Saturday, July 17, 2010

Topsy Turvy

For nine months now, a period we associate with pregnancy, I have been stuck on my couch in contemplation of my circumstances both sad and joyful. Equally in observation of the world still going on around me, I have felt both a separation and union.

Formerly a history buff and current affairs junkie, I have slipped into a state of intellectual lethargy. However frightening, the oil spill seems far away in another country. Having argued loudly against the invasion of Iraq, shame makes me notice I barely glanced at the headline for the latest Vermonter killed. My interest in the balance of China’s rise versus our demise has vanished.

The story of my own life has also receded in importance. That my dad hit me unable to express his love and my mom loved me more than I thought I deserved becomes irrelevant to my reality, subject for thought only in so far as it tells a story of how one soul came to recuperate on this couch convinced somehow intuitively that the physical injury was not what needs most to be healed. Even my battle with Blue Cross loses its immediacy as I come to believe the surgery will fall into place once my mind has applied the medicine internally.
The history provides the words to this humble one who feels compelled at last to write, even though still bewildered and unsure of what the subject matter must be.

Although I repeatedly underscore that so many are so much more worse off than I in their physical, emotional, and/or financial circumstances, still my story is rife enough with hardship that many friends and acquaintances have wondered at my ability to keep my spirits high. One difference, I think, is my willingness to speak openly, take the risk and declare my insufficiencies whole-heartedly. Not for sympathy come these proclamations. I simply am honest and open because the truth—even with its ugly shadows—is ever so gloriously bright.

Shame, guilt, fear; these are energies that keep us in bondage. If our blemishes are hidden, so too our beauty is covered over. By taking responsibility for my foibles, no longer a victim, I declare my ability to change, seek solutions, grow in heart and rise out of the pain.

Along the way, clues have been available, synchronicities appearing too numerous to discount, fueling the marvelous idea that I am being led just as much as I believe my choices are free. Like the very road map we have laid across the physical landscape of our state, nation and world, each fork in the road has an intersection a little farther along that can get us back to our planned destination or lead us onwards to some vista or inn that is a complete surprise...and delightful nevertheless.

At a dinner recently with a group of strangers, each knowing only one or two of the others previously, I was amazed at how easily the conversation played around this idea that we are spiritually in the midst of an immense planetary transformation (some would say “inter-galactic”). It flowed not in the abstract “as if” level of speculation and hallucinogenic imagination, but was reality as strong and clearly as the table in front of us and as nurturing as the delicious food we ate.

So many people in different areas of my life refer to this as “woo woo” thinking, yet I am astounded at how many and how smart, sophisticated and stable they are. There used to be code words tentatively floated which, if recognized, opened a door of spiritual comradery. More often now, as confidence grows, those words are abandoned and people simply speak without embarrassment of the wonderous events unfolding.

Wonderful events?! Oil increasingly smothers a huge region of the Earth. Wars and genocide devastate entire populations. Famine and greed destroy struggling cultures in desperation. Gross materialism consumes our resources. Climate change threatens the landscape. Entire industries are collapsing and a world economy seems as flimsy as the paper (and assumptions) on which it is written.

Still we thrive on an optimism that predicts the meek shall inherit a marvelous and loving world. Choices are being made. Pathways converge and intertwine miraculously. People find each other and a table of strangers quickly become intimate friends. Hearts are open, even as fear exerts an ever desperate pull and tries to hold us to life as we have known it.

In faith, more and more, we ready ourselves to let it all go.

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