Reflections

Meditation: A Magical Reset?

There is a moment in every day, when I crawl deep within my Self, to a place untouched…  A refuge, where the horrors of the outside world cannot reach…  A pleasant pause, when the terrors of my own physicality do not stalk me…  I am completely content, pain-free, at peace…

A soft buzzing fills my ears, muffling the silent screams of every heart grasping for relief.  A glowing warmth envelops me, staving off the constant chill of foreboding.  Tears slide joyfully down my cheeks, cleansing my spirit in the way only they can.  And I am free…  Completely…

For a moment, every day…

And then the tide shifts, and it All comes rushing in, yanking me back into the world again, as the wave recedes.

Sound returns with a shout and a roar, as Life cries out to be heard, demanding… something… recognition, answers, or succor?

Goosebumps rise as the everpresent sense of dread washes over me once more…

And then the pain flares up, like random flames, reminding me that my body still lives in a world ruled by Time…

I wonder if that peaceful moment, that blessed meditative state, even occurred?

And the answer is?  It doesn’t matter.  I had the experience; I knew it to be true.  And so it was…

So the only question that remains then is: is it enough?  Can the memory of that moment get me through this day?

And the only answer that matters is: of course it will!  Because it must!

I am who I am once more, re-armored, re-armed and re-set.  An’other day begins for this warrior-ess…

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Poetry, Reflections

“Abandoned!…”

Tossed to the roadside

left to die…

Like garbage from another time.

Pushed aside, out of sight

out of mind…

Irrelevant am I…

So who am I?

Who am I you left to die?

Who am I you pushed aside?

Who am I?

You decide…

Am I pride, dignity, or hope?

Trust or faith?

Reason, responsibility, humility perhaps?

Conscience, purpose, or justice?

For all of these are now abandoned,

drained of their power to motivate

and empower…

What then is left?

So… who am I, left here to die?

Whose relevancy has been pushed aside?

You decide…

Am I humanity,

and the planet on which we reside?

Or am I greed,

and the system on which it relies?

You decide…

Knowing no answer is an answer this time…

For abandonment is an action,

passive or aggressive,

the results will be the tide

that wipes away our history…

Tossed to the roadside

left to die

the garbage from another time…

 

 

 

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Reflections

Violence?!

Really, Lisa – violence?!  Are you actually thinking this might be a solution?!

… (no answer is forthcoming)…

Please say it ain’t so…?  You know better!  You’ve lived better!  Initiating violence is never a solution!

…  *sigh* …

[Arms crossed, foot tapping, eyebrow cocked, my conscience waits for a commitment]…

“Well…,” I finally respond, “it’s not like was planning to do the violence!”

***     ***     ***

Still…  The truth is…

I know better.  I would never advocate violence as a solution.  But there are times, like now, when a little well-placed, targeted violence might actually go a long way.  At least in the short term, anyway.

I mean, let’s face it – peaceful resistance does not appear to be working, at least in the sense of shifting momentum.  Yes, there are so many “feel-good” individual stories out there, about good people doing the right thing.  They should give us hope, remind us that how we treat each other, here and now – neighbors, friends, strangers and enemies – is what truly matters.  And it does; no question about it!  I look for and live for those discoveries every day…

Meanwhile, a steamroller, armed like a tank, continues to roll roughshod through our lives, smashing every last shred of dignity and hope from our lives.  They no longer even try to hide or explain their actions; they simply do not care about anyone but themselves, and they see no reason to deny themselves any longer.

And it does not matter that “they” are a minority, that “they” are vastly outnumbered by “us.”  For we are people of conscience, empathy, compassion, and our convictions will not allow us to respond in any way that matters to them!  They know this, and so they are not afraid…

For those whose consciences are less conflicted, now is a time of great importance.  Seeing what you see, how will you choose?  Yes, a part of you wants to be and do “good,” because that’s what you believe is right.  But those doing “bad” are getting away with it, taking what they want without consequence.  The rich get richer and fewer in number; the poor get poorer and multiply exponentially.  Virtuous concepts like justice, equality, fairness, and reason have fallen by the wayside, victims of the heinous appetites of a small portion of the populace…

Is all of humanity corrupt?  Some say yes, but I cannot believe it’s true.  I see people every day making the hard choice, acting compassionately rather than violently.  And for those who feel themselves buckling under the weight of wrongness, who choose not the path of violence and greed, escapism has become the avenue of choice.  Anywhere but here…  Anytime but now…

So…  Violence?

Carefully targeted and controlled?

*sigh*

I no longer feel justified in condemning such a possibility.  I will not do it myself, but I’m no longer certain I could judge another who chose such a path.

But then…  Who am I to judge an’other anyway?

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Poetry, Reflections

“Absurdities…”

The howling wind blows through me…

Unsubstantial and ephemeral…

Causing “me” to sway and wave,

yet not truly disintegrating.

