Faith is a rock, an unavoidable rock, and one day you will fall to your knees at the sight of it. – Karen Maezen Miller (Paradise in Plain Sight)
SIX WEEKS: LEARNING THAT NOTHING IS EVERYTHING (part eight)
I don’t know how I got here. It doesn’t feel real… I suppose reality rarely does.
I am not speaking about where I am physically – on this Rock where a girl named Kelyn and a boy named Rodrigo declared their never dying love in semi permanent, white writing – overlooking the view of this seemingly endless valley – a place where sentiments literally vibrate, where your mind sees it all so crystal clearly, where faith faithfully survives, where you can’t tell where the earth ends and the sky begins… where I can’t distinguish the endings from the beginnings in my own life…
In the unbroken circle of life there are never really any clear endings or beginnings, are there?
… No, I am talking about this moment – this time in my life where despite the difficulties, the past remains a bright memory and the brightness of the future hopeful, yet incredibly blurry. And now, I am here somewhere between the past and the future, the ending and the beginning of something…
searching for EVERYTHING…
Now I am Here.
A half an hour ago I was There…
in a state of somewhere else, somewhere between fighting and frustration.
I was there in a place that felt worse than all the other times –
Doesn’t it always seem like the worst moment ever while you are still stubbornly stuck in the middle of it all?
…when cruel, untrue words were thrown (coward being one of the worst curse words I could have used), brutal messages received (I will never find my peaceful dwelling, will I?).
I was there.
We were there; we are always in it together, Andrea and I (It is the only way we know how)…
not knowing where the fight ended and the mutual frustration began.
… So tired of talking about blame, ideas of happiness, choices and indecision…. talking about the perfect place as if it actually exists; all topics that were sure to go NOWHERE.
That is when I quickly kicked off my flipflops, and even quicker tied up my laces.
I left because I just wanted it to end, wanted other types of feelings to begin…
I walked away from Finca Tunduqueral, up a gentle hill headed towards a place where I would no longer feel soffocated by endlessly having to repeat the same exact words, exhaustedly discuss the same, ancient story…
life on the road vs. a physical home.
Where we are going.
Where we are staying.
Haven’t we enjoyed where we have been?…
insanely trying to program something that is not programmable, methodically trying to separate the beginnings, the middles and the ends.
I walked away in an attempt to momentarily get away from Everything… and yet I was searching.
There comes a time in life when we need to responsibly ‘own’ the beginnings, the middles and the ends.
As I walked up the hill, I repeated this mantra:
This is not me. This is not myself, This is not mine.*
I repeated it over and over again and when my thoughts tried to escape me, I persistently brought them back to the very beginning:
This is not me. This is not myself. This is not mine…
This is not me. This is not myself. This is not mine…
This is not me. This is not myself. This is not mine….
until I reached my destination – this Rock where love existed (where it still exists), where there is space and wind and utter silence, where your thoughts can float freely out There, and then simply settle.
I know exactly how I got here, and yet I probably never really will.
In a couple or more hours from now, I will inevitably head back down the hill – after all my stuff has had a chance to float freely, simply settle – finally feeling a little more like me, myself, mine… a little less stuck in between...
and, I will most probably continue to repeat my mantra. I will most probably try to convince myself:
‘This is not me. This is not myself. This is not mine‘…
and yet no matter how many times I repeat these words, trying to convince myself will be useless because I will know that it definitely is.
After all, if it is not mine, ours – whose could it possibly be?
The end of everything to one person could be just the beginning of Paradise to another.
Now I am sitting here…. I shall allow myself to sit with all this space and wind and silence and attempt to figure out where this is all going – and if, something that looks and feels like a beginning can also be an end?…
Beyond this valley, beyond these mountains, this endless sky… there is something out there in plain sight: a Paradise, as referred to by author and Buddhist Zen Priest, Karen Maezen Miller**.
If only we were capable of truly observing, listening, not interfering…
trusting that this something will always guide us back – to everything we could possibly be searching for – faithfully prove to each one of us that there are no other answers – no other types of paradise – other than those that already lie in plain sight and right there within our very best selves.…
No beginning. No end.
Not ever all joy or all pain.
Never nothing. Never everything.
It is all just the same.
An unbroken circle
Life, Our bittersweet Life
and us getting stubbornly stuck in the middle,
us getting in its Way.
To be continued, but for today, this is the end…
with unconditional love and faith,
*Mantra taken from the book Buddhism for Couples by Sarah Napthali.
** An after thought, a dedication:
About a year ago I picked up a book entitled ‘Paradise in Plain Sight’. I had already read two other books written by the same author. I read about 30 or 40 pages and then stopped. Although I enjoyed the reading it did not feel like the right timing. I wasn’t fully absorbing the messages… why did I feel the need to wait? Was I not yet ready? While preparing my bags for Argentina the book fell down from the shelf that lies over my bed… a shelf full of many other books. I packed it into the front pocket of my suitcase, leaving behind another book that I had planned on bringing with me in its place. I started reading this book about a month ago. Everything resonated perfectly within me… every word, every metaphor, every simple drop of wisdom…. I was meant to read this book in this exact moment, in this exact place. A year ago something told me to wait… I did and now I am finally ready to discover my paradise.
Thank you to Karen Maezen Miller, one of my favorite authors. We don’t know each other and yet we do. Thank you for inspiring me to continue on… aiming to find ‘ango’ inside of me… learning that every day is a new beginning that has no end…
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