For the Duration

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“Time is nature’s way to keep everything from happening all at once.”                    Ray Cummings

Today, I feel like the ancient mariner, cornering passers-by to tell them a story, warning of dangers they will never face. What can I tell you my friend, that will soothe your way? Which words will unlock the flow of spirit waiting at the door? Which collection of syllables can point to the path? What symbols will register? I know that when I was lost, wandering all over the place, looking for a clue, I welcomed any hint of a direction. Now I need to tell someone else. This is how it was for me.

I felt like I was thrown into the universal music without a guide … so that my tune had to be original, built from scratch. Parents have a say but Originality is a note all its own. It is the first step in a new octave. In such a way, we are all in this together. We are all original. I can only play my own sounds but I can harmonize. Resonance is the key.

I could have spent a lifetime trying to control what appear to be the bits and pieces. That never really worked for me. Control does not allow for anything new. Control demands a closed system. In reality, it is all new, every day. For most of my life, my own style was to bash things into place and hold on to whatever worked at the time. Some stuff I managed to keep for quite a while. Eventually though, I had to let go. 70 years is too long for anything to stay the same. Chaos was not acceptable, especially in the beginning, so I labelled things as soon as possible, to keep them the same … including myself. Sometimes I found myself holding on to an idea of “me” as if life itself were at stake.

While there is no comfort, there is reassurance in realizing that my ideas are just that – my ideas. I am the one driving the bus. Ideas can change. We share a common consciousness, but it is experienced from any number of individual points-of-view. The Curse of human life is that who I am is up to me. The irony is that, everything else being equal, that’s what each of us would choose. The Blessing is that who I am is up to me.

In fact, who I am hasn’t actually happened yet. The past and the future only exist in the present. It is really about who am I going to be in the next moment. It truly is all relative. How I string the moments together is up to me. “I” am the point of view. Labelling something in the past and seeking it in the future is a fool’s errand. As soon as a name is coined, its attachment to reality begins to fade and the effort to keep it the same begins.

Personal alchemy can begin with a single word. Words are how we put the moments together. “Fear” for instance. Think of the word as a suitcase. Open it up and watch what tumbles out. Sit with that open suitcase for a while. Find a little piece of it and call it something more constructive, like “anticipation” or “excitement”. Or use it as a trigger for action. Do something. Practice. “Love” is another idea I have been pondering for years. When I realized that “Love” is coming from somewhere, not going to somewhere, my perception changed. “I” or “me” are always good ideas to contemplate. ‘Who’ is it that wants change?

Any system of transformation requires an internal focus … what stays the same throughout the process?  It is not an occupation for everybody. Change is not always good for business or relationships. It may be that those of us who slop about in this internal mess are just more inclined to do so. Those who are more evolved may simply be happy with the way things are. Understanding what is below the surface, or even seeing the world as a surface, is only necessary for some people.

From the beginning, I found that I resonate to certain frequencies and not others. This is how I found my way. Like heat-seeking animals in the desert or birds flying north in summer. The sense is so subtle that it is easily over-ridden by the screaming and the shouting of the modern world. And it is always there. The words come later, after the event. Each time, as I gave up the stuff I had been sure of, I became clumsy and stupid again. Over the decades, this has been some sort of cycle. Each time was like learning a new language, a different grammar … which led to a new way of seeing the world – as French divides the world into masculine and feminine and how German adds a dimension which is neutral.

Describing these invisible, immaterial patterns can’t be done in a word or two. It takes a story to put things together, to connect one moment to the next. It is connecting events – putting them in line –  that creates time and makes sense of the world. A story can bend and twist the perception of circumstances so that the incoming energy makes sense. How often do we say, in the face of an event, “I thought so”.

What we are really after is what endures. This is the paradox every seeker must resolve. What endures is what is looking in the first place.


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