I feel the tug and pull of many directions…

Swirling and eddying around…

Hard to know which way you’re facing,

when there is no solid ground.

But “I” persist in this timeless state…

Clinging and grasping ineffectually…

Trying to maintain a pointless ego,

in a completely mindless place.

***     ***

Laugh…  Just laugh.

What else can you do?

Reason has deserted us…

While Absurdity is the Rule!

 

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Reflections

Pushing Through…

Pushing through the pain, the frustrations, the trivial obstacles of everyday life.  Not because I want to, necessarily, but because I feel I must.  Yet I do not always identify with the one pushing anymore…

It’s almost as if I am living a dual existence today.  There is a part of me going through the motions, because curling up and crying serves no purpose at all.  Out there, I am in the thick of things, interacting (and sometimes connecting) with Others, and those brief encounters give the struggle some value or purpose…

But there is an’Other part of me standing still, rooted, watching, but not truly engaging.  That part of me has roots intimately entangled with the trees and animals surrounding me.  I feel the trees tightening their grip on me, wrapping tighter around me, as they settle into their winter sleep.  I wonder if I should be afraid, knowing I will find it virtually impossible to escape?  But I am not afraid.  Instead I feel centered and grounded, strengthened and supported by the community we have created.  I will stand witness over the coming months, while my “friends” heal and rejuvenate.  And I’m quite ok with that…

The future is no longer some distant, vague, ephemeral goal, but a moment existing within and beside me, comingling with what I once called “past.”  But Time itself has become irrelevant and meaningless, serving only as a tool for dissecting current thought.  And, as such, failing to compel anything other than mild, vaguely tangible interest, as my consciousness reaches out to embrace single moments…

Pain…?  Yes, there is a lot of that, though it hardly matters now.

Sorrow…?  Yes, that fog envelopes me, though I choose not to succumb to its influence.

Hope…?  Not so much, though there are instants and brilliant flashes caught in the periphery of my attention.

Patience…?  Yes!  Deeply grounded and totally lacking in urgency, though tiny frustrations frequently threaten the accompanying peace.

Love…?  Yes!  For family, friend and stranger, though I will not interefere with what they are personally struggling.  I have learned boundaries, after all…

Pushing through…  As though the river needs my strength, or the current needs my efforts to move inexorably toward its goal.  How arrogant and humble have I become?

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Reflections

Fight, Flight or Surrender…? (Or a Whole New “Level” of Empathy?)

I’m sitting here this morning, experiencing…  something.  Knowing words (even my vast and deep aquaintance-ship with them) will fail to adequately capture, yet compelled to express what I can…  Restless.  Unable to sit still long enough to seek comfort in meditation or other focused activities.  Too grounded in “what is” to escape, too flighty to “act” in any coherent or productive manner, too lost to feel secure, too beaten down to want to try, and yet…

And yet “I” still exist – empowered, connected, secure in my Self, certain of my ability to navigate and survive.  Questioning, but not truly seeking answers, for the rhetorical seems to suffice.  For behind the experience of everyday living is the echoing timbre, the consistent, measured heartbeat of single, simple words…  What?  Why?  Where?  Who?  When?  But not one of them sticks around long enough for a reply to form.  It’s as if the answers themselves are pointless, and the questions a habit carried over from some other time…

I used to play a game at times like these (I started very young, my earliest memories of it around three years of age).  I would sit quietly on the sidelines of life and watch others, then “make up” stories about their lives, based on what I “felt” when I looked at them.  The stories took on more nuance and advanced plots as I aged, but the process was always the same.  I would mostly never know if my “stories” reflected any truth about the people I observed, but the process itself helped me fine tune both my ability to identify and name feelings, and my understanding of people, relationships, and life in general.  It also taught me a great deal about compassion, about putting myself in someone else’s shoes, about real “needs” versus stated “wants,” and about my self, as every such experience was tainted by my own expectations and desires…

Over the past few weeks, I have delved deeper into my emotional cauldron than I have in recent years; there has not been the option of skating across the surface of things, simply naming, ruminating, and letting go.  I find myself immersed, drowning, yet easily able to breathe when the panic subsides.  I have known a rage so real (my own, no less), that the “beast” within me quivers with the need to lash out and devour all within range – friend, foe and stranger indistinguishable in the red haze.  I find myself commiserating with those who act out in seemingly senseless acts of violence, wishing that I, too, could find some relief that way.  But I cannot separate myself enough from the victims of such acts to make such an outcry possible for me…

I have felt so completely defeated that I wished for nothing more than to curl up in a ball and cease to exist in this present time and place.  But I cannot “give up” on my Self, or abandon those others with whom I have so deeply bonded (people, animals, and trees alike)…

So I walk through each day, head spinning, feet stumbling forward, simply trying to acknowledge each new wave or experience as it happens, reeling from the onslaught of sensory and emotional data.  Shielding does not appeal to me, as dulling the experience does not nullify it or erase it; it merely minimizes its intellectual impact, driving my thoughts ever further from my feelings about life.  Such distancing is not true detachment, after all, just a dilution of the poison that will allow me to “suffer” longer…

