Again, backing up to here…
When all else fails, write.
Is this something akin to “those who can’t do, teach?”
And really, “fail” really doesn’t tell much of the story, and I’m not sure there’s any part that represents something I would call failure. And yet…
While I have felt to some degree unmoored for an amount of time now approaching two years, I have also in a sense found myself standing on a new emerging foundation, gratitude.
I had, perhaps miraculously, a full complement of care for the month of May of this year, prior to that – January was the last time my care support was regular, consistent, and reliable, sort of. Today, the search continues, or rather goes on pause.
The friend who would be stepping in to help me out of bed and with breakfast and lunch for the coming five days, was notified today they have tested positive for the virus. They are showing symptoms. They were vaccinated in April. At the time of writing we do not yet know the strain.
I have most certainly been exposed to them and was tested today, possibly 2 to 3 days too early for sound results, and have in that time come in direct contact with five others, mostly vaccinated. One was not.
Fortunately two of those folks have happily agreed to continue their exposure risk and help to be sure I can be up and functioning this week with reliable food and care.
Much to be grateful for.
I rose today, a bit sluggishly, with much to be done. As one might imagine, other things transpired.
I feel like a toddler; wandering around, not quite aimlessly, joyful delight at all that I accomplish, yet at the same time there doesn’t seem to be all that much getting done.
My health, like my care, has been not all quite there. The economics of my situation, in so many aspects, from financial to community, to diligence with the internal tensions of awareness, too has left lacking to the eye seeking to discern clarity and confidence.
I knew shortly after waking this morning that I might be coming to tend this garden of pages, though it was then not clear how the time would be made in the face of many pragmatic task concerns.
I knew that I wanted to take a moment to share and reflect on gratitude.
I have been listening of late to the voice of the author as she reads her work, Braiding Sweetgrass. This, thanks to my friend Eric, has been a thread pulling my attention along for moments of the past week. The story has held my attention by the authors reverence, not just for the natural world (as it is often called), but for the unfolding path it takes, for all its hardship, messy destruction, and simple pleasures of the moment.
It is a good story, and I’m grateful to have been introduced.
This morning, Ms. Wall-Kimmerer, introduced me to a sacred object, well couched in contrast to the convention of the Pledge of Allegiance so often held forth in modern America, a way of gathering with clarified intent to act in unison with faith and clarity in a higher vision.
… In unison…
… With all of the moments of my life. Save none.
Leaving no moment to fear or doubt, no moment to hatred, or suspicion.
When I gather myself, all of the moments that I imagine, one after another, the tale I tell of my own existence, each instance blossoming forth from the ones before… When I gather myself, all of this self, in unison… What faith and clarity in what higher vision?
To what do I pledge allegiance? Where do I state my duty? What is my bill of responsibilities?
Speaking with a friend today on the telephone of our good fortune to have found such a precious teacher of wisdom ways, we spoke of gratitude, and I think she put it precisely and well when she said, “not for any particular thing, but the kind of gratitude that just wells up from someplace beyond the depths…”
Yes, that is what I feel. Grateful, but not like an action, rather like the air on your skin, the wind in your face, the rain on your head, the mud between your toes, unmistakable, certain, material, that which matters before all else…
The recognition of life amounts to, when understood, compassion, and a movement towards kindness and love for all beings.
“Leaving no moment to fear or doubt…” Words of aspiration it seems. Seems.
In truth, if I look within do I not discover, that is the degree to which I know myself that love and gratitude reign supreme. It is only where I miss, catch my eye in some gnarled construct of blinding anxiety, fear and doubt arise or perhaps, more aptly put, delusion, greed, and aversion.
Gratitude… Clarity of the gifts surrounding us. Contentment with the tremendous grace of existence. Welcoming of all the myriad faces of creation.
The friends at crypto Twitter often joke, ngmi or we gmi (not gonna make it and, you get it…) Our pragmatic friends and the ecologically minded often consider the grave likelihood that we might not.
Personally, both for myself, and my innumerable relations living on this little rock in the wider eternity, our outcomes are not so clear, and suffer from looming ferocity on all the corners of the mandala, ruin gnashes its ferocious teeth, snarling fears of division, desolation, failure.
But this roar is for us. If we listen, it is calling us home, inviting us to open our hearts and let the bounty of gratitude pour through, filling the world with the flowers of love and friendship, kindness, compassion, kinship, and oneness.
So today, after waking from poor sleep, after lingering long in the heaviness of stirring, after rising, little of the many things that might advance some sense that we gmi came actually to pass. Instead, more dissolution, more uncertainty, AND more friendship, more gratitude…
Nothing left to do but write.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…