I am here, this summer evening, sitting in the guest room of a dear friend's home; a friend I've known since high school. warm memories flood in. as we talk, or more precisely, as he shares, and as I appreciatively listen, it strikes me how much part of me was shaped by this friendship, how much of me was also formed, how malleable we were as human beings, and how malleable we still are. still molten lava, even if we are cooling. still being shaped into the people who we already are, who we are always becoming.
a small human, I see, volcanic rock, burning bright. when they're born they're like goo, she says, and now I imagine a blob of bright lava, already getting crisply dark and crimson at the edges. lava looks at me, and I look back; I look back, and she is bright and new and soaking in the world.
(in these Words I have committed to a kind of honesty. I dare not stop now.)
what resounds is a kind of sadness, an ache, a reverberation. will this happen to me? will I ever be here? will I have lived this life? I have lived many lives, I think. what is in store for this one? will I be a father? a spouse? a grandfather? an uncle? what lies in store for me, dear world?
do I not just surrender to the mechanisms of life? or to the magics of a life? will this not just emerge? will I not just be, as it will be? will it not just all unfold and make itself present in the ways that it might? will not striving be replaced with leaping, tension replaced with movement? am I not expanding here? am I not discovering, enjoying, becoming, showing, opening up? is this not also a way to live a life? is this not also?
as I travel west I feel a kind of yearning. what happens when my trip ends? surely, many people have asked this before me. did they all end at california? did they hurl themselves into the sea? did they watch the sun set over the water, all together, independent but companiable, a sangha of sunset-dwellers, witness the day's end? faces lit aglow together? was that what happened, together, but separate? is that how we might live our lives?
do I like to keep on asking questions for which the answer is a yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes?
slowly what is replacing me, parts of me, like a blood transfusion, or teeth growing in, or maybe just each cell regenerating itself constantly, is this other way of being. another way of living. I did not know that there were ways to live a life. or rather, I did know, but I just didn't know that they were possibilities for me, somehow, that I needed to, needed, must, an urgency of staying on a Path, not knowing that the path was the one I was already one, already unfolding. each mistake is a lesson. each encounter is a lesson. so far what I am learning is how to learn. sometimes I am disappointed. sometimes I am elated. sometimes things magically align. sometimes I am tired, and sick, and nauseous, and have to spend a day and too much money recuperating in a hotel room, six deliciously climate-controlled and impermeable walls and a bed in which I sleep, and sleep and sleep. sometimes it's possible to go too high too fast. sometimes we need to acclimate, and take it slow. sometimes it's possible to miss something you had really looked forward to attending, and if you miss it, you miss it; the train leaves. sometimes you are disappointed. and sometimes that disappointment is sure and solid and strong. sometimes that is the lesson.
what is emerging from this trip, this mega trip, is of how to meander, how to travel, how to live, how to make decisions, how to take care of my body, how to be me in a foreign world of (mostly white) humans, how to be alive in a natural world of nature. how to be alone, lonely, and in solitude, all of these distinct and different. what emerges sharply from all of this is the sense of finding (or making) the path, of the barometer that is my precious compass, that is my beautiful thin needle showing the way, that is my humming satellite, that is my delicious smiling singing harp, that says, smilingly, this way, and so I go, knowing that the path points towards me, warts and mistakes and all, everything a lesson towards becoming more me, wherever and however that leads me into, everything a beautiful lesson.
am I too young or too old for this? does it matter? I am emerging into the truth of the world, or at least, emerging into the questions that seek the truth, and I think I know what is being said, usually never directly, if at all, only hinted at. but if you know, you know. in this lies a beautiful me. and in seek of beauty and truth I go forth, my truth, the world's beauty, as wild as that might be, as wild and terrible and alive as it all might be, like the wind at the peak of a mountain, rushing towards me in screaming delight--
and one last note. what becomes distilled after the conference is that these are not truths for us to own. these have been out there, or they're already in us. I can no more sell or proclaim an access to these truths than I can sell access to the experience of picking one's own nose, a special kind of privileged experience-
in any case. hello hello hello hello hello. I am arriving. I see now, what those words mean. all of the cliches; they are there for a reason. I am arriving, I am becoming-present, I am taking form, I am existing here. I yearn, too; I yearn, and I long, and I hope, hope, hope, hope forth, also.
so much more in me, swirling around, trembling, resonating. but there are no coincidences. or rather, what will emerge will emerge. here I am, surfing on the waves of life, call it zeitgeist, a collective unconscious, or the cascading roiling waves of time, here I am, here I am, seeing what's next. excited to discover. anchored in a love for what is, and what might be (that was always)..
(future you: do you not get these words any more, or cringe a little bit? that's okay; I love you, smilingly.)
at last, I am arriving; at last!