A few days ago my 17 month old granddaughter visited me in my dreams, just as we were both awakening.  She stood there as her baby self (not the spirit self with whom I have so far interacted), and babbled baby talk at me.  When I acknowledged her by name, and asked if she had come to visit Grandma Lisa, she smiled.  I told her I loved her, and she giggled.  And when I mentioned I needed to wake up, and waved good-bye to her, she waved back…

I found this encounter significant for a couple reasons.  One, it was the first time she projected into my dreams, and she did so as her current, chosen form; that seemed huge to me, that she now has such a strongly developed sense of self.  Two, it seems to take our bond to a whole new level.  If she is expressing such an ability in dreamwalking, at this age, I can only feel excitement about where it might lead…

Yesterday I attended a kids Halloween party with my daughter and grandchildren.  It was noisy, chaotic… frantic almost, as if the need to “celebrate” something, anything had long since overwhelmed the significance of form; it didn’t matter why we were all there, just that we were.  My granddaughter appeared shell-shocked through most of it, her usual curiosity and fearlessness swamped by the immensity of the experience.  I could relate, and yet I found myself eager to engage.

We wandered around, aimlessly, while my grandson played, and I found the “stories” seeking me, rather than the other way around.  I saw smiles and laughter, intense enjoyment, plastered on faces beneath vacant eyes, as though the masks on everyday faces had long since lost touch with the reality of individual lives.  I saw surprise, and glimpses of presence, when I reached out to acknowledge individual beings, complimenting costumes, praising performances, or thanking them for being there.  That first moment of shock in those vacant eyes when they realized I was speaking to them was… I don’t know…  heartwarming and heartbreaking, all at the same time…

There was a young boy who no doubt practiced for weeks to get on that stage and sing for a crowd that never even looked his way.  He and his father walked away dejectedly from the stage.  When I caught up to them to shake the boy’s hand, and tell him I thought his performance was amazing and to thank him for performing, neither he nor his father knew how to respond…

Then there was the man I was suspicious of.  No reason, no overt acts that appeared irregular, inappropriate, or threatening, and still…  I actually warned my daughter to be aware of him.  I found myself stalking his presence through the crowd.  I even had my daughter pose for a picture so I could capture his image in the background, just in case…  In case of what?  I have no idea.  But my feelings were real.  And whenever my eyes crossed paths with him, I felt this tension, this certainty that a breaking point was near, and that certainty triggered fear…  More than once he locked eyes with me, and though I “felt” calm, nonjudgmental peace toward him, I could not deny the desperation that shone back at me.  His eyes were not vacant, and he was clearly in pain…

A friend recently suggested that perhaps this is just the way things are now.  The past is no longer an adequate map for navigating the present, because its rules no longer apply.  The future can no longer guide us because our goals cannot align with the way things are developing; it is too unpredictable, unstable and unstoppable to shift.  There is only now – fight or flight in each moment, and radical “surrender” to what is, forfeiting all hope of wants being met, and most cases of need…

But I cannot help but wonder if this is all just a reflection of a whole new level of empathy…  Which would actually represent “progress” would it not?

Hmm…

 

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Reflections

Questioning my Self…

If I inhabit a reality of my own creation, which I truly believe I do (at least intellectually), why have I not created a more beautiful place to live?

Where is the love? The justice? The sense of equality that I would expect from me?  Why are we all still suffering?  In misery?

Do I truly need continuing lessons on compassion?  Or is it detachment I’m working on?

I feel sad…  So sad.  I’m not depressed; just sad.  I look around me every day and take note of all the suffering taking place, my own included.  I acknowledge that life isn’t fair, and changes are upon us, and that each and every being I encounter these days is struggling with something of significance to them.  We are facing our deepest “issues,” whatever they might be – financial, health, purpose, faith, loss, grief, codependency, addiction, relationships, career, etc…  And it is no longer enough to compare apples and oranges to find “relief”…

I take no comfort in saying “at least I’m not dealing with [that] today!”  Or “thank Goodness my crisis is only financial!”  I don’t need to compare my suffering to others to find gratitude today; I am well aware of how loved and lucky I am…

But that does not diminish my “suffering” today, for my financial insecurity is the one “issue” which I have never satisfactorily resolved; it has always haunted me, and it continues to do so.  To minimize its impact on me, and the way I live my life is a disservice to my Self…

But yes, there are many, many others who are suffering much more than I am, within their own personal hells…  And I don’t need to minimize or overstate their suffering, either, in an attempt to balance scales.  I simply accept that we are all suffering, and this world we share truly is hell!

So…

Why?  I ask my Self, “why?!”  For when I cannot “solve” a problem, I seek to understand instead.  My powerful Self could create a “happier” place, at least for me.  Why haven’t I done so?

I need to know…

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