once again, with feeling

The ten thousand things can really trip you up, Gentle Reader.  It often seems to me that calm is an ever more elusive state of being, and I have to wonder at such times what is actually going on.

The instability of daily life sometimes comes at you and suddenly, whammo, there’s anxiety and wondering and you’re not exactly in the present moment any more.  Perhaps it is that in order to move through one’s day, an elegant flexibility is required.  Like repeating a World Series title twice in a row, it can’t always be done.  Sometimes there is no elegance to be found and flexibility is a word you have to look up in the dictionary.  There is help for it, however.

We finally watched “Dallas Buyers Club” over the weekend.  I knew it would be a bit of emotional tough sledding, but it turned into a mammoth snow free ski jump, completely unexpectedly.   I worked in the AIDS clinic at S.F. General in those days, and later on one of my closest friends succumbed to the disease’s awful ravages.  I saw a lot and thought that, perhaps, I had some perspective.  OH, YOU ARE SO FUNNY SOMETIMES.  Somehow, in watching that film, the emotional truth of those days rose up intact in my chest and it hurt like hell.

Still reading Pema Chodron, one thing recently struck me- the thing that happens when you meditate and suddenly become aware of the pain we all feel, the suffering we all endure.  That moment of connecting to and experiencing directly what others feel makes you weep at times. So, watching that film, I realized the pain I felt was really the pain of others.  I also realized how incredibly fortunate I’ve been in having my heart opened to love, the giving and receiving of it.  Even with the losses and hardness of it all, being able to experience love and walk with another living being through it all- that is really the core experience for us as human beings.  Spirit doesn’t urge us to love and refrain from harming only a select group.  We must love all.  And, for extra fun, we get to park our egos at the door.

Anyway, I thought of my friend so long ago, and realized that in fact even with all the horrors of those days, the good is what I remember, and that goodness of heart and greatness of spirit of my friend is what endures and will never be destroyed.

Then? We saw a documentary about the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.  Another instance of feeling another’s torment, and this time my sense of it was a bit different.  This particular pain is something that as a world we must not be tolerating- this pain isn’t about empathy, it is about the necessity of change.  It is time to put our feet down and say, OK, enough of this unrestrained cancerous political and economic strangulation.   I suppose this is the other place all my roads lead to- the place where I feel we simply must pull ourselves together RIGHT NOW.  There isn’t time to continue behaving like spoiled brats.  There really should not, can not, be acceptance of people having such degraded states forced upon them from without that they, basically, lose their minds.   This happens everywhere in a lot of different ways. There also, really, should not be rivers that can’t flow because they’re dammed up, and animals that can’t live because their space is gone, and people who starve because the food supply has been tinkered with to a vanishing point.  Why is it so hard for us to feel the spaciousness in our hearts and let that guide our behavior?  When I look at the level of military materiel US police departments are getting- and the amount of money all that stuff represents?  I just wonder what kind of madness is possessing these people.  Children are going hungry, and you, Mr. Small Town Uptight Policeman, need a tank to drive that’d feed everybody in your town if sold for cash.  Why is that?  Perhaps it is because that one special ingredient, love, is missing.  The subject/object relationship is skewed almost beyond redemption it would appear.  I propose their immediate reunification- now, for a plan.  I’m sure there’s one floating around- my kingdom for a butterfly net!

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