So – last I left you I was on my forest floor - on hands and knees. My hands stretched out in front of me – rooting around in the chaotic understory tangle for my Trust – like someone who lost their contacts – can’t see without them. Sticky not being able to see when you’re looking for something. Rather frightening not knowing what could bite, sting, crawl on you or generally make your life miserable while on the search – blind….
The holidays were lovely and abundant – and such a great distraction. I’m wearing my absolutely stunning tennis bracelet from my Beloved. I wear it as a reminder of abundance – and, ok – I admit it – the closet princess that I am. I digress…. And then – and then - it was the new year. 2012. The end of the Mayan calendar, the end of the world as we know it, blah, blah, blah. I just refuse to get on that bandwagon. 2012 is just like any other year, month, week, day, hour, minute or second. An opportunity. An opportunity to make a change, be different, be the same, accept, reject, love, hate, dream, lay on the couch eating bonbons, have a pity party and invite everyone by virtue of behavior or step up to the plate and be present, conscious and committed. For me it just signaled the time to get on with it – it being the business of what to do now – to do next.
That sounds like a lot of preaching but that’s where I’ve been for the last month. On my forest floor alternating between excitement about all the opportunity available for me now that the sabbatical year is up and crushing depression. And the depression won out, for a while. All I could manage was grinding on what I didn’t accomplish in 2011 rather that what I did do. Looking back – what a consummate waste of energy and a clear sign I am still a recovering perfectionist. Anyway - all I knew was I couldn’t go backwards but had no idea how to go forward or in which direction – or which path to take through my self-created forest. The overwhelming number of possibilities and OMG! Which one is the right one? Which one am I qualified for? Which one is going to lead me in a circle right back to where I started? Face plant on the desk - I gave up even trying to figure it all out – it was exhausting. Copious amounts of alcohol, endless cigs, walking for hours, endless hours of netflix streaming video, staring out the window at the water, shutting down, tuning out. The sucky part about doing this is that everyone else can meander away from you towards something or someone much more fun to play with – you, on the other hand, are stuck with you. I couldn’t get away from myself. Would have loved to…..
It wasn’t boot straps, or a stiff upper lip or a kick in the ass that got me going again. It wasn’t even Will (sorry Darling) although he get’s some very serious points for remaining in close proximity during my “black period’ – brave and highly supportive man that he is. It was actually two things. One of my most favorite and inspiring books is “The Lost World of the Kalahari” by Laurens Van Der Post. I’ve read it countless times and it captures the spiritual journey disguised in a physical journey like no other I have encountered to date. This passage came to memory recently – I’m copying the text in its entirety because I think it is timely and significant for where we collectively find ourselves:
Ch 4 – The Break-Through - “The world I grew up in believed that change and
development in life are part of a continuous process of cause and effect, minutely and patiently sustained throughout the millenniums. With the exception of the initial act of creation (which every good Afrikaner boy knew was accomplished with such vigour that it took only six days to pass from chaos to fig leaves to Adam), the evolution of life on earth was considered to be a slow, steady and ultimately demonstrable process. No sooner did I begin to read history, however, than I began to have my doubts. Human society and living beings, it seemed to me, ought to be excluded from so calm and rational a view. The whole of human development, far from having been a product of steady evolution, seemed subject to only partially explicable and almost invariably violent mutations.
Entire cultures and groups of individuals appeared imprisoned for centuries in a static shape which they endured with long-suffering indifference, and then suddenly, for no demonstrable cause, became susceptible to drastic changes and wild surges of development. It was as of the movement of life throughout the ages was not a Darwinian caterpillar but a startled kangaroo, going out towards the future in a series of unpredictable hops, stops, skips and bounds. Indeed, when I came to study physics I had a feeling that the modern concept of energy could perhaps throw more light on the process than any of the more conventional approaches to the subject. It seems that species, society and individuals behaved more like thunder-clouds than scrubbed, neatly clothed and well-behaved children of reason. Throughout the ages life appeared to build up great invisible charges, like clouds and earth of electricity, until suddenly in a sultry hour the spirit moved, the wind rose, a drop of rain fell acid in the dust, fire flared in the nerve and drums rolled to produce what we call thunder and lightning in the heavens – chance and change in human society and personality.”
Fits and starts, up one back two, go long and wide, chase your tail, eagle the 18th hole, sit on a forest floor just staring with new eyes for a while and instead of wondering what could bite – admire the lushness and be quiet – be still. The gift of this passage was “Relax – there’s light in the gap now - the charge is building and the inevitable is going to happen – thunder, lightning - off and running - and eventually a path will present itself – the direction will makes itself abundantly clear.” Just remain conscious, aware, honest, alert and – god forbid – patient….