Saturday, November 24, 2007

Leaving What Is Familiar

I am on a path of leaving what is familiar. In February the open road will stretch out before me, beckoning to places beyond the horizon. I don’t know where I will begin, but trust the way will be shown. My possessions will be a thing of the past and hopefully, I will only be carrying essentials.
Occasionally now, common places can remind me of goodness that will be left behind. On Thanksgiving day, I joined Sarah and Jean at our house for a relaxed afternoon, then dinner. The winter is coming, and as it became dark outside, while Jean was in the kitchen, she asked me to build a fire in the fireplace. After a little blaze was begun, I made several trips outdoors, gathering more wood. Coming into the warm indoors, seeing dancing flames in the hearth, and recognizing my lovely household of so many years, it suddenly struck me how good a home can be and why people are attached to their dwelling place. Then I thought with a hint of sad nostalgia of my coming homelessness and transition. Then again, it is okay; I am choosing it.
For years I have had a feeling that this world is only a place along the way—somewhere I am passing through. My spirit will always be restless here because as beautiful as it is, it also is the place of death. Beyond this material place, in the spiritual realm clear of space and time, where day never becomes night, deathless, sublime, and indescribable, awaits the true home I am destined for.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tuned Into Mystery

Recently, when I have mentioned to friends my intention to sell my possessions and become a homeless planetary wanderer, several have suggested that I am having a midlife crisis. Their idea is new to me, but sometimes others see us more objectively than we see ourselves, so I have thought about it. It is true that I will be divorced in a week or two, and I have felt unsettled for a couple years. My teenage daughter, Naomi, died in 1999 and there is no getting over it. What I have asked is, am I having some kind of existential crisis that is triggering tumultuous events around me?
The thing is, I feel I am in a broad spiritual current that is flowing into a fathomless sea. Of course I am going to feel somewhat lost because I realize how little control I have. I am not feeling grounded in answers, but this is okay. As I become more tuned into mystery, I don’t even want to presume to have answers—all I want is discoveries. As an artist, I thrive on surprise and revelation. For someone in need of security, I might not be the best partner. Anyway, I look forward to diving into the deep end. After diving into shallow waters and hurting my neck, I know I must go a different way. At this time, I am letting go of physical attachments. In ways, I am following in Naomi’s footsteps.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Embracing Life

I am in Chicago, the place Carl Sandburg called “Stormy, husky, brawling . . . city of the big shoulders.” November 11 marked my daughter Sarah’s 21st birthday. She is a student of dance at Columbia College here. It is a pleasure to see Sarah so eagerly embracing life, confident and happy in her surroundings. Now that she celebrates another birthday, she admits to being especially happy because she can go to any nightclub she wants. Indeed, she and two friends marked the occasion by making merry until 4 AM, dancing in a downtown club formerly off-limits.
Chicago is the place of my birth, and whenever I arrive, it is as if I hear a familiar echo of a long forgotten song. As I walk the streets, something comes up through the earth, and reminds me of the matrix from where I came into the world. I like the strength of this city. The skyscrapers are enormous; world renowned feats of architecture.
By day the skyscraper looms in the smoke and sun and has a soul. Prairie and valley, streets of the city, pour people into it and they mingle among its twenty floors and are poured out again back to the streets, prairies and valleys. It is the men and women, boys and girls so poured in and out all day that give the building a soul of dreams and thoughts and memories. From Skyscraper, by Carl Sandburg

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday Times and Dry Leaves

The morning light pushed through the window blinds next to my bed, gently prodding me to arise. But it was not as if I heard bugles blaring, since the sun was still low on the horizon. I lingered and dozed a few more minutes. The autumn air felt nippy, and my covers warm. These days, my first waking sensation upon leaving the carefree realm of dreams, is feeling slightly oppressed by the burden of waking life. Saying a little prayer for assistance, within four minutes I had jumped up, dressed, combed my hair and shot out the front door. This is the first morning of putting on gloves and a coat. Unlocking my bike from the trashcan on the front porch, I pedaled to a popular local coffee shop, and sat down for my Sunday morning ritual of coffee and reading the New York Times. The Sunday Times is so beefed up, I bring a backpack with me to carry it home. It provides a week of reading.
I must say, the air is wonderful . . . I like the sound of dry leaves crunching underfoot.