“If you want to make God laugh……tell him your plans.” Woody Allen
So here I am – in the 12th month of my sabbatical year comparing the plan to the experience thus far and I’m certain God is laughing his or her ass off. When I started this journey back in January I had lofty aspirations of all manner of things. Like this photo of Everest shining in the distance – all was possible. In review – relatively little followed the original objectives and goals. What replaced it – in retrospect – is infinitely greater and more wonderful than I could have imagined. One of the biggest shifts that occurred over the course of the year was moving away from an adopted linear, analytical, cause/effect thinking and re-embracing my original and inherent present moment, intuitive, open-to-the-possibilities mindfulness. It seemed the more I was willing to let go of major risk analysis and the subsequent analysis paralysis and simply trust – the fabulous presented itself to me. While not always “days of wine and roses” – I was privy to magic frequently. Amazing what’s living in the peripheral when the blinders of intense goal focus are removed. Or so I thought….
You see – the joke’s now on me. Esconced at the command center at home – Seattle winter outside my window – grey sky – grey waters in my view – this picture of the castle on Corsica hoving into that particular view seems an eternity ago and my certainty that all will line up like dominos is now a line of toppled tiles. I feel the press of the old way of thinking – the committee in my head waking up and shouting – all at the same time… Isn’t that what I was moving away from in this year??
Here’s the joke. Let me quote myself – the very first page of Lumen Hiatus:
During a visit to the Monte Verde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica I was first introduced to concept of Light Gaps. Essentially, when a large canopy tree falls, usually during a storm, it takes out a section of the forest canopy thereby creating a Light Gap that allows direct sunlight to reach the forest floor. Dormant seedlings suddenly have the opportunity to germinate and grow. This energy has a direct and immediate effect on its environs.
“Heliotropism” is the scientific name for this kind of solar-centric behavior, behavior that in some sense represents nothing more than brute reflex, evidence of a biological need so fundamental that its denial would mean the difference between life and death. Plants need light, so they move toward it. End of story.” by Arika Theule-VanDam http://www.rca.org/Page.aspx?pid=6515
I like what Arika implies here – that there is an urgency, an imperative that demands we give our ideas, dreams and aspirations a chance. We need light – our souls demand that we explore the possibilities of worlds outside the limited cage of our logical rational world. In the absence of that opportunity – illness, addictions, aberrant behavior like forest floor parasites, are given their opportunities to use and eventually kill their hosts – end of story. I also believe we all experience our own light gaps during the course of our lives. An illness, sudden death, loss of a job or a serious accident – any number of things act like that giant tree falling in the wind – ripping away our canopy of complacency and offers light to the emergent and urgent needs of the truest nature of ourselves. We have the choice of what to do with that opportunity. In our tender, dark and private forest floor moments, I believe we all yearn for a light gap of our own.
I decided to create my own Light Gap this sabbatical year. To explore what Brezsny calls the alternate realities of the unconscious, the dreamtime, the spiritual sphere, the intelligence of nature and the realm of the ancestors. This site is a venue for just such exploration. And, to insist on a hard and fast direction or one concrete path at the start of this journey seems to me to negate the very notion of a light gap in its infancy. The forest floor – once availed of the light – produces all manner of plant species. It is only over time that those strong enough and meant to grow to full height and maturity will overtake the weaker, less relevant species and fully engage their environment. They will then contribute their unique attributes to the overall ecosystem. The outcome is a mystery – the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Here – now – in December – in the twilight of my year - my oversized canopy tree called “My Ego” has indeed fallen. I have effected my light gap and there is a whole lotta light shining on my forest floor but I hardly recognize the person who wrote those lofty words all those months ago. I realize now that what crashed – in addition to my overblown ego – were many of the beliefs I identified myself with and that shaped direction thus far in my life. I was able to articulate because of them and now – without them – I find myself tongue tied and barely able to string together a few cohesive sentences. I used be a great debater and woe unto the poor sap who engaged me. Woe unto me now. Where I used to be certain about practically everything – I am certain of nothing except I have to
get up in the morning and continue to be present. The old ways of thinking and being were my compass and without them now – I feel as rudderless as a wanderer in the Sahara. No one explained that there are certain risks you take when you abandon everything and seek a light gap. While my forest floor is indeed covered with all manner of tiny new life – new ideas, new thoughts, new beliefs I’m trying on, new perspectives – surely a few will be strong enough to show themselves as most relevant to my current environment. They will fight for light and nutrients and eventually crowd out the less relevant and a path and direction for those energies will soon follow and off I will go. Right?
Here’s the rub – and the cosmic joke. It’s all bloody chaos right now - no order – absolute f-ing chaos. Order and sense will all manifest in it’s own good time (we hope – we pray) and there is not a damn thing I can do to hurry the maturation process. A farmer tugging at his seedlings to make them grow faster is the height of silliness, right?? but you see – that’s exactly what I am doing now – trying to force growth through the hothouse - hastily built - of my fears. Fears that my year is so soon up, resources were not planned for much beyond a year and rather than being coolly prepared with the certain knowledge of my relevant forest floor species and that attendant direction - I haven’t got a goddamn clue. In fact – this is the most uncertain I’ve been in my entire life. The height of silliness. So decidedly uncool. So - where’s my trust now? I’m on my hands and knees looking….
Just a bunch of random thoughts desperately attempting to take root and parts seeking a sum – and – screw wholeness for the moment. Outcome still a mystery.
Right now - today – God and Me are indeed laughing our asses off……
To be continued-