There is a part of the soul that stirs at night, in the dark and soundless times of day, when our defenses are down and our daylight distractions no longer serve to protect us from ourselves. What we suppress in the light emerges clearly in the dusk. It’s then, in the still of life, when we least expect it, that questions emerge from the damp murkiness of our inner underworld. – Anne Lamont
In my aging, diminished physicality there is an increased realization of the futility of taking refuge in a personal and familiar, yet limited, sense of identity. In that realization I am left wandering and wondering at times as to how I should entertain my self. So much of my time before was spent in propping and bolstering that identity. As a result of the journey of self discovery that I have embraced I am inspired to turn my focus towards inner realizations rather than towards my past preoccupation with external phenomenon. Although at times I find myself in darkness, accepting that I don’t know what I will discover, something more is inevitably revealed in that shift. There is a more intimate seeing of those parts of me that have been broken, as a result of my obsessive striving to survive in the ways of a surface existence. My spirit came into this world within the narrow confines of the world with which it found itself. Given that, more than half of the life I have lived, has been with the belief that there was no other perceived resource in terms of a choice of how I should exist in the living of life. I lived in a practical way from that, but, now I seem to be outgrowing it seeing that life is more than what I knew it to be and in the lifting of that old filter, a revelation of the consequences for having attached to that particular creation seem to be increasingly apparent.
I am broken and incomplete as is our planet. How I have lived my life has contributed to that. There is fear encountered at the same time as there is the stirring of the soul, in letting go of that familiar shell and it’s ways and any perceived crisis can enable it’s quick return although, something more adapted to a more authentic existence appears at moments that I am aware enough to relax habitual impulses. In that awareness I permit myself to settle into a more natural, authentic and encompassing way of being aware that there is the other side of death.
This has been one of the most significant revelations fo me, that has resulted in a shift towards trusting more in my direct experience of life. Arthur Zajonic shares his view regarding “direct experience” with Krista Tippett, in her wonderful book, “Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living“. This is ultimately the hope of meditation for me, that it might lead to this way of being.
She writes what he has shared with her ” What you do, what you experience, is reality. It’s a strange thing, that what we experience in life as our real world—the world of children and suffering and getting old and getting born and all the rest of it, that sensual lived world of experience—gets explained away, in the old view, in terms of a whole set of other things. Sometimes I think of this as a kind of idolatry. If you’re pointing at the gods, but you can’t really see the gods, you create a statue. Same sort of things in physics. You can’t see that far, so you create a model. That’s what we call it, right? And then you fall in love with the model, and it becomes a form of idolatry. You end up worshipping the model as opposed to the thing you were trying to understand, which was the human being or the planet or the whole cosmos. So you need to be an iconoclast in some sense, to take those down and reanimate your direct experience, your direct epiphanies and insights into that world of pattern. Yet taking that turn also connects back into lived experience in a way that, to me, opens up the moral and ethical dimensions of life once again.
Letter from my eighty year old friend Misty
I am just about to do the dusting on the first floor- and before that grrrrrrrrr I have to scrape all the bloody dirt off my husbands every day shoes— he never did get the garage ever finished. It is a dirt floor still after all these years—and now of course snow etc and his shoes are insane. They have a gazillion small nubs on the bottom all caked in dirt- honestly, I wanna hide his bloody shoes—- In he comes onto the carpet by the Kitchen door— grrrrrr. As I stated prior he leaves December 6th for Syracuse re carotid artery Thursday and Friday and probably Saturday, depending, could be more before he would get back- it is a distance—- it is not great having no vehicle in the open garage. Twice before when the vehicle was gone, someone tried to break in the kitchen.
After this not so cheerful note— opppppssssss I shall get on with my morning work— it is 6: 42 a.m. now– so off to
Letter to Misty
Just think Mist for those days that he is in the USA you won’t have to deal with his shoes. You would have even a worse time with me Mist. I am no way as efficient or as tidy as Dennis. He is a disciplined marine, Vietnam name vet. It scares me to think that I would have to deal with your need for efficiency and cleanliness. Iris is similar but I’ve worn her down. I am more focused on spending my time in ways that I value more that hopefully contributes to making me more compassionate and loving. Geez I hope it’s working other wise it’s been a complete waste of time. I could be cleaning and arranging things.
I don’t think a fictional book could be more relevant. Sanders explores humanity; life and death as only an artist could, illuminating and exploring a way to discover compassion and love within amidst all the suffering that humans perpetuate. I am not surprised at the lower approval ratings as compared to other great books. Not every one can see the relevance that he illuminates in his creation. And that is the point of his writing it seems; to touch something deeper within. It certainly is not meant to be grasped literally but more to initiate a capacity to see in metaphors and to allow for what is unexplored within to be touched.