“That little one never made it”

Who we are

Adyashanti shares an interesting story.  I am paraphrasing from memory, but this is the gist:  A spiritual seeker tells him–I want what you have.  Adya appears puzzled.  What do I have?  The spiritual seeker says–I want to be enlightened, to be awake, to be realized.  I want what you got.  Adya replies something like–oh no, I never got anything.  That young man never got anything.  That little one never made it at all.

This story comes back to me at times.  Like this morning.  Sitting here on the couch, thoughts appear in the background.  They keep referring to a “me”, to a Kathy.  They continue to reference a solid separate person with certain characteristics.  The foreground of consciousness watches them appear and disappear, appear and disappear.

I sometimes want to explain to my friends and blog readers here on line.  To tell them what happened, what shifted, how the outgoing blogger and social media participant dissolved–poof!–now you see her, now you don’t.

I want to make up a story telling you where the person went. “This is what happened,” I will say, craftily spinning a tale, pretending that there is an actual person who can come and go, arise and fall, create stories and fall silent.

But the stories can’t really be told without fabricating more creative non-truths.  I can’t tell you anything about me without shape-shifting into a me.  (Which is perfectly OK if that’s what the Universe wants to do in this ever-changing moment.)

Sometimes, like this morning, there’s a nostalgia which arises for the person.  Oh, that little one, that one, where is she?  I almost want to create her this morning out of sticks and stones and a rib from Adam and some grinning amusement from Eve.  To craft story after story to make a solid character who acts predictably in certain ways, who is dependable as the heroine or villain of the tale.  Or who loves acting unpredictably!

(And some days she returns–oh here I am, darling!  Let’s play today.  What character do you want to be?)

But it doesn’t seem possible right now.  It’s as if the old characters have fallen away into the snowy woods, a snowman melted away, the archetypes empty icicles gleaming in the weak January sun.

Matthew of Biblical fame says it this way:  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

The fullness that remains when one dies while still alive! Wow!  What appears in place of the stories is truly amazing in the most ordinary way.  Fingers typing, can you imagine?  The wood stove humming?  Thoughts and stories appearing? To enjoy encounters with people more than before, but without needing anything in return?  All without reference to a central character, a separate person?

Perhaps it was Adyashanti who said that you may lose the separate self but what you gain is the whole world. The whole darn world!  Can you imagine that?

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Creation

Creation

Every day we create.

We seek newness, rawness, edge.

We’re seekers beyond the ordinary.

We create from juicy ripe red desires.

We create words, books, coffee dates,

trips to buy organic produce, paintings

splashed with orange vibrancy.

We seek to create beyond What Appears.

We’re not satisfied with sitting on the couch.

We seek, we create, we’re mini-gods like Zeus-Michael

and Aprodite-Jennifer and Artemis hunting her

next fix, her next dance, her next amazing

Caesar salad for dinner.

Oh how we create!

We were born to create.

We reach for TV Kingdom and create stories

to burrow before bedtime.

We turn on the computer

and create in Facebook, in WordPress, the

words dribbling from our fingers,

painting word pictures,

pirouetting like the best ballet dancer,

oh look at us humans!

Born to create, born to create, and how we

create.

Look at yourself, Sister.

Look at yourself, Brother.

You’ve created an entire life, you mini-god,

you angel, you devil, you dabbler.

You keep creating something extra,

some fizz,

some pump,

some glory,

some trip to the South Seas,

that hot soothing cup of coffee,

ever the next creation and the next and

the next.

Until one day, one fine moment which isn’t

past or future

you clearly see creation for what it is–

and isn’t.

You’re the last creator then, or the first.

If you try to stop creating,

you’re doomed.

If you try to resist your desire,

it balloons and you’ll heroin-fix yourself big time.

You see creation for what it is:

big, glorious, magnificent,

small, unnecessary, completely beside the point.

Creation was here before you wrote

this poem.

Anything you add is delightful and

truly not needed.

It was never needed.

What exists before your poem,

before you reached to read this poem,

before you poured your coffee,

before your creative mind conjured

verbs to escape this already-perfect moment?

