Farewell 2022

Another year has rolled past and for me it was at times a painfully slow roll. It reminded me of a class in college almost 25 years ago. The professor was a mild mannered, aging hippy; complete with ponytail tied, not with a rubber band, but a piece of old leather cording. I was a geology major and just as granola as the professor. He was very knowledgeable and the cadence of the class, stratigraphy, was on par with how long it to for the strata we looked at to have morphed from sand to stone.

The classes and field trips were well planned and enjoyed by most. (As I am sure, dear reader, you are aware that there are always a few humans who need to complain no matter what.) Anyway, about two weeks into classes, as we were learning about the law of superposition, our quiet peaceful professor suddenly turned from the chalk board (yes, there were chalkboards in college-that’s how old I am) and began a rant about his ex wife, loudly, emphatically with gesticulations and maybe spittle.

Then just as fast as it began, it was over and he turned back to the chalk board continuing the lesson as if the whole diatribe never happened. Clearly he was a catastrophist! A uniforitarian would never exploded like that!

These outbursts happened randomly in every class I had with this professor. Initially it was shocking- was he crazy? A few screws loose? Overtime we adjusted to it and it became a normal part of his classroom experience.

The effusive eruptions didn’t make him a bad teacher, on the contrary it showed depth, a story- more than meets the eye. He wasn’t just an aging hippy teaching a bunch of ungrateful kids. This man had a life, hopes, fears, dreams. The outbursts were breadcrumbs leading the inquisitive on down the path of human experience just as the eruptions of pain and confusion I encountered this past year, were breadcrumbs leading me deeper into the mystery of my deteriorating health.

Pitchoff & Balancing Rocks. Adirondacks NYS

By following the trail, patterns began to emerge; both with my health and the life of my professor. Allowing a patience to settle over me- I am able to see more clearly into the patterns of detail. By pausing and stepping back, becoming the witness, I can see the forest through the trees, blossoming with awareness.

The shifting moods, subtle yet complex, were easily noticed by anyone paying attention. My professor suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety. The outbursts were his coping mechanisms when not wanting to take meds; a full release of energy- and a prompt return to normal.

Was there a clue here for me? My confusion, tremors and other symptoms had to be breadcrumbs leading me to the path of healing. I only needed the patience to persevere and not play the victim to my heath. With the belief firmly established that healing begins within, I used these random outbursts of bizarre symptoms to discover the patterns.

If the pattern of trees makes a forest then my pattern of symptoms would lead to a diagnosis. So like any good geologist, I got out my field notebook and began sketching out the layers of life that were impacting or being impacted by my symptoms.

It’s amazing that it takes catastrophe to look at the stratigraphy of our lives . Where is the fault? Where have we allowed the pressure to build to the breaking point. Where can we find small moments of release as to not completely shake loose our moorings later?

These insights along the rocky shore of healing has led me towards deeper inner wisdom and a softening of spirit. Patience, it seems, has been born of cleaving layers of sediment crashing through me. What else can you do with tremors, but ride them out, knowing this too shall pass and calm will be restored once again.

And in the calm lies stillness and elucidation; for from the pressure of living comes forth the diamond clarity of truth – all of life is an ebb and flow of pain, joy, suffering and love; leaving traces of each story to become fossilized in memory.

And in the calm, what I discovered classifying my pain and suffering was a pattern of excess and scarcity. It is between these two extremes a balance can be found. Overdoing it, taking on too much leads me down a path of deterioration. Doing too little leads to stagnation and eventually down the same path of deterioration.

However when conditions hover in the sweet spot between the two extremes; this yields a slow yet steady pace, allowing for the unexpected & reveling in its mystique. Set backs are no longer boulders blocking my way, but a chance to meander creatively around my inner space getting a fresh view, creating new neural pathways.

When we can witness our story, layer built upon layer, lessons and meaning emerge from the patterns. We can learn from our past, adjusting our patterns to create a path of fertile soil which holds within it the sediment of our memory, allowing for new growth and experience to ripple through our lives.

Wishing you a peaceful 2023.

Namaste

✎𝗡𝗔𝗡𝗢𝗪𝗥𝗜𝗠𝗢✎


I wasn’t necessarily planning on participating in nanowrimo this year. I didn’t want to put myself through the stress of coming up with an idea and all the things that go into planning, writing, finishing 50k words in 30 days.

So with nanowrimo off my mind for most of the summer, I had begun kicking around an idea for a short story, taking some notes, sketching out ideas, but I forgot about it sometime around the end of august.

As September rolled along I was focused on content creation, my dog, new guided meditations, family, and feeding squirrels. On one of my many squirrel feeding expeditions I happened to walk a route I hadn’t taken in a while. I meandered on the side walk looking into the vacant lot for the sandpiper who nested there, stopped to watch a bee on a cornflower, and stumbled upon a memory.

