Since I gave up the futile quest for absolute truth, writing has become fun, therapy, a form of companionship, a dialogue with peace, and an exploration of rhythm, among other things. I often use a journal, longhand, because the thought/hand/pen/paper/eye is delightful, like buttery oil paint on canvas, or immersion in very warm, scented water. If I turn myself inside-out, it expands my universe. :)
There are some major new developments in the story threading through my journals, which I can partially summarize here. On the outside, they look like...absolutely nothing. World falls apart, literally, figuratively. Death/birth, death/birth. And so on. Might as well call it nothing/something, or cynicism/optimism, or earthquake/stability. In this mental narrative, it has often been abandonment/intimacy...a common plot.
What has made it so complicated is the lost little persona in the wings, aghast at this cycle--the depth of it, the persistence, the core-like pain felt around it. I could use popular tradition and call this confused reaction a "child"...appropriate, I guess, since childhood is when most of this misery is adopted as "truth". Physical and emotional lack of safety during those formative years pretty much defined what I thought myself to be, what I believed my relationships were, and all the major decisions and actions in life. Abandonment has been a dirty word, since then.
On the other hand, I've had intense and very nurturing experiences of intimacy--occasionally with other people, but mostly in the form of samadhi-type glimpses of profound "beingness". To my dismay, they always left me, too soon, with a lingering lust for the honeyed sweetness of resting in the arms of the Absolute. In a sense, the way I perceived these events reinforced my feelings of separation and anxiety. I got angry at myself for falling into such love in the first place, for trying to keep it, for mourning it when it appeared to vanish, and for the inability to forget it. Of course, this deep pattern played itself out all the way to the shallows (in which marriage, career and other interesting creatures lived).
There are many ways to soothe the agony of such conflict. Complete denial never worked for me--perhaps because I am blessed/cursed with abundant curiosity. An active intellect, though, can wear many cloaks. A sensitive field can choose from a variety of events to get lost in. A developed spirit can distract itself with frighteningly beautiful, reality-shattering experiences. All of these things help, for a time...and meanwhile, the incredibly simple heart of the matter is played out daily in the family, in the marriage/divorce, in the loneliness and overcrowding. Unseen answers were literally in my face, every moment. I kept asking questions (to stay dark as possible?), believing there must be a Major Conclusion to all of this. As if, one day, words were going to appear on the page to explain the story, wrap it up nicely, happily ever after. Poof! Enlightenment. The Answer.
I can't pinpoint any moment of insight, this time. It may be just multiple losses all at once, an utter vanishing of perceived control, a distinct "stepping back" from the mechanical actions of the persona...it feels like this is the case, among other things. Exhaustion, too--I have been too tired to be mad, too weary to care. I did the unthinkable. I abandoned myself.
It sounds dramatic, but it wasn't. I simply recognized the utter pointlessness of pursuing various ways out of my situation(s), back into some false sense of ease. There was just no way of making these latest tragedies into anything, or of getting away from them, or of using them as a stepping-stone to a better experience. The usual thoughts would come barging over my threshold, and I was not in the mood to be stoic, polite, or argumentative. Inwardly, I just walked away from the door. Whatever. So what. Good luck with that...nobody home.
Grief came, and despondency, and depression, and apathy. Balloons and flowers, also, in brief bursts of distraction. Plans and schemes tried to stage a comeback, and I actually laughed. Sometimes I woke up in that strong, intimate, boundary-free zone. The old reaction would have been--well--to react. I found that I witnessed this state, not with relief or skepticism, but with the same "whateverness" I felt when anything else penetrated my apparent consciousness.
I noticed that I was no longer angry. Sometimes anger would flash through, and I didn't struggle with it. Several times I "watched" myself being various ages, various patterns, and I felt...affection. Of course I would act/think/be like that, said a very kind voice. Really, it could be no other way. I can't explain how new and strange this self-kindness felt. It was far more genuine and deep than any kindness I had experienced or expressed in recent life. I heard a song about forgiveness the other day, and thought that the concept was a pale sketch of the actual thing-in-action. I realized that genuineness has to happen in its own time, in its own way, and that I have nothing to do with it. I have, in fact, nothing to do with anything.
I have been told that I must take care of myself in a certain wary way, that I must be vigilant. Early life seemed to bear this out, and I took it to heart. Fear said that this strange self-abandonment would lead to nothing but trouble...apathy, at the very least. I heard this latest propaganda echo through my new un-home, and felt quite neutral. There was no reason to argue with this ancient tradition. There was nothing to defend, and no position to take. I just knew that it wasn't true. Paradoxically, I'm more relaxed, more trusting of experience, as it is much less clouded with fortification activity. Funny, huh?
It feels like that heart-bursting intimacy is somehow crossing over into "ordinary life". With nothing to hold up and no opinion about the direction my thoughts take today, almost everything happening in the field is admitted and released with no sense of struggle. It seems that every situation (even the bad ones) can not only be tolerated or respected, but even enjoyed in the completeness of what it is, and simultaneously what I am. As they say, redundantly--I am that.
Going to my ex-husband's house to deal with finances, last month, was a tension-filled experience. I felt uncomfortable in his presence, because I was fighting all the emotion trying to pass through, judging him and myself, agitated, wounded, attempting to be friendly. This time, I drove through the greening countryside and scattered showers with the radio on, singing a line here and there. I saw my hands on the steering wheel as if I'd never seen them before...the way they moved to the bottom during the easy, straight stretches, and the way the patches of light hit them when I returned them to 10 and 2. I listened to my thinking, to my wondering about how he felt, if he cared at all, anymore...I listened to this inner question being posed, and felt a wave of love for the girl who asked. The landscape poured into me, unchecked. The road, the cars, the town...
I had dinner with the man and heard the sadness he expressed about an increasing loss of memory. I watched his eyes while he talked about being unable to recall certain things(!)...I clearly saw the avoidance, the fear, and a soft sort of acceptance. I noted (for the thousandth time?) that those eyes are the color of agates. I watched my hands hold the teacup and heard myself tell him to call if he needed any kind of help...I felt the absolute sincerity, the complete lack of agenda. He was a presence like the landscape had been, like a beloved bend in a river now hidden, now exposed. On the way back to his house, I watched his habitual behavior with a complete absence of distress. My mind was silent. On the return drive to my house, I knew exactly what to do, exactly how to feel, even though...even though anything.
I find myself surprised that everything happens appropriately, that I still do my job and have the desire to make contact with various forms of world. I am amazed that I am not "dead"...that I can live without a shield, that a "sense of self in response to data" is optional. How is it that I can be so many things at the same time--so much so, that I no longer have to be anything? I don't know. How can I have all this responsibility, and not be anxiety-laden? Perhaps because the responsibility, like everything else, is only apparent. I don't really know. Why did the dire predictions of my own fear not happen? I can't even pretend to get away from my life, and it tickles when I think about it. I sometimes feel irritation, but I can release the idea. I mostly feel an open curiosity, a kind of stable happiness that is very unlike the former state of being I called "happy".
Other than the things that present themselves to be done, I have no clue what I might be doing or where I may be located tomorrow, next week, next decade. One thing is absolutely clear, and that is this, here, now, and that thisherenow is an ever-present, totally open situation over which no real "I" stands in control. There is no replacement for the self left behind...I am very, very grateful for this fact. It seems I am a walking contradiction of terms, a cosmic storm happening in a vacuum, an intimate abandonment.
There are around seven billion ways to view the human condition. There are at least as many ways to arrive at the heart of the matter...whatever that means.
Peace to you. :)