“awake in the middle of the night, messages…”
That was the note I made in my journal this morning on rising. Now nine hours later, I return to the page in a very different state.
I’m weary, a bit dehydrated likely.
Out most of the day to a very engaging lunch with friends, I had anticipated potentially cool weather at the restaurant near the coast. “Threats” of 61°F may sound downright balmy to some, but that’s sweater weather if you ask me. 😉 Planning ahead, I layered up – no chili distractions for me today, the conversation and company promised to be too good to allow that kind of miscreance to interfere.
I was not disappointed, the air was crisp and cool and the conversation crackling like a warm fire.
I’ll return to this in a moment, just now to say that the drive home to the South, with the afternoon sun coming through the car window and warming the wool outer layer, left me a little “well done” by the end of 45 minutes of afternoon traffic.
I’ve been home for just under two hours now, have had some water and turned the usual “Little India” temperatures down in the house to a generally considered more civil 72° (actual 75°). Even though I’ve managed to remain faithful to a handful of email replies, a little organization for the remainder of the week and even a little further research to advance the project of Life as Art, my energy is not yet back to form and I suspect this is the way I will finish the day, with luck that means deep sleep tonight.
As I passed through the office this morning, jotting down the note above to remind myself of the sensation of mystical wonder brought about by the mornings messages, I hadn’t anticipated this little physical downturn, a little depression through and through.
After a brief bit of morning clerical efforts and correspondence, Eleña and I left the house for the day’s engagement which I had absurdly miscalculated in terms of time. I really should have known better. My friends Said and Elza are a very special couple. They are brilliant, each in their own right, and even better together. Today, years into an initially misdiagnosed aphasia that took Elza from the public stage to which she had so much to offer, their energy together is bright and while Elza is largely silent, she does not fail to contribute subtle insight and presence to the dialogue.
Our friends had not been in the car three minutes after we picked them up at their home near the water and proceeded north up the coast to our destination when already the conversation had hit the lake of deep reflection and began swimming towards the bottom. What to do in the world today, with whom and how, and when do we recognize one another, and when do our voices, our lives even, fail to reach the receptive apparatus in those on whom we rely?
Really, isn’t it everyone on whom we rely? CEOs, voters, Syrian farmers with no way to bring visible runoff from mountains beyond into their climate ravaged and barren fields? Don’t we rely on friends and family, deep thinkers, and aging mentors to hold us when things get tough? What then, when we fail to hear one another, to recognize incapacity in those we trusted to respond, recognize incapacity in ourselves to meet those absences with compassion?
Our conversation ranged from Spiral Dynamics to Ken Wilbur’s integral and various models of STAGES of development, exploring various differences and how individuals within those different camps of interest might both be seeing as well as looking past one another. We asked what could be needed in the world today, where it might be found, and what are the risks?
We spoke of our individual struggles with our various experiences of disability, the systems around us, how they work and when they fail; not only those systems of great scale, but also our systems of family and community. The conversation danced from heart to mind to spirit and back again. Lunch in the clamor of the busy noon rush, turned into coffee on the veranda in the quiet of the cool ocean air and the warmth of the afternoon sun.
The breeze of friendship was refreshing and thrilling. Said has just finished his latest book and is finding thus far good graces in its initial reception and journey towards publication. I, in my own journey which you, if you have been reading for a few days, will know by now remains precarious, but with continued momentum through the fields of ambiguity. I felt grateful to be outside, without work in my hands, just able to relax in this breeze and take a moment to commune.
I woke at 2:30 AM, the smell and taste of dust in my nostrils. I had been dreaming of vacuuming the floor, but with my face practically in the carpet. There was more to the dream that I do not recall now, but I was awake then, and not particularly comfortable. I wondered if the heater vent had been blowing some foul air and turned on the light to see if I could notice any difference.
Nothing to see there.
I’ve had that experience before at night, still nothing to correlate to the sensation, a bit odd, but never minding…
Awake and up, I noticed an email – a dear friend of mine has received news – her son may be passing soon. He also, a friend of mine, lives in my prayers and thoughts, she too. Adjacent to that message, another friend responding with strong encouragement to my recent efforts to describe a sense of possibility in exploring our MettaCare construct – he invites a focused collaborative workday on the subject. A big yes, not only to the practical value, but also to the feeling of “not being alone” in this journey.
Then to meditation. Really the quiet hours of the morning are my very favorite for this. The taste of dust recedes as my awareness of “emptiness” returns.
40 minutes later I returned to resting.
On rising I would find one more message, a long trusted and dear mentor sitting in Cancún and reading St. Germain, contemplating a shift in focus from acute care of individuals and systems of well-being to something more global, drawing on a deep spiritual awakening that has been growing steadily and gradually for many years, to translate her focus to a wider reaching and more dispassionate compassion.
That was enough. My bones quivered, sensing the preciousness of life and friendship, inspiration, creativity, and collaboration, the fleeting moments of this relative existence, and a sense of mystical gratitude for being here in the first place to witness any part of it, let alone participate.
I’m remembering now that state. When I returned to these words, now a writing hour ago, I had lost that thread. Feeling first instead the exhaustion of dehydration, but also a sense of despair (likely an artifact in part, of the former.)
It’s so easy for me to imagine that I have something of real value to offer. In the absolute eternity of it all, of course, this is nothing more than a sparkler laughing in a forest fire. Yet in the reality of our day-to-day relative existence, where the absence of awareness passes into awareness, and sees ahead its own return to that quiet place, there is much to be offered, and so many to whom we might give these gifts.
When I contemplate the road I have traveled to this moment of my life, this moment where ideas of “what I have to give” seem so vulnerable to the apparently hard aspects of reality unfolding inch by often painful inch, that construct of imagination can feel infirm and illusory.
That was the state in which I arrived to this page. I’m glad that through the journey of writing, I can recall that sense of mystical gratitude just to have been here at all. Each moment, like the conversation, the macchiato, the ocean air, and the breeze today, a gift of incalculable value, if only we remember to hear.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…