SIX WEEKS: LEARNING THAT NOTHING IS EVERYTHING (part nine)
Believe the rock. Believe the mountains, meadow and ocean. Believe what you see right now. That covers it.
– Karen Maezen Miller (Paradise in Plain Sight)
Journal Entry, A Rock… Uspallata, Argentina, February 18, 2016 – 3:40pm
The mountains can guide us. They are talking to me in this very moment. Not metaphorically speaking. This is physical. Without having to say a word, they know about the fighting and the frustration, the decisions and the doubts, they know about the real significance of happiness. They have lasted through the ages. They have already lived all that I am living right now. They are wise and strong… resilient warriors… survivors of human error that are meant to pass on their knowledge… show us the Way.
I am here on this rock, my Rock…
I didn’t know that it existed before I arrived in Uspallata, Argentina, but less than a mile away from Finca Tunduqueral it was here waiting for ME. This rock, everybodies rock – the exact spot where the film Seven Years in Tibet was filmed – a place that was specifically chosen for its energy, and a landscape so powerful… so innately spritual that it possesses the same exact qualities as its Oriental twin sister.
Today, as many other times in the past several weeks, this is the place I have chosen to escape all that I have momentarily ‘left behind’ …
fighting, frustration, decisions and doubt… confused ideas about happiness.
I am here to listen and learn… memorize… be mesmerized…
knowing that if am attentive enough, I, as every other ‘desperately’ seeking soul in the past, will be blessed by the majestic words of wisdom of the mountains, the ancient tunes that the wind continues to sing, the sacred, tribal dances of the motionless clouds, all the precious rituals created – with devotion – every single second in this screaming silence.
I remained on the Rock for almost 4 hours before I headed back towards everything that I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave behind…
Things did float and then settle*.
Unfortunately, I still didn’t have the answers to my ‘small’ questions:
How did I get here?
Where are we going?
Can we separate the beginnings from the middles from the ends?…
Why do such ‘simple’ desires request so much?
I did, however make a list.
I am not a big fan of lists, but then again, I was desperately seeking:
A united family based on complete trust, honesty and respect. (CHECK)
A few profound, authentic relationships around the world. (CHECK)
A few profound, authentic relationships in the place we call home. (PARTIAL CHECK)
Free time to share my life with the people I care about. (PARTIAL CHECK)
A place to raise my daughters that is safe and well balanced (most of the time).
A satisfying relationship with my husband with whom I share trust, basic values and some common goals, a project. (PARTIAL CHECK)
An hour a day all to myself (more would be nice).
A small, simple house in a quiet place (at least for part of the year).
The possibility to travel for the remaining months. (NEEDS SOME ADJUSTMENTS)
Wisdom to live each day with unconditional love and gratitude (PARTIAL CHECK)
The strength to continue on… keep practicing (NEEDS PRACTICE)
I wrote this list. I reread it. Checked off what I already possessed, analyzed what was still missing…
Nonetheless, at 7:30pm I walked back down the hill to Finca Tunduqueral, my husband, Andrea… my life… the same questions twirling feverishly around in my head.
7:45pm, Finca Tunduqueral, Uspallata, Argentina: The dojo.
Back in the dojo, there was a crowd. There were actually only 5 people, but in that moment, when I had to hold back the tears to look anyone not profoundly connected to me in the eyes, it was more of a crowd than I could handle.
There was a dinner party that evening. We were invited. My family went. I washed up and went directly to bed.
Life is nothing more than an unbroken circle;nothing ever ends.
It simply grows, expands, continues on…and our hope courageously survives.
The next morning he woke me up at 6:00.
He asked me if I wanted to walk to the Rock (yes, my rock) in silence.
It was a promise.
I nodded. He smiled. We went.
The air was crisp, morning dew still sparkling on the meadow. The moon was still very much awake in the sky. The sun had not yet risen. We held hands. Mine were cold. His felt rough and dry. Both of us were numb – tiptoeing in a place between anger and sorrow. We walked slowly up the hill, the same one that I had walked up alone the day before.
Neither one of us said a word – as promised.
It didn’t matter.
Neither one of us would have known what to say, where to begin; we were too scared to utter a word. The numbness remained with us – stuck in a place between sorrow and regret.
We reached the Rock.
I sat down (literally fell to my knees) and looked out to the same view as the day before, this time under the light of a hopeful, new day.
I felt the numbness, and yet I knew that this too would pass, become something else…
numbness melting into sorrow, sorrow into regret, regret into the desire to make things right, to understand, reset,… us counting on the mountains, the wind, the clouds, the screaming silence.. our unconditional love to show us the Way. …
The choices, the frustration, the decisions, the doubts… they are a result of all the choices, all the frustration, all the decisions, all the doubts… and also all the joy we have experienced in the past… an essential consequence of our life on the road, perhaps a result of our ‘freedom‘.
We all have our beginnings, our endings, our in-betweens…
our unbroken circles of life… ours are different from yours…
each story unique…
but every life is a series of choices: some worse, some better, all potentially useful …
an unbroken chain of uncertainty… and glorious Hope…
The more experienced of us (or rather, those of us who persistently practice) have already learned that Life is no guarantee.
All we can do is listen to the mountain that lies in each one of us… allow our thoughts to float freely and simply settle… with time, learn to forgive and transform…
ALLOW THE BEGINNING TO REPLACE THE END AND THE END TO EXPAND INTO SOMETHING NEW…
and in this oversized world – where our choices, frustrations, decisions and doubts… even our joys are apparently invisible – learn to allow this sense of our Nothingness to evolve into a feeling of belonging to everyone and EVERYTHING…
…only then, will we continue on our Way…
will we have truly learned the value of this searching for Nothing…
will we be able to recognize and gratefully acknowledge the Paradise that has been awaiting us – each one of us – in plain, perfect sight**.
Peaceful journeys to my fellow seekers (take away the desperate and the paradise will dependably shine),
* See last weeks post entitled: Searching for Everything
** 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…