I wrote this on Fri, the 11th of Jan 2013, in the wake of a very sad tragedy on the east coast, and feeling some of the edgy discomfort caused by things we can’t prevent, despite our best efforts, which unfortunately are wholly preventable.
Healing, as well as helping others embark on this journey, is a worthy undertaking. The path is dimly lit, and though there are many tributaries, the final stretch is the same; surrendering to what is possible and doing everything you can to achieve it.
Those who have travelled before us do not leave markers, and if they do, they will certainly not translate. When we arrive there, IF we arrive there, how do we accept the stumbling as necessary, and persist despite the sometimes perilous terrain? It is easier to submit.
Time and time again we walk the same beleaguering portion, feeling we will never get there. There is no point, this does not help, it is not working. Planting seeds, paddling along, walking beside. Recollecting the twigs, to rebuild the nest knocked out of the tree. Resetting the apple cart, gathering the spilled apples. Tending, guarding, nurturing, watering. A flame, a garden, a seedling, an infant. Climbing Everest, hiking, endless trudging. Harvesting, reaping the benefits, cashing out the return on our investments. Spending so much time, energy, and money. Placing our hopes on the head of a pin. A windsock, whipped mercilessly about, eventually hanging limp.
How much is enough? When can I rest? The tools gathered, the words and mantras one selects, and the castle built can be prominently displayed, and well earned. Yet how do we keep them from becoming dusty silk flowers in the corner, outdated knick knacks, forgotten or dismissed? How do we make it mean something? How do we remember the cold, crisp breath of feeling awake for the first time?
Scratch, fight, reconnect. Drop an anchor, grab a limb, brush off the dust. Shake off the heavy, leaden layer of complacency that settles upon you. Turn around, put out your hand, push yourself. Change your pants, wash your face, cut your hair. Step outside and feel the discomfort – bugs crawling on your skin, prickly cold on your face. There is no excuse.
Want it and keep it in your sight. Reach deep inside and look at yourself and love yourself, and if you can’t, then reach deeper yet inside, into your guts, and don’t be afraid of what you will find there. A tree has roots, deep and wide; a trunk, strong and yet flawed from times with too little water, infestation, or fire that ravaged but did not kill; and branches that sway and sometimes snap in the wind, but again and again allow new life to bloom when it seems all hope is lost and the earth is cold and still. Be a tree. You are not a windsock, and you can allow new life to emerge from a place deep inside where you are awake and whole.