’t help to lock horns with it.  You have to somehow walk with it, sit with it, be with it.  And that? is hard to do.  Some days you can be lost in the blackness, bitter and angry.  Other days the light shines and you can move forward.  In any event, things are going to come up and they have to be dealt with.  In the normal course of daily life, what used to seem normal in any event, there’s a schedule and a hectic pace and lots of Things to distract you from the rumblings that may be occurring in the inner world.  Not to mention the quantum field.  But when you get torn from everything you formerly knew from landscape to people to daily routine, you’re kind of on your own.  It can be rough.  People don’t always play nicely at these times.  Plus, there is still the quotidian demand to provide for food, shelter, clothes, medicine.   Taking the deep breath turns into something that gets done a zillion times a day.  Sometimes even that doesn’t help.

Ultimately  however, you have to know -because you do come to sense- that there is Something a whole lot bigger than you, of which you are a part.  That Something is moving and shifting and your job is to move with it, not against it.   It’s kind of the old teaching, Not My Will but Thy Will.  But. In our culture, the something bigger is largely related to the capitalistic model.  Religion is about authority, as Emerson wrote, and not about a spirit based reality.  We’re prodded to look outside ourselves for everything, to fill ourselves up like an empty cup, over and over.  I recently heard a meditation teacher talk about how the practice involves, quite often, Starting Again.  Like when your mind wanders to some wildly inappropriate topic when you’re trying to be in the OM? You calmly start again.  Another deep breath, another peek at spaciousness.  And you never really finish.  We have to, it seems to me, learn to accept the fact that things will be unfinished, left undone, the projects stretch endlessly and without proper preparation can even have to be completely redone.  Sort of like the feelings of anger that can come up when your metaphorical toe gets stepped on, chopped off, besmirched, or whatever.  Time to start again, look at the situation in its’ entirety.  Start again.  It can be hard to maintain compassion for self and others when one is so mightily pissed off at times.  It is probably helpful to remember that we weren’t constructed to never, ever get mightily pissed off.  Or scared, or tired.  It is really a question of what we do when those things happen.

So, at the beginning day of another rest of my life, another April Fool’s Day, I can see YET AGAIN that I must start again, not just in my garden but in my self.  But I can see how far we’ve come and what has grown from this adventure.   There’s growth and progress as well as death and winnowing.  This life requires a great deal of patience, but in the end? That is much easier than continually sinking into the pool of unprocessed emotional murk in the same spot time after time.  So, a year later? I think progress has been made.  And it’s time to start again.

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