I’m driving on the freeway. I pass the exit to the place I used to live when I first moved here five years ago. I see myself like a ghost driving up the hill as I pass by on the freeway. I smile at myself, feeling the threads of life and time intersecting at this junction. As one of me drives west on the freeway and the other drives north up the hill, there is also one of me petting my cat in my apartment back east and yet another walking a field in the sun in Vermont, with thick green grass like carpet under my feet. I guess you could say that these are parts of me, but they don’t feel like parts, they feel like all of me. They feel like all of me is here and there and driving and walking and going east and going west north and moving up a hill.
I heard Johnny Cash in the meditation:
“I hear the train a comin,
it’s rollin round the bend,
and I ain’t seen the sunshine
since I don’t know when”
I’m on the train and I’m rolling by myself in the prison. Here I am and there I was. It’s not that profound and yet my whole life seems to wrap around it.
I keep having this recurring feeling, this recurring thought, that it doesn’t matter so much what I want, what matters is what I’m here to give. Being in this place or that place isn’t so much about me anymore, isn't about what I can ‘get’ from being in that place, it's more about what I can bring to the people in that place.
I have another song in my head:
“It’s all the same
Only the names have changed.
Everyday it seems we’re wasting away.
I’ve been everywhere and still I’m standing tall
I’ve seen a million faces and I’ve rocked them all.”
I went to yoga class yesterday. In my meditation, I was teaching thousands of students. I was a leader. I was a guide. In Buddhism, they talk about helping others alleviate pain and suffering. They talk about being a boatman, putting people in your boat and taking them across to the shores of enlightenment. I’m in the boat. It’s a small boat right now. The fog blocks the shore and the air is cold and foggy but my body is warm and my heart is strong. I reach down into the water with my long staff, feel the muddy bottom and push forward.
Sometimes it feels like barreling on a train. Sometimes is feels like a foggy bottom boat.
Like pieces of a puzzle, we come together. Isn’t it that simple?
I had another thought in my meditation. It was more like a vision than a thought. I saw myself at the beach, in the ocean, dolphins swimming near me, rising up and down in the water. I thought, “I want to be in perfect harmony with nature. I want my breath to rise and fall with the dolphins. I want my mind to surrender completely to the rhythm of things. I want my body to wake and sleep with the sun. I want to merge with Mother Nature so I know her thoughts as my own and I never have to doubt or question or worry. I want to be in harmony with the world and I’ll return to it soon enough.”
Mary Oliver says, “Doesn’t everything die at last, too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”