Friday, July 22, 2011
Fear is a powerful drug. Diving into the Ocean is terrifying. Driving into a black sky is ominous. Yet, when you cruise through to the Other Side, inevitably, a rainbow is awaiting...or maybe it's more black sky, or sharks, but we all have our struggles. The more we can stay present and see what is right in front of us, the more we can stay with fear, be the fear, taste the fear, and finally, let go.
"lover of truth
follow no path
all paths lead where
truth is here"
~ e.e. cummings
I came into this world unstuck. I was born a traveler. I'm sure of it. My parents tell me I was "made in Palau." I've only got 10 stamps in my passport, and about 13 States I've been to, and like George Harrison summed it up for me, "the farther one travels, the less one really knows..." I, like so many countless others are in the Seeking business. Do we find ourselves by collecting the most toys?
Is the Path about suffering and pain, and then finding light and happiness, or vice versa? The rhetoric is always there to taunt us. I like to think that if we can always keep our minds just a little bit open, just like a door slightly ajar, we can maintain a certain level of levity, to help endure the storms, the insurmountable pain that we are forced to endure through Divorce, Death, or even Self-Destruction.
We passed through a lot of small towns to get all the way to Pullman, Washington, where my husband's aunt lives. It is an incredibly beautiful drive through eastern California, Oregon and Washington. I'm all too familiar with the western side of the Pacific Northwest, but the eastern side really brings such contrast, that it's hard not to fall in love with it's scrolling beauty.
If we didn't understand contrast, like as a printer of black and white photography, we would never know about getting back to center. I had to learn that you always needed a true black, and a true white. And then it's a matter of bringing in the middle tones. Isn't that what this is all about? Find the balance. It's not all black and white.
I lived in France after high school for a year, and my first host family mother was adamant that I get as much French culture shoved down my throat as possible. At the beginning of my year with them, we took a drive to the south of France, where they had their summer home (and where they retired to) in Montauban, outside of Toulouse, and she would get us to stop at every cathedral, and historic landmark along the way. I remember her jostling me out of sleep to get me to see one more church. I could've cared less. I told her I was tired and just wanted to keep sleeping. She told me, "tu peux dormir quand tu rentres aux Etas-Unis." (you can sleep when you get back to the States.) And that has always stayed with me. I continue to awaken, and greet the day in a place of gratitude. Because I know that a new set of images will be unfurled from their scroll, and I get to interpret them in a new way.