How long hanging
on cloud 9
for a passers-by
me off the dream-whipped
and walk close by
In destinies frozen grip
does lie all the patterned answers
or maybe wanton wandering
to who knows where
But stumbling toward it
reaching for the nearest grasp
hoping to see something
For more years than I can remember I have been a single woman. It was by choice and something I needed to do to sort my head, my soul and myself out. Much of my life before these years had been rafting through relationships, on a craft that was unsteady and often leaky. I tried to navigate this flimsy raft through oceans far too rough and rivers overflowing their riverbeds. It often left me on some shore half drowned. And of course any passenger unlucky enough to be my mate, usually was left drenched and overwhelmed by the tsunami that was left in my wake.
But somehow, it seems now I’ve paddled out of the storm, onto a lake of glass. It is smooth and my sense of direction seems clear. I am ready to sail again.
It is so difficult in our times to find the right sailing partner to journey into the unknown. Even once we’ve learned to love ourselves and to steer our lives, finding someone who can meld their course with ours, seems like finding a lost ship under the ocean. It’s there somewhere, but the vastness makes the likelihood seem so impossible.
So unlikely that it seems that magic must be involved (as I refuse to do the internet thing). Today I picked one Tarot card to see if a partner would be in my future one day again. And lo, I got my favorite one: the 10 of Cups. Just seeing it you can almost guess that it is positive! Depending on where you look, it has different meanings, but I got it right side up and my book said simply: Contentment, lasting happiness because it is inspired from above rather than being the sensual satisfaction. Perfection of human love. Great friendship. Lasting success. Peacemaking.
So, I guess I will take that to be a yes and hopefully my ship will eventually float into the sunset. And maybe I will eventually pick someone up along the way to sail with me.
How much of our life do we spend looking forward or back? Countless moments wishing about the ideal new future we will have someday or ruminating endlessly over all memories we wish could be do-overs. The hands of the clock just keep spinning as our minds play these scenes in our heads; it doesn’t hold still saving those precious minutes for a later day. No, it marches on ahead in its endless walk toward the end of time, our time at least–and what have we really gained during these memory visitations?
It’s true, there are certain positives that can be created from walking away from the present down our other time zones. Going back in time can prevent us from making the same mistakes (hopefully) by learning what felt wrong to us. And going forward can help us plan so we don’t create some huge disaster in our lives by simply going blindly.
But too much of either maybe isn’t good, is it? Making mistakes is hardly completely preventable and thinking too much about them can fill us with deep feelings of shame and guilt. And maybe taking leaps of faith into future plans may not be such a bad thing–it’s called trust. Trusting your intuition will know when something is or isn’t good for you.
It seems to me the only really effective way to be able to survive with any sense of contentment and ease, is then not to spend quantities of time in the past or present. Rather to live most fully in the present.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
― Henry David Thoreau
If one truly commits to doing this, and it is no easy task as the mind is constantly aiming to pull you off task, then life begins to open up before you with crisp alertness. As each sensory organ gets tuned in to the world around us, everything becomes heightened. Noises leap out, smells drift under our noses, scenery becomes more illuminated and our sense of touch more sensual.
As our mind tends to drift away from the now, which can happen every minute with the distractions of every day life, we can pull it back to this minute by asking it to notice: what do I hear? do I see? what am I feeling right in this second? It is giving us back the gift of time, and while the clock is still moving, it is our lover instead of our prison guard.
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
― Benjamin Franklin
So if we can wed our mind and time, and bring this union to one beautiful moment, then the child created stands still in bliss.
Meditation always helps me to think and brings out interesting thoughts. Today this is what floated to the surface: my future is preparing for me as I am getting ready here, right now. I know this sounds simple…of course it is, everyone’s is, but I mean it in a more concrete way.
What I envisioned was my actual future preparing: like the home (or homes) that I may live someday are being lived in now by folks that will care for them so that I may take over them at some point. Their lives will change course to make it possible for me to love the space on future date. That home by a lake, or the road leading up to it is there now–as I am here now, waiting for the future, preparing for our encounter.
