Tonight....In Me Lives the Dual
Tonight, there is so much to say. There is so much bubbling inside of me that I do not know even where to begin. So, I begin with my present state: I sit beneath a glowing yellow light with the trickling sounds of piano music pulsating to the constant chirping of the crickets all around outside. I can feel the vibrations from the crickets against my ear drums, and it's somehow comforting. A comfort I need right in this moment.
Every moment is a story that reflects the entire universe. I know this. So, tonight I think about all that lives inside of us: life, death, possibility, pain, sadness, weariness, undulations, opennings, contractions. Life is a journey made of glimpses, of moments, but they are sometimes strung so closely together that it's difficult to remember that it is a series of moments. And what moments.
Today is painful. It is painful because it is a reminder of loss and pain. A year ago tomorrow, a dear friend passed away. For weeks following her death, I was filled with fear, with darkness, with a myriad of anger, sadness, pain. Old traumas seemed to smack me in the face in the dark and I felt so incredibly alone. I didn't sleep for nights, afraid of my own thoughts, of my own memories, of my own incredible capacity for imagination. A year later, the nights still sometimes are filled with fear, but it's a quieter darkness. The loneliness still comes, and the yearning to no longer be alone can be overwhelming, but I have learned more about who I am. I breathe into the fear and I try to still my rapid breath and heart beat and feel my own inner strength, my own companionship. I have come to some peace with my friend's passing: I recognize that hers is a life to witness, the little that I knew, the glimpses that she allowed me. I can only continue to carry her in my heart, not to assume responsibility for her pain, but to appreciate what she invited me into, even for the pain it has caused me.
Today is also joy-filled because it was filled with so much laughter. Dear life, how is this possible to have both pain and joy existing in the same breath?
I look around me and I am constantly amazed by what meets me--what people surround me. Even when I sometimes feel removed or overwhelmed, an arm will encircle me, a smile will find me, a letter will creep into my cubby. Flowers appear, a friend says a kind word or seeks me out, just to be. I am brought back into the present, into what is essential, what is important. Here lies my faith: humanity is vitally invigorated with energy, dreams. Knowing this, witnessing it, and experiencing it, fills me with hope. All the rest is a strange kind of meaningful busy-ness that we fill ourselves with.
Today, two friends shared their stories: one reminded me that I have so much to learn, so much to appreciate, so much of myself to work on. I've forgotten, in the midst of all this busy-ness, my humility, my gentleness, the ceremony of consciousness. It was a thought that had been sliding beneath the surface of my thoughts and questions and, with the right catalyst, emerged as a lesson tapping me on the shoulder. Now I examine it and I wonder: how do I cultivate humility and devotion, constancy and dreams in the same being? The other friend's story reminded me that I have learned so many things already, have adopted and adapted so many tools already: I have forgotten the power of my language, of my words, of my ability to understand and separate my feelings from the politics, to identify my needs and to acknowledge but not impose them. I've forgotten that and while I've managed to process and work with so much, these two elements--humility and consciousness, need and integrity--have, sadly, cost me some valuable friendships. The pain is present once more. But there is also gratitude because, perhaps, this was the necessary sacrifice to me learning that I have so much more ahead of me.
And at the end of this all, a gift arrived: a friend beckoned me in the evening dusk and we walked through the warm spring air around the road's bend. Together, we sat on our haunches and with a stick poked aside some fur in a hole amongst the grasses by the road. And there, nestled together like the hope and the fear inside of me, were two sets of tiny ears and gray fuzzy heads. Baby bunnies were born. I've never seen baby bunnies before--they were not even an hour old. It was a moment of true presence and I was so elated that I burst into song. So, tonight, I am filled with duality: birth and death, pain and joy, lessons learned and lessons to learn. So full--of questions, of gratitude, of recognition, of blessings--and so much still left to uncover. To the next step, and the next one after.