Renewal Four : Stories With Sharp Teeth
After all of these recent changes, the loss of my mother and an intimate relationship, there is a dullness that seems to pervade me, like I’m some thick, gelatinous blob that is moving infinitely more slowly than my intention to move. Still, I hear the birds, I see the green and blue and brown and white and red out my window. As I sit here, the air is mostly still, moving only a few of the leaves in a sea of leaves. I know that I appreciate it all, but that thickened membrane of me is not allowing much spark, much awakening.
Well, this is all to be expected I suppose, there have been a lot of changes, a lot to deal with. But when I watch my patterns rather than live them, I wonder about the nature of my moods and my thoughts. Is this happening to me, or am I happening it, or is it a little of both?
There was another dead Kangaroo Rat—a young one—lying on the mat outside the backdoor. Out of countless others, my last remaining cat, a survivor in a land of coyotes, owls, and hawks, pays no heed to the endangered label designed to protect this rat.
Luckless, from one perspective, dead and uneaten from any perspective, its life-as-a-rat has been stilled, likely because some movement caught my cat’s eye. Though not hungry, the cat’s nervous system reacted. It is a very old nervous system, formed long before my cat was, one that I suspect triggers intention rather than the other way around.
Awareness after a triggering event is a life based on the past, a kind of now built on befores. Consciousness on this channel seems like the struggle to make sense of events, a kind of play-by-play announcer with a color commentator.
There is also awareness used to create a future set of variables, an “if this, then that” scenario. This is consciousness built on a kind of awareness that triggers events. Consciousness on this channel also has a play-by-play with color commentator features.
We have both kinds of awareness of course and we use them interactively. That makes for an interesting now. Powerful and seductive, these twin tenets are the rudders that seem to guide our existence.
When an event triggers awareness, we tend to review the now past event and assign it a particular label. The able attempt to lift themselves above their own ashes and renew. If they are successful, they are judged as competent or as heroes, depending on the assigned severity of the event. If they are not successful, depending on the assigned severity of the event, they are victims or wimps.
When awareness triggers events, we likewise judge those creations. Set in context, becoming wealthy may be considered blessed, being poor inept. The same process works for becoming educated or the lack thereof, learning the patterns of intimate relationships or lack thereof, becoming healthy or not, and so on and so on.
In either case, the spectators (of which even the participants are) oooh and awe, and take note. In either case, the entire process may only be stories, the efficacy and veracity of which are strictly contextual–-utterly dependent upon the window we happen to be looking out of at the time, as well as how clean that window is to begin with.
The cat and the rat, children and parents, men and women, the old woman/mother/person, relationships, victor and vanquished, life and death, they all feed each other the energy from which we create our little stories out of what seems like the past and seems like a future. We write and direct and produce and cast and star and present these stories in the now. And we nod our heads or not, in joy or sorrow, as we create another story about the story. And we tend to believe these stories are reality, like a doting public who believes that Hollywood actors and Hollywood movies are actualities and not portrayals.
Stories can be fun. They can entertain and amuse us. They can teach us. They can invoke our emotions or shut them up. They can spark our thoughts or shut them down. We can feel alive traversing the range of characters, plot lines, and outcomes. We can laugh and cry, be masters or slaves, and everything in-between.
But I wonder about it. When we forget they are stories, as we seem prone to do, we create villains and heroes and lovers and fate and all kinds of life that we then claim as objective discoveries–-events triggering awareness.
It’s not an easy thing to switch views, to look out of another window. It’s hard enough sometimes keeping the window clean that we do look out of.
At the risk of mixing metaphors, I’ve heard it said that awareness is like a flashlight, it illuminates only where it is pointed. If it has a dirty lens or low batteries, its ability to illuminate is diminished. And then there is the problem of it being a poor instrument if one is searching for the night.
In the midst of this backdrop, a wise person keeps well aware, polishing the tools of their trade and having a variety to choose from. After all, those damn stories can have very sharp teeth.