Grackle & Sun

Archive for the tag “surfing the universal wave”

Morning Meditation: {Don’t Think of Elephants}

I was chasing the sun. A common thing. Early in the morning. An uncommon thing.  But it’s what I needed to do. So Ronin and I drove to the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, which is where the sun was hanging out.

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Ronin is my good buddy.

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I’ve lived by the Mississippi for years and years. I’ve watched full moons and red moons rise over it. I’ve seen it high and rushing, full of branches and limbs as big as boats. I’ve seen it so low it showed its secrets–wing dams and dry banks. I’ve seen it whipped so hard by the wind that whitecaps stood up like ocean waves. I’ve seen it in the dark with only lights from the bridge reflecting on its dark surface. But I’d never seen it at dawn. I didn’t realize that until I was standing there watching the mist rise off the water like some otherworldly veil, softening the sounds of the river as it flowed past.

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The riverfront here is a combination of paved areas and old hand-laid rough cobblestones. You can walk along it for a long way in either direction, and you can walk right into the water if you like. Something caught Ronin’s attention, and he was trying–as only a dog can–to inhale the entire world through his nose. I followed him, curious about what had him so excited. We walked right to the edge of the embankment, several feet above the water, and looked down. There was a dead fish floating–half a silver carp–very big, staring up at us. Mystery solved. I wondered how it had died, why it was there. Then I caught something out of the corner of my eye. Immediate recognition. A few feet to the left, nestled between some sharp rocks, an unmistakable shape under the water.

Ganesha.

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I asked Ronin to wait for me and climbed over the edge of the embankment onto the rocks below. Ganesh was glowing orange with the light of the dawn, the colors soft under the muddy water. And there it was. The whyness of my morning.

Ganesha, the Remover of All Obstacles, the god of new beginnings.

We said thank you to the river, goodbye to the dawn. We stood and waited patiently for a morning train to pass; it’s tracks run right between the river and the street where we parked. It’s the only place I know where you can stand so close to a passing train that you could touch it, jump on for a ride. And nobody thinks anything of it. Small town. Ganesh rode in the passenger seat as I drove us all home. I washed the river off him and anointed him with butter, and now he sits in our kitchen where he is very happy to look over things from the heart of the house. And obstacles are being removed.

The elephant in the room is my atheishness. But I’ve learned not to overthink these things. Gifts from the Universe take many forms, and we are fools to think they will only come in one flavor–no matter how we try to construct our reality. So follow what pulls you, keep your eyes open for shapes in the water, and listen to your dogs. That is how you catch a wave and surf the Universe–nimbly and joyously and always, always with gratitude.

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Hot Granola

It has begun. The transitional winds are a-blowin’, and I am feeling reflective. I am living in that thin place in the Inbetween that makes me itchy and restless, melancholic and introspective, and ultimately buzzing with awareness of all that is unseen around me. I realized the other day that I measure the years of my life in summers, in how many summers have passed and passed. Here it is passing again. My gut reaction is always to hold on to the long light so tightly, afraid that if I let it go without a fight, I too will slip away like summer does–into the silence of the cicadas, the darkness of the fireflies.

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It’s weird to wake up one day and to not recognize yourself–to find that what once was used to protect yourself somehow became a barrier to being yourself.  It’s a bi-product of anxiety and of living too long in the wrong place. And what happens? You disconnect from the Flow, only occasionally aware of how you fit in the Universe. You think your eyes are open, but they are not open. This is what happened. I became this serious thing, impatient. I forgot how to play.

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I remember one day last summer, walking through the woods along the creek that runs not far from our house, and it hit me: I had to make it my priority to unclench. That has been my daily practice this year–to gently, but surely, pry open the fist that holds my insides in a deathgrip. Because clenching or unclenching is a choice. How we see and respond to the world is a choice. Old habits die hard. I have to shake off this pall frequently, reminding myself to lighten up.

To open up.

                                                                                                To look up.

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In all this reflectiveness, I came to understand something which I think is rather important: the deep necessity of all things whimsical.

Whimsy is my antidote to apathy.

I have learned that when life sends you whimsy, you take it and say thank you. You eat it until your soul-belly is full. You breathe it in until you can feel it in every cell of your being. You wrap it around your shoulders like a cashmere pashmina, because what is whimsical can keep you warm in a cold, cold world of assholes, drudgery, and taxes. It is the delightful and profound pairing of beauty and playfulness that reminds us to be curious, to be lighthearted, and most of all open to seeing a reality that is quite different than what we’ve been told it should be. Because the truth of something is not always in its facts. That is magic.

Whimsy is a gift, and those that bring it into your life should be welcomed with open arms. And if we are very lucky, we can create a little of our own, too, and cast it into the world to share. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who bring beauty to the world and who very patiently remind me to play.

Happy Equinox, All.

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