delithopia

Notes from the Waxhaws

Archive for March 2014

Disappearing act

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The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell

you; don’t go back to sleep. You must

ask for what you really want; don’t go

back to sleep. People are going back and

forth across the doorsill where the two

worlds meet. The door is round and

open; don’t go back to sleep.

~ Rumi

Early this cold March morning…I witnessed something extraordinary. It was still somewhat dark outside, so I poured myself a cup of coffee, put on my jacket, and went out onto the porch to sit…and to wait for the sunrise. Lately, I’ve been trying to get more comfortable with the night…with darkness…with the unknown. In his book, Healing Night, Rubin Naiman opines that we’ve been turning back the night…extending our days well into the darkness with artificial light, and the glow of artificial entertainment in our living rooms. We’ve become seriously out of touch with night consciousness,  and with the spiritual insights and solace our dreams can provide. It’s an intriguing thought…that our dreams could be another form of consciousness…no less important than the time we spend awake in the real world…and that while we’re asleep…we may be much closer to our true selves than during our waking hours. So…Rumi implores us upon awakening, that we don’t go back to sleep as we arise and enter into our waking day…that we stay fully awake, not walking in our sleep, and not forgetting who we really are. 

I sat in the quiet stillness of this morning…looking up at the morning star…Venus shining bright in the southeastern sky. Over the course of a few minutes…the light from the Sun began to overtake the darkness…and Venus began to fade out of existence…until it was completely gone from what was now a deep indigo blue sky, with soft pink striations of clouds appearing out of nothingness.

It set me to thinking…what exactly is real? Venus…and all the planets and stars that were visible an hour ago…were still up there…merely hidden by this illusion that we call day…photons from our nearby star colliding with dust particles and water vapor suspended high in the atmosphere.

In the beginning, the light shone out of the darkness. Maybe we do need to re-familiarize ourselves with the night…with the darkness…to begin to make a conscious attempt to be more respectful of the night…of night consciousness…of the vast worlds held in its embrace…deep within its primordial stillness.

Written by Jim

March 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm

With one last sigh

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With one last sigh,

a gift imparted.

Hide it deep

within your heart.

When your time comes,

softly whisper it

to another.

The secret of life…

the meaning of

impermanence.

 

Written by Jim

March 7, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Grieving, Musings, Poetry

Loving what is

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In her book, Loving What Is, Byron Katie writes:

If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark. You can try and try, and in the end the cat will look up at you and say, “Meow.” Wanting reality to be different than it is is hopeless. You can spend the rest of your life trying to teach a cat to bark.

I’ve been ‘arguing’ with reality the past few days.

Last Thursday night at seven o’clock (coincidentally, my birthday), I received a call from the animal hospital where Belle, my 13-year old Pomeranian, was being cared for after suddenly becoming ill the day before…the vet thinking it might be a heart problem. I had visited earlier in the day, holding her in my lap for about an hour…having the feeling that this wasn’t going to turn out well. I left her to rest, hoping that she would feel better in the morning.

But later that evening, the vet called to say she wasn’t doing very well…her heart was racing…and she was gasping for breath. I jumped into the car and drove into town. In the darkness, I knocked on the side door of the animal hospital, and was let in. Belle was lying on an exam table…huffing oxygen from a tube held in front of her little nose. The vet spelled out the options for me…none of them really good…most requiring more suffering on Belle’s part. I tearfully gave the word, and within a few seconds…as I softly stroked her head and back…she was gone.

Born in Arkansas…Belle came into our lives when we lived in Florida on the Gulf. She moved with us back to California…walked the cliffs at Santa Cruz…saw the desert as we passed through Arizona on the way back to Florida…and then on to the Carolinas. Her journey is over now. She was a sweet and gentle spirit. I miss her…and the house is very quiet now without her.

We experience grief when we’re separated from something that we’re attached to. Over the past few years, I’ve continued to learn that arguing with reality doesn’t do any good whatsoever. But…it doesn’t make it any easier. And, it still raises a lot of questions in my mind…questions that I’m not sure have any satisfying answers…at least not in this life. I’m trying to love what is…because that’s all we’re really given.

Written by Jim

March 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm