It’s been a while since I last wrote anything. Goes in cycles. I have been hiding from the rain in Palm Springs. Snow on the mountains around the desert valley felt like the edge of winter.
I can get used to doing virtually nothing … but watching my thoughts. It’s easy because I have done most of the stuff I want to do. I am happy being alive.
I’m back in the woods of the Sierras now. Multiple shades of green wake up my vision, which had grown lazy in the desert. Water spills everywhere, the rushing and splashing wakes up my ears. After the vastness of the dry lands, Nature wraps around me in these luscious hills. I have learned to welcome the change and appreciate each season. Seems to me, after all these years (70), that the source of most of my frustration has been my efforts to keep things the same.
A ‘thing’ is not a ‘thing’, it is a process. In order to hold a perception still in the mind, I stamp it with a name, confident that I can expect it to be the same way next time. This way, I can put some ‘things’ together into a world that makes sense … that is predictable.
Pretty soon, I am naming things I can’t even see.
Eventually, I will bend some perceptions into predetermined shapes, confirming a world which really only happens in my head … where I choose to look … and when. I pick a place in the flow and try to make camp.
I have learned that everything changes, except me. I am that which was peering out of a seven-year old body into the tropical Darwin sunsets. I am that which was reading a comic book about Disneyland, while returning to England on an ocean liner, through the Panama Canal. I am that who wanted to grow up to be James Bond and now accepts that Sean Connery and Daniel Craig did it better.
I am that which struggled to learn Latin, was over the moon in my first kiss and over-flowed with pride upon the birth of my twin sons. My body bears the scars of backyard accidents, youthful folly and 15 years of playing rugby, but I am not that which is getting old. Circumstances can fly to pieces in front of me and I am not that.
I am now that which has to concentrate, in order to lever my body up in the morning. The intentions, to express my self, remain the same … the only consistent thread in the pile of events that tumble through the years. What I was at the beginning, I am now – the only element that hasn’t changed.
I am that which regrets being tired on a given day, which delights in small joys, which hopes, dreams and disappears when I look for it. I am that which you recognize behind the words. We are the same there.
Holding the world in place only works for a while. It is only when that world shifts that I get a chance to glimpse what was holding it all together. Me. Seventy years of experience draped around a soul that came to play.
The sun is rising, spreading spears of light into the green. The forest is warming up once again. I am inseparable from all that. All that would not be there, the way it appears to be, without me. I was the desert for a while, spread out into the vastness, blue sky all the way to the horizon.
Now I am the forest. The heart of the mystery is that everything loses its meaning after a while. Except me.