From grey to ground…
Today started out hard. Really, it started at 2:30 AM. I’d rested about four hours at that point and apparently my body was committed to being awake for the next four.
I did have a fairly vivid dream about big lizards, big carnivorous lizards, lizards big enough to think of me and my fellow humans as food.
We were outside on the deck of a beautiful home surrounded by steep mountain walls (like Hawaii) covered in green trees. As I surveyed the beautiful scene, my eyes came to rest on a very tall tree close to the deck. It was teaming with big colorful lizards. A couple of them snapped at each other as lizards do, one of them attempting to jump to a new branch.
The two lizards fell out of the tree and onto the deck and started to tussle, until that is they looked up and noticed us at which moment they shifted their attention and momentum in our direction.
We ran indoors, but one of us didn’t make it.
I won’t belabor the rest of the dream, only to say that once we got the door closed and explored going out another, I had to shoot what had now become a small dinosaur with an old pirate’s pistol before turning it around and bludgeoning the thing.
My emotional state in the dream was one of threat awareness, but not fear. Addressing the threat was unpleasant, necessary, and matter of the fact.
I guess if I dreamt, I must’ve slept. Britni came in a little after 7 AM, shortly after I silenced my alarm. I politely silenced Britni as well. An hour later it was time to begin waking. The day was cold and grey, not interesting great, just pale bland white grey. Uninviting.
As I gaze out the window this moment, there’s a lovely contrast – the light is almost gone completely from the sky and the dark long grey clouds are silhouette against pale pastels of clear.
As I began to stir I noticed a feeling of weight. This condition of distancing from one another, the constant vigilance for cleanliness, the slow march of society towards containment or at least weathering the crisis carries a quality of subtle oppression.
“Slowly, too slowly, things will get better…”
Hearts everywhere are breaking, just a little bit at a time. Sadness creeps in, moments of intolerance, weakness in our resolve to love and to care show the sweet frailties of our humanity.
I went on Facebook live video to encourage people to share these feelings, to bring them into the light, to find new ways to care for one another and ourselves in this moment.
Rising late, the day felt melancholy. The hardness met me early and quick. I had been up less than 10 minutes and stumbled into a painful and dysfunctional conversation with a friend. The conversation was filled with projection and ended quickly.
With barely a minute to breathe, I had the next phone call, also awkward and stumbling, communication broken and confused at first. I was resolved not to repeat the first conversation again and with less history with the second friend, we were able to avoid too much projection and find our way to a pensive harmony.
Astrology is BS they say. Good news for you if you agree. Jupiter, the amplifier is aligned perfectly with Pluto, the underworld experience. Simultaneously, Saturn the strict boundary keeper and enforcer is aligned perfectly with the God of war. The latter two “squared” into awkward flair with Uranus, the bringer of novelty…
Good thing astrology is BS or we would be in a helluva situation right now…
Recognizing the pain of the morning, I resolved my attention to focus on moving, however slowly, towards a better state for the day.
Thank you letters helped. Writing them that is. The campaign for support has, as of this writing, crested nearly 35% complete its first milestone. Writing these letters has provided an opportunity to spark, nurture, and care for new and nascent friendships. These new connections I think are a gift for us all in this time of such awkward separation and scarcities.
Awkward separation and scarcities in this case is a reference to my awareness of the modern world. Or better, first world. It’s hard even to contemplate the plight of those without Facebook, zoom video, reliable markets, or water, let alone a functioning healthcare system even to be overloaded.
The middle of the day I was privileged to meet the inspiration of a few dear friends. They were looking for ways to shift the work of their nonprofit community development organization to meet the times through the medium of digital media and had invited my voice into their conversation.
So for about 90 minutes today, right in the middle of things, I got to enjoy the space of aspirational and creative inquiry around the subject of how to build wealth for the world from the composting matter of our current poverties. We left the conversation with smiles, bubbling cheer, and to do lists to make a difference.
My friend Komala this morning had suggested nurturing and harmonizing music. With little effort I set the digital jukebox in the office on to all day Grateful Dead shuffle, still humming along in the background as I write these words.
My physical body spent much of the day, even still, in the state of low-grade dysreflexia and discomfort. While the cold grey persisted outside, the inner spirits and warmth did pick up before the morning was finished and, while weary, I was able to complete the day in the state of gratitude and appreciation. I can still feel a steel edge along some aspect of my experience, but I’m less fearful that it might cut someone, or me.
Dr. Dan on the call yesterday offered to send us his paper on “Guiding Purpose” as a way of helping to ground ourselves in that sense of direction that can carry us across the barren stretches and difficult times we all face today. I couldn’t find that paper online (though I did print copies for all of our care partners here) so I’ll just link this article here, suspecting some strong parallels, in case you feel called to nurture your own purpose as medicine for the ambiguity of the world…
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…