As the sky slowly darkens from bright blue to a steely, smokey grey, I sit onto this lime green, two-butt cushion (ordered from a FB ad,) and for the first time in months, I face a blank screen. Whew what a long bout of not facing writing this has been…
These forearms rest along the smooth rounded edge of a new large round pine dining table; my back upright on these proud solid chairs. In my nest I feel so good. With great gratitude, I am at last moored within my own home after 64 years on the run; apartment to apartment, city to city, country to country, east coast-west coast, mountains to the seas. Whew!
The barometric pressure drops. I hear the pitter-patter of untrimmed dog nails along the new vinyl flooring, nervously tapping as close to my calves as possible. Cosmo, a 13 yr old Lhasa Apso, seeks shelter along my bare legs and feet; the fear of god running through his little soul. Even after all these years, every time a rumble rolls across the distant skies, his world threatens to come to an end.
My very plump chihuahua, Sass aka, SweetPea snores. Little Sunny, my first chihuahua, sleeps on the couch's edge; and the newest puppy, Pecan, curls up somewhere, belly full. They have no fear of storms and lightning and skies cracking. I often gaze upon their innocence and beauty and my heart actually flutters. There are few things more satisfying than nurturing, loving and meeting my dogs' needs. I’ve grown to love them and know them more intimately now that it’s been five months in a semi-lockdown; nowhere to go, no one to see, no casual shopping to do, no schedule to meet; and only me, myself, and I to study and navigate so many inner landscapes.
There are days I cry in grief at all the numb and careless ways I’ve handled my life and more specifically, my loved ones. I’ve been on my knees begging forgiveness more than once. There are days I am consumed in shame and guilt. I teach others to practice “living shame and guilt- free” as I curl in my bed weeping at the flawed character and karmas I've had to traverse. I face my consuming selfishness, narcissism and egocentricity these days. Although they say the life review happens at the time of death, it has been happening for months now. I am loving it.
I’ve learned in my maturity just how much I care about myself, my plants, the random mice I catch and release, every leaf of every plant, the way I position artwork and photos, a lamp, a throw rug or leftovers in the fridge. I deeply appreciate the fellow travelers in my yoga classes whom I’ve gotten to know over many years. I look deeply into my food, and cook with love and gratitude. I talk to the food, sometimes imagining who grew it, where it received the sunshine and soil. Some of it I grow myself … I feel deeply into the child I grew from a seed in my belly. I have heartache for their life and their unique experience and navigation of this catastrophic life, alone in this world with one present parent who is only getting a handle on it now herself. I feel grief, love, pride and faith. I feel the spectrum of emotions and try not to edit any of it.
I’ve so enjoyed getting to know the individual birds who visit day after day, throwing seeds and fluttering in joy and squabble at the buffets I keep full and fresh with seed. I fall deeper into the mornings dream sleep as they chirp and discuss things a few feet from my open bedroom window. I’m comforted by their individual songs. I hear the conversations of these alien creatures living their full lives. It’s interesting to feel so united and yoked to creatures and critters, the weather, the little tiny patio yard where the chipmunks live a few feet below, and the grasses that never stop growing. I notice details I've never noticed before. There is a complexity to the various breezes that move the leaves and limbs of trees, making gorgeous whooshing sounds as they brush against each other. The smells of the yard change with the time of day. I feel the season turning, the light in sky subtly shifting as the days and weeks wear on. For now the rain has not yet fallen from the clouds above. The thunder and darkened skies tease, abated in utter stillness.
Everything is in relationship to everything else, including myself living this lifetime in my time in history. I breathe in and out the breath of Gaia, the Goddess, and begin to understand something of the native peoples of this Earth, and their reverence, and relationships to their natural worlds. The skies are exploding in cracks of thunder now. Cosmo shivers at my feet, so soft and warm and alive. It is moments pre-rain. A dramatic stillness hovers as the goddess prepares to wet the land and plants with her beautiful gift of waters from the skies. Even though I learned all about precipitation as a grade-schooler, making drawings and charts; I’m still not sure how it all works. I’ve spent so many years in my own mental constructs, and on the run chasing this or that adventure, romance, landscape, and dream; I've lost touch with the moment.
The moment is all there is.
I paid money I didn't have to sit with 250 other people around Jon Kabatt-Zin at the Omega Institute to learn about being present during this catastrophic life. And here I sit, spine erect, at this sturdy table with its signature pine rings, and long beautiful boards learning this exact same lesson. My frivolous, finicky, ever-craving mind did not want this table. I want something Danish and chic in white with simple modern chairs. I want what I want, and this grounding gift is what the universe delivers instead. Who am I trying to impress I wonder? What influence or ad did I see to make me think this table is boring or old fashioned? What if it doesn’t go with the rest of my place and flatter my taste? And on and on and on the craving clinging judging mind moves, from branch to branch, caught and snagged in more webs than can be unraveled. I tire of colors and shapes and the endless need to change things. I tire of people and their flaws and their voices; their opinions, and egos, and styles; their relentless need to be approved of. I tire of myself mostly, and the repetitive thoughts accusing me of things, blaming me for things, flattering my ego, putting it back down. Oh my I am a clown.
This is where people turn to god, to Jesus, to Bhudha, Allah, towards the hopes of redemption. I understand this now. Maybe if I do 108 Sun Salutations on the Solstice I might be freed. If I sit and retain my breath, or perform Kapalabhati perhaps I'll settle into the divine. Ah! Chanting and Kirtan, now there I can connect and transcend. If only I can lose myself within the ecstasy of sexual connection, I’ll be united once and for all, Shiva and Shakti, Sita and Ram ...Yin with Yang.
Oh it falls now, the rain; finally! Its sweet sweet odors, and its steady hypnotising patter. It's gentle drops today, mid July, 2020. I open up the windows and the door to the patio. I hear sirens, the noise of catastrophic living, as the fresh scents that only rain can brew waft in on the sounds of the chirping birds. The beauty of this life is overwhelming. The tragedy of this life is crippling.
My my how I ramble today. I will not let FB steal my thoughts and rob my words, draining the creativity and my love of writing; not today. Excuse me a moment as I take a big sip of prana into my nostrils and deep down into my healthy lungs. I am so grateful for my health right now, and I am oh so aware it can change in a day. My heart breaks for those who can’t breathe; for ALL the reasons.
No plan, no agenda, only a long stretch of now. The skies are brightening, the verdant branches are whipping it up, and my heart is breaking; open.
Namaste dear friends