Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Noticing it.

I kind of try to hide.  Honest I do.  But life keeps finding me...with cudgels and snowflakes, with pain and stupidity and death, with laughter and purring kitties and too many cookies baked on cold days.  I know the story of the mustard seed.  It is a Buddhist tale...where a mother loses her beloved son.  She hears that Buddha is amazing and she goes to him, asking that he bring back her dead child.  He tells her all he needs is a special ingredient:  a mustard seed taken from the home of someone who has not also suffered loss and pain and death.  So she sets out on her journey, in search of the one who can offer such a simple gift.  And no one can.  Because we have all been touched.  We have all been broken and empty and imperfect.

I like to believe I have lived my life fighting to be a good person.  Yet I must be honest and admit:  I have done dangerous, stupid, irresponsible things.  I have done things that could have killed me as well as others.  I have often laughed at those things.  I was lucky.  I have been unlucky in places that had little or nothing to do with my own actions.

Just that idea of being a bridge for someone...a passage through things so wild and uncontrollable that they can't even see the other side.  I feel like that is all I want to do.  I want to grab the world by its shoulders and shake the shit out of it.  Tell everyone to stop being such morons!  We all suffer and hurt and die.  And we can pile stuff around us like sand bags against a storm.  But no matter how heavy they feel as we pile them up, they are nothing but fluff.  Bags stuffed with cotton balls hold nothing at bay.  The only protection we have are those people around us who have learned how to see.  But like with alcoholics, you can't take the blinders off someone else...it needs to happen when they are ready, when they choose sight themselves.

I feel the pain of losing John to my toes, through my veins, piercing my core and seeping through everything I breathe.  I see that my pain exists in and of the world, not in a vacuum.  My loss lives beside the struggle of my neighbors, the accidents and losses of every life I have ever touched.  These are not lessons you can hear, or see, or touch.  They are lessons that mold you, that break you to pieces and rebuild you, if you let them.  So all I ask, truly and deeply and with everything that I have ever believed and dreamed of, is to be able to learn.  I want to allow the pain I have lived, the pain of those around me, to fill my soul and guide me to ways and paths where I can be a better person.

That sounds so righteous.  I still want someone to hold me, touch me, kiss me... I still want to eat too many cookies and drink too much wine sometimes.  I want to laugh my ass off at stupid movies and try to find ways to not scream at my kids quite so much.  I am still a mess.  I will still screw up.  Probably a lot.   And I'm okay with that.  I just want to learn too.  I want to help.  I want to let others know that they are not alone, and I want to be more helpful than I am hurtful.  We are all everything, wrapped up in a mess of living and trying.  I guess I just want to be more aware of it, as I go.  Like fish, noticing the water.