Daring the wind

Icicles in wind

Wind howls from the south, a southern wind, a warm wind, an unusual February wind.  It brings stories from the Gulf of Mexico.  Lake Superior foams up in anticipation of more tales of shrimp, grouper, oil spills from its sister-water, its southern companion of fluidity and sand.

“Tell me more stories!” it waves, and the ice fishermen shudder, releasing silver wire into the depths.  The fishermen don’t care about southern winds.  Southern winds break the ice into jagged patterns and send it scurrying northwards, toward Canada’s shore.

I listen to the wind within the confines of a warm woodstove-heated cabin.  A bat or squirrel or chipmunk rustles in the exterior cedar boards, making a ruckus.  Last winter a pileated woodpecker pounded on our western wall, destroying it, sending shards of cedar everywhere.

The forest blinks in the late afternoon as the sun sets.  The sun sets without regard to the wind’s howling stories.

I think of winter camping, sleeping in the melting mid-winter snow.  How  wind invades human dreams, how it infiltrates, how it scours you to the core.  How you forget why you were born, why you walk this snowy earth, why you sing, why you dance, why you create joy, why you write WordPress blogs, why you Facebook, why you move to the kitchen to pour a cup of steaming tea and sit by the window, daring the wind to enter your open heart, daring it to penetrate glass, daring it to take you where you always wanted to go.

Breath

 

Breath of the sea

Breathing slowly.  Breathing.

Lean closer now, into the sail of your lungs.  In…wind fills white cloth fluttering on blue horizon.  Out…the ship steers north, true to the star which calls it.

Breathe in all your energy, your hope, desires, creativity.  Breathe it past the sentinel who watches, stern-faced, adjusting jigs.  Breathe in Spirit’s dance, Spirit’s alive seed-planting breeze.  Breathe in rainbow colors of painted dreams.  Breathe in the sun’s cresting of the horizon, triumphant.  Breathe in, dear Sister.  Breathe in, dear Brother.

Breathe out past the breakers, out past the foamy dangerous waves where shore meets sea.  Breathe out a million hurts, the sword-blade etchings of pain on your fragile red beating heart.  Breathe out the tight, the twisted, the wronged, the daily deaths.  Breathe out into darkness of nothing, only black, the dark of a moonless night.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Slowly now, slowly.  Attend to the rush of your inner winds, the ebb of retreating tides.  The giving; receiving.  Opening; closing.  Steadiness of pulse an ancient drum never ceasing, never ending its sacred heartbeat.

Breathe out, breathe in, don’t stop, don’t ever stop.  O Steadfast breath, nourishing every cell, every tear, every release…

You breathe us, don’t you?  We only imagine we’re breathing in some distant dream of unfurling green leaves and peppermint tea and sunlight dappling the forest.

Some day, they say, the drumbeat of breath stops.  Memorize the curves of breathing in, breathing out.  Some day you’ll breathe again, more subtle than a bird wing reflected in puddle, more elusive than a feather drifting against the white crown of your sailboat tacking to distant shores.

Chasing Baby Blog around the kitchen

 

Unfurling

Baby blog reaches in wooden cupboards, peering at shiny metal cans, Campbell’s Soup, tunafish.  Baby blog’s a terror!  Banging on pots and singing loud!  Tossing whole wheat flour in the air!  Like a dust cloud it falls everywhere, everywhere, creating new words, day-old sentences, paragraphs of delight.

What a mess.  Baby blog’s a creative terror.  Any six-day blog doesn’t know left from right.  It throws all the words in a pot and simmers.  Stews.  Stirs.  Will dinner be fit to eat?  To read?  Will sour and sweet and bitter and salty somehow merge? 

Here’s your napkin.  Wipe away crumbs of creativity.  Let them fall on the floor.  Baby’s over here slumbering now, worn out.  We’ll sweep up the crumbs before the toddler awakens and begins to explore, helter-skelter, every nook & cranny a haven to poke pencils, ideas, bright pennies.

Heaven knows what she’ll put together.  Heaven knows how we’ll clean it all up. 

But aren’t they something, our babies?  Don’t we love them so, even while we chase after them, wanting to keep them safe?  Giving them enough rein to dream, enough rein to find the golden skeleton key without putting it in their mouth.