July 21, 2010 Notes from the road
As I was driving today and appreciating the vast open spaces that were opening in front of me in N Wyoming and S Central Montana I felt an urgency to write to you all. You see there is an advantage to being one of the very slowest vehicles on the road – no-one to block my view (though in inverse I hate to think what my Sunrader does to others’ views in a no-pass zone). There is Peace and Beauty in the wide open spaces.
It is good to travel. Staying in one place increases one’s myopia. For about 8 years now I have been bewailing the fate of the ponderosa pines in Arizona. Combined with our drought in Arizona, the pines have been succumbing to the Pine Bark Beetle – entire forests are but reddened skeletons of their once vibrant green selves. My myopia is that I thought this was an Arizona phenomenon. Much to my deep sadness, I find that the same pine bark beetle ravage is happening in Colorado, in Wyoming (where there are trees!) and in Montana: perfect tinder for massive forest fires. And it has been hot, and dry.
When I sat down to write I realized that today is the 8-month anniversary of my house fire. Time is so illusory. Eight months is but a blink of an eye (remember from the Messiah: “In a twinkling of an eye your life shall be changed”). Seemingly at present I am suspended between ‘Then’ and ‘When’, creating the illusion of time expanding exponentially.
I am not a newcomer to taking to the road – in ’83-84 I spent nine months in the far East and India, Nepal and Sri Lanka with a back-pack on my back. In the Spring of ’95, following “Orders”, I went West – ‘open to the possibility that Home might be there’ and landed in the Verde Valley of Arizona. On both those extended journeys there were ‘anchors’ at home – and clear directives from on high. On the first my kids and stuff awaited me, on the second, my kids having graduated it was just ‘stuff’ at $200./ month that was the promise of form for my next life. These anchors seemed to keep Time in perspective.
The fire seems to have wiped the slate clean. There are no familiar anchors awaiting my next landing place. And the ‘Voice’ that has been so ever-present and in the past sometimes a veritable “Big Mouth’, has been mum. This anchorlessness can be extremely unsettling; or, on a bright an timeless day, absolutely freeing.
Had an interesting dialogue with a friend over the phone the other day. It is one of my favorite ways of being Present and in a Meditative space in the presence of a witnessing Other. The practice arises from the Enlightment Intensive where fore days (up to 21 I believe) you ask and answer the question “Tell me Who You Are.” In this form, each person comes to the phone call with a question in mind to have the other ask them. The dialogue goes for four rounds of five minutes each for each person, a total of 40 minutes. This is not a conversation, but an asking of the question, a listening to the response and a saying of “Thank You” and then asking the question again for the five-minute duration. At five minutes the two people switch roles of questioner and answerer.
That day my question was: “Tell me, how do you Live with Uncertainty?” The first witnessing allowed me to realize that the ‘uncertainty’ (which I was Certain existed, resided as a sensation of tightening and contraction sensed as FEAR (False Expectations Appearing Real!) between by heart and my solar plexus. The short version of allowing this question over four rounds to go deeper and deeper in me, is my discovery that uncertainty only exists in Time, only exists when one’s mind takes one out of the Present. In true Now there exists only Peace, only Radiance. If I sit in the driver’s seat as I did for four hours this morning simply drinking in the amazing beauty that was passing by my eyes at 50-60 miles per hour; or if I sit by a stream (one of my favorite stopping places), feeling the breeze on my skin, hearing the sound of the bubbling water, smelling the wondrous smells that come with a little humidity in the air, there is no uncertainty, there is no separation from Now, and consequently no need for ‘anchors’.
Passed a messy looking accident this morning, involving a vehicle somewhat like mine and an SUV. The RV had literally exloded apart, its remains spread across the landscape; the SUV was battered and all discolored (having burned?). I arrived too late to know if anyone had escaped alive. Yes, “in an instant your life shall be changed, in the twinkling of an eye”. I did some ChoKoRees and some Ho’oponopono, and breathed deeply in gratitude for this moment.
Wonderful magic comes from riding the Moment in Trust of exquisite unfoldment. Out of seemingly nowhere a wonderful guitarist was offered to me to support my opening of the Trager conference with Dances of Universal Peace as I had been asked to do. “From You I receive to You I give, together we share and from this we live.” He invited me to his evening of Zikr in Boulder following the closing of the conference. I arrived, and not only did he say, “Put your case aside, just plan to play the entire evening” – what Bliss. But arriving with the Intention that I should find someone there who had a massage table I might borrow to give a young friend a session the following morning – the very first conversation, provided not only a massage table, but a key to an office in which to do the massage – and an invite to another DUP dance the following day. When we got to the office, there was a balcony, totally private, so we could do the treatment outside in the fresh mountain air – perfect beyond any possible expectations I may have had! How grace-filled is that? And today, having called to all sorts of RV places ahead en route to get my AC fixed – the shortest route was, of course, via a Hot Springs. That’s as close to Heaven as it gets.
For some 3-D catch-up: Came from a PanEuRhythmy Dance came in Victor Montana, to the Trager Conference near Denver, CO, Heading toward Wilderness Dance Camp on Flathead Lake, via a Trager client in Bigfork. Then going on to Glacier National Park and the IDEAL (Institute for the Development of Education, Art and Leisure) in Jaffary, BC.
And in case you did not figure it out, questions like: “When are you planning to rebuild?” are not even on the map of my consciousness at present. There is something much bigger in store for me. What that is? Well, that is a good question.
A quote from the office wall the summer I co-led Canada’s Outward Bound courses in Northern Ontario comes to mind:
Where are you going, I asked
— to places I have never been, was the answer
What to you plan to do, I asked
— my purpose will be evident at the journey’s end
Who has planned your itinerary
–its plan will be revealed at times most unlikely
Why would you consent to such a vague plan
–I accepted the challenge when I accepted Life,
was the answer.