Downdrafts

I was watching two turkey vultures swoop around the sky this morning.  One rode the air current, rising  and moving effortlessly through the air going straight up.  The other was riding another set of currents, gently allowing the wind to move it around in widening gyres, spiralling up close to vulture the first.  It was a huge dance in the one blindingly blue spot in the sky, with both birds periodically wafting in front of various creamy and storm colored clouds.  You could see the joy and the fun, right there up in the air.

The seas of life have continued to be stormy here in general.  It has made me think a lot, of course, about all the people in the world who are having rough times, and about how we all manage to get through it one way or another.  But at the dark moments when another bottom gets bounced off and help seems nonexistent,  we all, I think, do wonder why are we here? what do we really have to offer?  are we going to get through this? are we going to die? In short:  What in the world is going to happen to us?

It requires looking inside oneself, of course.  That thing we avoid, always looking outside for the answers, for solutions, for ends to the troubles and discomforts.  It takes a minute to make friends with that inner terrain, to accept what’s there and realize that on some level we do control whether or not we keep ourselves imprisoned.  Notwithstanding the fact that it is extraordinarily difficult to keep this kind of consciousness when one is hungry or homeless, or falling down the ladder of society to a place that seems full of nothing but shame.  It’s also hard to watch things people do, the unconscious cruelty, lack of compassion, lack even of really any sort of thought.  Still.  Again what is required is being quiet, letting things appear and speak.  We can see that since we are in a world that must after all be navigated, that’s full of so many different levels of energy and movement, that seems at the same time so ordered and so out of control, the only way to keep moving is to hold to that still place where the truth of things expresses itself.  We have to be willing to accept that truth, which turns out to be more difficult than one might expect.  Because that truth can be quite different from what we were “told” as we grew up, about ourselves and about everything.  We see what we expect to see, basically.  So we may have to let go of all those stories about how far from perfection we are, that we allow to limit our efforts, that we become comfortable with.   We also have to let go of all the stories we got told about what others are like.   Eventually we have to learn to look at things, see them for what they actually are in the moment, and act accordingly.  It can be very freeing. This of course can also get dicey when you realize that, for example, your trusted priest or sports coach or Senator or family member has some deep psychological problems which they distribute freely and widely among those under their field of control real or imaginary.  We are all human beings, and unless we all do what we know we should do, such as keep our communities in balance, our children educated, ourselves open to learning, we can find ourselves in things that are much messier than need be.  It takes some doing to stand up for oneself, not least because it takes a minute to find that self.

SO.  This latest trip down the rabbit hole has involved, not surprisingly, quite a bit of healing work, and quite a bit of examination of what that is, what it does, how it works, and also, the fact that there are limits against which we bump as human beings.  People CAN be healed, but not always cured- and it is how one moves on with these additional factors and knowledges that really speaks to the truth of the human condition.  In my opinion.  We have gotten very far away from the elemental contact that initiates healing (true listening, for example), and the expectation that a doctor is going to “fix” you is almost at the opposite end of the spectrum these days from what really can help.  You can’t heal unless you can accept the truth of where you truly are.  We all think we have so much time; in a way we do.  In another way, we don’t.  To my mind, what that means is each interaction becomes terribly important.  We have time to do what we need to do- but we do need to do it.  Even when that thing we must do is so painful, requires acceptance of disagreeable facts and events, if we can do that without resistance to the difficulty and pain, without clinging to it like a floating spar in a stormy ocean, we have the beginnings of real hope.  Hope and faith are important things- as long as they are practiced in the spirit of truth- that hope and faith are like the air we breathe.  Hope is not, however, thinking that material things are going to be the answer or that we even KNOW what that answer might be.  Faith is not expressing a fanatical belief in a “God” who essentially enacts everyone’s deepest fears of being unworthy and requiring punishment, and who exists singularly and to the detriment of any other proposed deity.  Hope and faith are about knowing that the deep energies of life itself are there to support us in making our journey here- not always perhaps in the way we think we’d like, but as it happens quite often, for our benefit.  We cannot expect, necessarily, comfort in our travails- but if we can stay open and curious the travails can turn into something that becomes, over time, our real life and path to healing.

 

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One response to this post.

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