This is just plain aggravating. This juxtaposition of a timeless soul and a temporal body thing appears to be more of a challenge than I’m capable of handling. I can’t stand it. It is as though I’ve stepped out of the everything into the specific, cannot bear the separation, yet forgot to leave a breadcrumb path so I can return.
Some part of me recognizes there is no place to go: there is love, there is the enlightened job, there are enlightened people dancing merrily between the infinite and the finite. Yet, somehow, like a character trapped in Dante’s Inferno or Purgatorio, I’m a lost soul unable to find the door between worlds. And like the essential irony in his story of the Divine Comedy, neither the door nor the separate worlds really exist.
But here I am, my somatic vehicle in a twist. Three women, three relationships, three wisps of smoke. A mother’s life devalued because of her age. Still I have work to touch the soul—the land as a landscaper, learning as an educator—yet I keep finding myself “waking up” holding nothing. Virtual reality, indeed.
I know that Paradiso is here–in fact right here. That’s what’s so aggravating. It is as though I’ve sold Paradiso for the illusion of Paradiso when in fact I thought I was foregoing the illusion for the real deal. That is beyond the agony of a substance abuser who realizes they traded the truth for an illusion. I saw that road manifested and deliberately took another road. And here I am; I have danced with and bedded illusion, yet I abuse no substance. I chose awareness instead of fog, and watched in joy as the fog lifted, yet I now find that it only temporarily lifted.
Patience is a virtue? There are a million breadcrumb paths here, all so recognizable and yet not. Going faster doesn’t help, going slower doesn’t help. A specific explanation as the truth doesn’t help, no matter what garb it is clothed in, political, scientific, or religious.
I must not have really engaged in the truths of those venerable institutions, I hear the beneficent political, scientific, or religious wags kindly saying.
How about the essence of faith or meditation or silence, those qualities left unexplained? Surely I can find some solace there. But I’ve been there and woke up the same way–in illusion.
I must not have really engaged in faith or meditation or silence, I can see by the quiet demeanor of the beneficent ones in those arenas.
How about if I just run the entire illusion into the ground? Burn the damn thing into cinders. Overdose on all of it. Slow down, speed up, it doesn’t matter—all paths will lead to ashes.
Ugh. There must be a less dramatic way.
I’m supposed to see the beauty of Inferno or Purgatorio, right? Laugh my way out. I am both the gatekeeper and the internee and the universe just amusingly watches (or maybe not) my futile attempts at chasing and finding something I already have.
That’s not funny, even if it is.
I’m still twisted and feeling alone. And instead of a woman to smile with, hold and be held, and colleagues that will say no more abuse, death that speaks of beauty instead of pain and loss, and a health care system that actually cares, well…
Okay, then where are my ears? Where is that key the gatekeeper possesses and for which the internee searches? That wall, that cell door that keeps counting coup on me is a brutal reality. Is it my own creation, my own cookie-crumb trail to remind me what I knew I’d forget, but which I need to find?
Apparently (hopefully) this mounting frustration will create the emotions that help generate the necessary energy to break free of my own gravitational pull.
Gatekeeper, internee, and observer all rolled into one, all housed in the boundaries of our own making. It’s a case of Ken Wilber’s the map maker and the map–they are not separate, and the map is not the place.
I suppose, on days like today, the question is whether the walls will dissolve before my bruises finish me.