The Spider Inside the Front Door

Old behaviors easily re-emerge as new guises—they are such great actors. What seemed a solution withers into yet another variation on a theme.

So it is with this morning. I could call it a setback or reversal but any qualitative label is just that.

What it feels like–from the gut–is a new life lens, another way to experience being human. With the new lens comes perspective, one which has its own revelations.

What I discover is yet another facet of fear. There seems to be no shortage of its disguises, either, especially its delusion of safety.

Of course, just being alive is a risk, as I am reminded by the spider that lives inside my front door. Of sorts, we are in relationship, as much as either one of us has noticed.

May I remember the spider the next time I give into fear. Her risk is considerable compared to mine.

On this day, I am reminded that what is will be what was.

Be patient and endure while

The wind will calm, the waves subside

Draw back a step and realize

The boundless ocean, the vastness of heaven

(Translated from Chinese)

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

The Restless Hours

The hours in-between, when no light separates night from day, when both are morning, when both are one.

These are the restless hours, so suited to illusion. Their magic lies in that they are neither dark nor light.

Just when I believe I see one thing, something else is revealed. The more aware I am, the more the magic reveals.

Is that not the heart of illusion? The unknown shrouded in the midst of the known.

Murky by design, these hours of in-between keep me on the cusp of the believable. Momentarily, the sound of rain becomes a waterfall.

On this day, the light remains gray, the illusion of the waterfall all but gone. I opt for candlelight and a bit of incense as I write by the light of a screen.

I want to make the magic stay, that time when morning is not yet day, when one is not yet the other.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

 

The Daily Wood and Water

I put down my worry in exchange for wood and water. I know the load of worry–a bigger burden–than any wood I chop or water or I carry.

There were decades in my life when worry was constant. I am not ungrateful for those years. They showed me so many faces of worry.

Now, whether it is with a breath or a silent sweeping away with a word, I have no energy for worry.

Mine is for the wood and water of my day. There seems to be an increase in my daily energy level–even on the low days–an energy beyond the required activities of any day.

I guard it as if it were gold, which is not to say I hoard or worry whether there will be a bit of extra for tomorrow. It is for now.

Today, I sit at a table and a desktop computer to write this post. In my five and a half years of blogging, I was not able to sit at a table to write. Then, an adjustable bed and laptop were the energy of the day. Now, there is a bit more.

I did not own a table until a week and a half ago. For years, I did not have use of one. More than not, I lived in an adjustable bed. I may again.

But in this now, I have a table, a place to write. There remains wood to chop, water to carry without worry.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

Walking Around Holes

This continues to be a week of discovery for me. So many new streets to walk, not without pitfalls, as it turns out.

Chapter One

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

(Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery)

There are five stanzas–chapters–in Nelson’s poem. The hole does get deeper but it takes less than forever to find a way out.

Finally, the repetition—doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results— becomes apparent. She walks around the hole. The final stanza or chapter is a single line, “I walk down another street.”

With new holes to discover, no doubt. 🙂 Similarly, I have walked such streets but less so, now.

Walking requires focus and without it, I fall in a hole every time. When I focus, I find a way around. As well, it does not take me as long to realize that certain streets were never a way for me. Never.

I don’t feel denied for there are so many streets I’ve yet to travel. It is mine to keep my life lens open.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

Lose the Questions

Frequently, I write about questions. For me, they best express not only my awe of life but also when I am least enamored.

In other words, a question sparks my curiosity, like a match. It explodes into the light of beginning.

A question takes me into my own energy, the reality that is my now. For me, questions are eternal–they return–unlike answers that are ephemeral at best.

Yet, I know I cannot cling to my questions any more than I can avoid what they reveal to me. Not if I want to immerse myself in every moment that is my life.

In Zen, we don’t find the answers; we lose the questions.

It’s impossible to comprehend the marvel of what we are,

or to understand the mystery of life’s impeccable genius.

Weed out the confusion that comes from trying to understand.

(Mary Maezen Miller, Paradise in Plain Sight)

Now, best I get to weeding my plot of paradise.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Feats of Thoughtfulness

I cannot think of a moment when kindness is not essential. Yet, it remains a hard practice for me.

Always, I start with the small stuff–especially on difficult days—when I want to shout, not necessarily to be heard but just to shout at senselessness.

I “can build a whole world around the tiniest of touches” (Carol Rifka Brunt)–world building, moment by moment. A kind word or a gentle touch—a hug— interrupts my momentum, perhaps saving me from a slide down yet another slippery slope.

I like to think of world building as a balancing act with kindness keeping me in the middle-of-the-road, providing me perspective on both sides of the spectrum, saving me from the tipping point.

Perhaps this is how we effect change everywhere—in tiny touches with surprising feats of thoughtfulness.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

The Last Firefly

There are so many bright, shining moments not celebrated in legend or in memoir. Maybe they are not even recorded as journal entries. In their uniqueness, they fall short of sharing.

Often, I wonder if I let them go a little sooner than I should, like when fireflies first appear.

There is the brilliance of first firefly light, and maybe for a few nights hence, I am at the window for the show. Each firefly’s life is brief, a bright and shining moment.

Why am I not cognizant of each firefly evening so I might glimpse the last night of the last firefly? Is there not equal brilliance then?

This year, I remembered firefly season in its beginning but I did not stay for the last night of the last firefly.

I tell myself there is always next year but surely, bright and shining moments are not limited to any one season, even if firefly moments are.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.