Fran, Gary and Laura have left…bittersweet ending to a wonderful visit. Stubby is going to stay with us while they are off on the adventures of their individual and connected lives. Finding their own way into the unknown future.
It is the exciting and courageous path of the uncertain future that lies ahead for all of us. I believe in the sacred path and I notice that the Way changes. I am now mostly in the slow rooted, Earth Way and but I have had times when my path was in the mysterious flight and deep connection of the Air Way, other times in the sometimes flowing, sometimes crashing and sometimes stillness of the Water Way and yet other times when I was in the fast ignition path of the Fire Way.
No matter the Way. It is all the Tao. To remain centered in the Way is to be in harmony with life. Then the world becomes a paradise. I feel at peace. I then realize that my name and form is provisional. I know that when the institutions lose their function it is time for them to end. I know when to go and when to stop and thereby I avoid danger.
All things end in the Way as all rivers flow to the sea.
Knowing others is knowledge. Knowing myself is wisdom.
Mastering others is strength. Mastering myself is true power.
Because I realize I have enough, I am truly rich.
As I stay in my center, embracing all that is with my whole heart, I will endure forever.
Lessons from the Tao Te Ching by Chery Owens
“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
As I sit to write my daily pages this morning, I am feeling a strong sense of “why bother.” Why am I compelled to come to my desk each morning and put words on a page? I look back to page one, written on January first, and read that I am writing for the practice and discipline of writing. That is well and good. I add to that, writing is not easier after 152 pages, nor do I feel that my ability to express my thoughts is any less foolish or distorted than when I began. I agree with Hesse as quoted above, what seems right and of value and wisdom to me, is no doubt nonsense to others.
I read that I am dedicating myself to transparency. I define transparency as a willingness to be seen in the raw…a willingness to expose the truth of oneself in all humanness… the brilliant and the mediocre, the sage and the fool, the caring and the cruel, the light and the dark.
So today I sit with this darker side of myself and discover that transparency sounds great on paper, but meeting myself here and having the willingness to move into it and explore it without judgment is a great challenge.
This ironic question arises: How do I differentiate my judgment from my authentic dark nature? Is my dark nature the “Judge?” The judgment towards myself (or am I delving into my true dark nature?) centers around my lack of gratitude for my life. Although I think the thought, “I am grateful,” on a daily basis, I fail to express my gratitude moment to moment. I slip into fear, anger, frustration, and the belief that I am not enough. I lose my passion for living and become despondent. It feels as if my joy gets sucked out leaving me feeling hollow and unable to appreciate the gifts that surround me. I then “frost the cake” with my shame and disgust for myself that I am not appreciating all that I am and all that I have. It is a malicious spiral into melancholy.
Yesterday I spent the morning with my dear, sweet friend who is labeled with a stage-4 cancer diagnosis. She spoke to me of her feelings of confusion about who she is now. She is unable to do the simplest of things that used to define her…walking in nature, gardening, dancing, preparing and enjoying delicious food, caring for her family, her friends and her clients, playing and having fun, moving without pain… who she was, defined by the things she loved to do, is no longer.
Could it be that being faced with her suffering, my lack of moment to moment joyousness for every moment of life I am given, is haunting me now?
What do I know? Nothing.
What do I do about it? Write to myself.
Perhaps one day an answer will appear on the page.