Monday, January 30, 2023

Remain open

I've woken up full of optimism. The sky is clear, spotted with pink and yellow from the sunrise; I can see splodges of hopeful color through the branches of the oak tree in front of my bedroom window. The birds have started to sing and there is a glimpse, just a mere speck of spring, when you wake to a full dawn chorus and bright cloudless skies. Every new day is a blank canvas, a way to reintroduce yourself to the world, an opportunity to start again. I want nothing to get in the way of this moment; I want to channel all things into a funnel of positive, thoughtful nowness, nudging everything gently to the edge of what might be, what could be. We are standing around on the edge of a great river of flow and all we have to do is take one step in, one courageous step, eschewing fear, into the unknown, for everything to be revealed and available to us. It's that little push that takes us from our complacency and safety to the place where everything is happening all at once.

This used to be called "a kick up the backside."

We walked seven and a half miles yesterday with two great friends. It didn't seem like seven and a half miles because we were so engaged in the conversation and the trees and the laughter that we just kept putting one foot in front of another, and thar she blows. I jumped off the top of a barbed wire fence without ruining my knees. They constantly ache and I ignore it, but that is the age I'm at, where knees start to creak and lower backs start to moan. I steadfastly refuse to give in to it. It's fifty five years of riding horses; that must have some impact on knee joints. I fantasize about having my hocks injected, like a horse, and then immediately dispel the idea from my mind, because the idea of a large needle going anywhere near my synovial fluid makes my tummy hurt. But knees aside, over the years I've thought about my mother's solve for every sadness "go for a long walk" and I'm beginning to see the wisdom. There is enormous comfort in nature. Lewellyn Vaughan Lee, a Sufi mystic, talks about meditating under trees and their ability to take away emotional pain. (Before you roll your eyes, imagine this: imagine trying it once, imagine opening up your mind just enough to try something that you consider completely outlandish, imagine being open to an idea that doesn't fit with your view of the world, just once. Is there anything really more ignorant than scoffing at something you haven't tried? Someone said this, and due to a brain that's aging as fast as my knees, his name isn't immediately to hand. I do know that I had lunch with an old friend and her new husband, a venerable and senior correspondent, who, when the subject of psychotherapy was raised, became irate and said "quacks, quacks, all of them" and knocked back another large mouthful of red wine, his third glass.)

I feel as if I am pregnant and something is about to be birthed. Everything is conspiring. I am excited for it. I wish you all (if you happen to find your way over here) a very happy week. Remember to remain *open.

*On the subject of openness, the Christian idea of kenosis is rather a good one - my understanding is that it's self emptying so that there's room for the holy spirit. Or, in my somewhat less Christian interpretation, it's emptying one's mind (through contemplation, meditation) so that there is room for new ideas to foment. For example, if you are constantly bombarded with images from Instagram and bon mots from Twitter, doesn't all of that contribute to a foggy mind stew of meaninglessness, that's really just a distraction? Once again, nature is very good at clearing this out.  Good luck.

1 comment:

LPC said...

I love the light that can fill me when I empty my self of my own noise.