I was walking the same sidewalk a few years before and I had been noting how cracked the sidewalk was and an idea for a story bloomed in my mind. Unfortunately, I was never able to expand the idea enough to begin writing.

…but now.

That moment in late September, when I noticed the cracks on the sidewalk, stopped me in my tracks. I could clearly see how these stories, these ideas were waiting for each other. One born in the future, waiting patiently for the past to catch up in order for the whole story to be told.

Stories want to be told. They are always searching for their voice, for the instrument of their telling.

Since this story to must be told, I am poised to begin nanowrimo for the first time in 2 years. I completed it once in 2019 as I was very prepared. I feel just as prepared now, yet more at ease. I’ve written 50k words in 30 days before so no big deal doing it again.(right??)

Perhaps this will yield a strong flow – being at ease, calm; allowing the words to flow thorough me. Allowing myself to have fun with the creative process instead of worrying about word count or deadlines.

I guess we will see how prepared I am a month from now as the first week of NANOWRiMO comes to a close. As for now, I will continue prepping with these little bursts of creative flow.

Keep Calm & Write on!

Non-dual

In stillness, the truth slowly revels itself. We begin to understand the preciseness of the Universe. Out of chaos arises beautiful order; a magical dance of dark/light, pleasure/pain, bliss/suffering, life and death; anew in each eternal moment.
𝘕𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦

Fool(ish) Musings

Today we will take some time to think about “the fool’s” journey through life. This theme is represented in literature with works such as “the Epic of Gilgamesh” and ”Alice in Wonderland,” among many others. Joseph Campbell, an American writer and professor, described it as the archetypal hero story.
These themes are prevalent in our lives as we grow from child to adolescent to adult, gaining insight and experience along the way. We begin our journey as the uneducated novice (infant) bound in pure awareness, with no sense of self – hence, the fool.
Our modern language has negative connotations associated with the word FOOL; however, when examined through experience, we see that societal trappings and norms unencumber the fool. The fool experiences life in all its splendor, tasting experience for what it is. There is no shame, no guilt – only pure being.
As babies, we have no sense of self (as in self-consciousness); purely instinctual beings. Our whole experience is based upon survival- cry to be fed, changed, consoled. All our energy is concentrated in the root chakra. As we grow, we develop a sense of separation, of otherness. It is at this point our energy moves into the sacral chakra. We experience the partition based on sex and slowly become aware of the power sex and sexual identification has in our lives. Like the fool/hero on the journey, we must come to understand that power is limited, controlling, and lacking Love. If our karma in this life allows, we move into the third chakra, some of us developing a stable sense of self, or we become lost in the anxiety of trying to fit in. Most people are living through the energy of the lower 3 Chakras.
Progress moving the energy upwards becomes difficult due to our physical plane of existence constantly telling us we need more to be happy, loved, and fit in. Beings stuck here are trapped by instant gratification-always seeking outside of themselves.
The fool/hero, however, can move beyond the physical plane of power after some time. This shift can happen gradually, or some trauma can rend open the heart instantly, allowing the experience of the power of unconditional Love. This subtle energy will enable us to bridge the gap between the lower and upper chakras.
This Love can assist us further on our foolish yet heroic journey. It allows us to see the world for what is in pure Love. It invites gracious speech and action and opens our intuition to allow a depth of understanding: everything is exactly as it should be every moment.
This is the most difficult pill to swallow. War, greed, and suffering are all intrinsic parts of human existence, and they are the opposite side of the coin of Love, compassion, and empathy.
At a point in history, we began to see everything as duality (Eve eating the apple/Gilgamesh and Enkidu), and we lost the pure taste of awareness.
Those whose karma is ripening for awakening feel the “something not quite right” in how we are told to experience life.
The fool’s/hero’s journey is never straight, and it is a crooked path with many missteps and falls along the way.
Take time to look at your life from the perspective of storytelling. Can you identify early life moments where energy stagnated in the lower chakras?
In working with these ideas, we must remember that we are most likely not fully awakening in this go-round, and we are the fool – just beginning to open our eyes to the light of truth. This is a journey of many lifetimes, unpredictable and long.
With this realization, which cannot be intellectualized, we begin to see the face of god in everyone we meet. No one is better than us, no one less than us. All god, all one; All beings are moving toward the light in their way, in their own time.
The person that cut you off on the highway is god; the megalomaniac, hell-bent on persecuting other beings, is also god. It is all energy in form and all one. Ram Dass says, “ it is all grist for the mill.”
Everything we meet is the path.
Namaste