Always good to be encouraged…
“Write.” He said, from sunny London – probably taking a cup of tea overlooking the garden, if I’m being perfectly cliché.
While my practice is most often to look from the view of all things arising in this sacred condition, it is also true that in other moments I slump into that feeling of being separate, somehow outside the mandala, looking in.
In those moments I look for those illusory ways of regaining admittance to the kingdom, searching for some small part of myself, some trinket of value that I might trade for acknowledgment, for recognition, for acceptance, for the safety and security of being a part of the tribe, weathering together against the cold harsh world.
In those moments, an admonition to do something in which I have confidence of my skill, in this case, to write, carries a great weight under the direction of my attention.
It was sunny in London when the admonition was given. It is sunny here in San Diego, this midday at the end of the weekend, the edge of a continent smiling back to a face in a little island nation. The former colony writing home.
I made it out through the bedroom door this morning at 10:30 AM. Not bad lately, given all that has been up with my body, mental orientation and the structures of enacting those things in the world. I’ll be returning to that enclave by 4 PM today.
I let go one of our care partners the other day… A person I continue to love and admire, but a way of looking too dissonant from my own to keep in the close care of my physical form and household needs.
And so it goes, from one weekly half day without skilled support, to two, and the reorganization that goes with that. Meanwhile, two new care ads posted and will spend some of this shortened day looking for additional avenues to share those.
One of the advertisements was crafted by a cosmic poet friend of mine, ironically – their draft is the more conventionally framed of the two (while still elegant and poetic no less.) My own rendition is the further aspirational expression.
“Seeking caregivers who long to root their caregiving activities in an aspiration to contribute to something larger than themselves.
I am a quadriplegic managing my own health and well-being with a creative, engaged, and cutting-edge community of care (including doctors, nurses, researchers, caregivers, family, and friends.)
Ideal collaborators will place their own sense of purpose first. Having clarity on that purpose and a focused intention to be in service to that, they eagerly open to an evolving mastery of the skills necessary to the technical capacities of care.
Through caring for my condition as a quadriplegic we nourish and enable my own intention; recognizing and deepening my loving appreciation for the state of our world. It is my focus to lean in and serve our current challenges with grace and compassion.
In what ways are you looking to grow, to evolve, to increase your capacities for well-being and care; both as an individual and in community?
We are seeking partners in the role of caregiving interested in an open-ended process of increasing our skill, wisdom, and capacities for Care Awareness and application, for ourselves, each other, our loved ones and our interlinked communities.
If this is of interest to you, please reach out, I would love to do this work together.”
Lest I leave my opening to this piece, too barren and forlorn, to start the contrast between the wholesomeness of wholeness and the fragility of belonging, as I ease into the creative flow of putting these words to page, I remember the beautiful metaphor, myth, truth telling of the Rainbow Serpent who reminds us [I digress to recall the relevant words of Rumi, “let the beauty we love the what we do.”] that it is our gaze, our unique perspective, that we must return by the expression of our love to the world so that all beings may realize the bounty of our sacred oneness.
It matters to me how the day is spent. I have just started tracking the time it takes from waking to leaving the bedroom in the morning. Informally, that has been anywhere from 3 to 5 hours lately. The time is spent rousing myself from an often times weary slumber (made heavy in recent weeks by the ingestion of antibiotics), conducting the basic rituals of body care – to loosen the joints, take breakfast, evacuate, and recover from any of the reactivity given rise by those events of the autonomic nervous system.
And so, though I value the opportunity to be in a creative state, practicing the craft of word to page, I long for a broader sense of being of service through the medium of some more substantive offering.
I have a precious human birth to purify. I have books to write. I have creative partners awaiting my contributions to our shared endeavors, I have the necessary ground beneath myself to build.
It is the combination of the latter of those, and the instability of the various aspects of my current incarnation (body, context, and economics), from which I tend to construct a limiting belief, which I place here on this page now, that I must do something first in order to be of service.
And yet here I am. I do not condemn myself, nor my condition, nor this world as in some state of need. It helps that I can publish these words to a small community of readers.
There is an edge between trust, or confidence, and motivation. The day today is short for me, as will be tomorrow, and weekends as well for the now foreseeable future. Natural gas shortages appear slated to leave many cold this winter. The affluence of Christmas in Western countries may begin to test more those practitioners of its hungry aspects of consumption this year.
How acutely will be felt the changes that “our world” is most definitely undergoing as we continue deeper into this time of transition?
Life is short. Days uncertain. I for one live often in the question of how to maximize the moments, both from the perspective of gratitude, and that of generosity.
So thank you, dear Charles, for your encouragement. I do love how you appreciate and call forward this little effort from me. Not far behind you, Dave, Tyler, Dennis, and others gently invite as well… May I rise to honor those gestures with the fullness that I unflinchingly know is true.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…