Maybe it will be a person, or people–significant relationships that will alter the course of my life, who are gathering their life story so it will intersect mine. They are playing out their time currently so they will be ready for when we meet, so we will be ready to care, maybe to love, but certainly to know that we were meant to know one another for years to come.
And maybe it will just be a scene or road that has been waiting for me, calling to me for all my life, but one day I will finally reach it. Because it has been that they have been there the whole time waiting…waiting until the time was right, until I was really ready, my heart open and the vision clear.
The future has just been preparing for me…it’s right there, so close I can feel it. It’s me that must be worthy.
What’s the old saying: “Pleasure is 9/10 anticipation”. Ain’t that the truth! Well, in some cases it certainly seems so anyway.
There are times where we can drum ourselves up into thinking that something will be way better than the reality of what actually happens. Then it can be a let down or a disappointment in some way. Or, at the very least, it can give us a new outlook on our lives, the way we do things or what we may have been thinking about our future.
That’s certainly what happened with the recent visit with my friend. Not that I had built it up into some great expectation. I have known this person for many years, and our relationship has gone through many convolutions over the past. So I knew the potential for the visit to be a certain way (boring, not what I might hope etc.) was very real.
But even when one knows ahead of time that things might not be wonderful, it’s still a bit of a downer when those expectations are filled! I guess as a hopeful individual, one can still think that another person might have changed a bit, or grown, or wants different things at this stage of the game.
In the end though, I’ve learned by now, that in order for people to really change in any way (great or small)–it takes very hard work and concentration, which most folks can’t give or don’t have. And most people either don’t realize or believe they need changing. Maybe they don’t either–it’s only according to someone else’s perception.
So where does that leave things? Well, a visit within tight quarters for almost a week can become uncomfortable and tiresome. For me, as someone used to living alone for many years now, I began to ache for my solitude. My patience and sense of being a good hostess begins to wan. All I really wanted was my space back… It’s not that I disliked the other person, but I began to see all the little things about them that make me realize why I live alone now.
For years I have gone back and forth in my head about living alone. Will I be OK this way for the long haul? Is there something inadequate with me that makes it hard for me to be around others? Am I safe by myself? Am I truly happy this way? But I see others more and more living as I do and I find I am not so unusual. Many of us have come to this place after years of living with other people. And now we live alone by choice.
As we grow older, it is easy to become isolated, but the need for space and solitude also becomes a treasure. The years given in service to others–kids, spouses, pets, jobs, parents, families–can bring you to a point where the peace of one’s home is a blessing.
Having guests over is not a bad thing by any means, especially when they contribute to the well-being of one’s life and soul. But the return to the quiet when they leave is a sound I am also grateful to hear.
In the middle of a three day weekend. Lately I’ve been having trouble staying in my ‘now’. I’ve been drifting off into yesterday and tomorrow a lot and I know that’s not good. Sigh.
I’m perfectly aware why it’s happening–it’s the reasons within the now that make me think about different times, both past and future. And it’s also my personality: when it comes to the past, it’s me trying to reconcile the imperfections; with the future, the dreamer pops out.
But where does that leave me now? It’s never good to waste away one’s time not being in the moment. Yes, yes–I know. When I catch myself floating off into another time/space dimension, I do my best to pull myself back to reality and notice the beauty around me. We can always find something good, something compelling if we dig really deep–it just, at times, that the digging must go really far.
So that’s when my time, my rare and precious spare time, can get spent dreaming, searching, thinking and meditating about different points on my life line, .
Then, I ask myself: is time linear? If not, then maybe it’s OK to dream.
Given the chance
Would we look through to tomorrow?
Peering with ponderous thoughts
Of what’s waiting
Those flaming questions
We burn to know
Hidden behind the clicking of time
If we could climb across moments
And shed light upon our frightened future
Always hiding and keeping Herself
Just out of reach
Would we take that glimpse
Round the corner of fate
Whose kept His back firmly turned
Toward your face
Or do we instead
Simply stand in one place
And accept our lot
Being only in the tiniest second
For if we knew tomorrow
Maybe we would not leave
A girl is born
Yet you hold the future
In your tiny hands