Seven Years!

I can’t believe I’ve been on Word Press for seven years!

My first blog here was just your basic online diary and it has gone through some changes over the years before I decided to take my writing a little more serious just last year and started the Caravan.

I sincerely hope the Wayback Machine didn’t archive any of my previous blogs. I hate to admit it but my very first post on A Caravan of One was about how I decided to go with pack goats instead of mules. Change is good.

I never did get the goats and I immediately changed format to what you read now at the insistence of friends who thought people might actually like to read about the things we would talk about. I’m glad I listened.

I imagine the site will continue to change as the years progress but I think I have found my niche and I’m glad to have such caring and insightful readers.

Here’s to the last seven and to the next!

My journey continues

On October 8th of 2017 I drove 1,774 miles straight into hurricane Nate to find out if my Beloved and I had a future together. It appears that answer is “no”.

She is an extraordinary woman. Extremely intelligent. Highly creative. Spiritually evolved. She has a great career and is upwardly mobile. She is vibrant and alive. Sensual and sexual. Healthy and active. Has great kids. In short, she is everything I hope to find in a partner.

Almost everything. She would tell you the same about me.

Because I love her and have a deep respect for her no matter what, and because we are making the effort to remain friends, we spoke quite a bit before making this post.

What follows applies to everyone, including myself.

The two things I address most often when talking about relationships is our ability to manifest love through faith in action and our obligation to be as prepared as we can be.

Being prepared starts by knowing yourself and your needs. No one can ever truly know you if you don’t know yourself.

It means we acknowledge and address whatever issues we have as best we can. That we understand that we are complete as we are and that we embrace our wholeness.

It means we have a pretty good idea of what we want, and do not want, in a Lover. What type of person are they? What do we expect from them and what do we offer in return? How might our lives affect each other? Are we able to commit to the effort it takes to build a relationship? Are they?

It is so much more than “I want to be loved”. That sort of open ended desire leads to suffering. How do you want to be loved? What does it look like? What actions are involved? What do you bring to the table? What expectations do you have of your partner? Have you made room for them in your life?

I will not point to any of these examples and say “this is why we are not together” because the simple truth is that neither of us was fully prepared. Not in the way we needed to be. We are both worthy and deserving and I have no doubt that we will both find ourselves in incredible loving relationships. Just not with each other.

We do not see this as a “failure” and neither of us have any regrets. Making the move to be close to her was the right thing to do, there was no way for us to learn these things from a distance, and the opportunity to find real love is always worth the risk.

Our last day together as a couple was sweet. We went for a walk. Set up her porch swing. Did a little arts and crafts shopping. We sat close and talked and laughed. We kissed.

Two days later we mutually called an end to it and offered each other metta, a spoken intention and meditation of loving kindness: “May you be loved. Be happy. Be healthy. Live with ease.”

That is what I will always want for her, and for myself, because even though the relationship has ended, the love remains. We continue to communicate regularly and do our best to carry these intentions of loving kindness into action. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it, we are worth it.

I am grateful for our time together and will continue to learn from the experience as I do from everything that happens in my life. It was good to love and be loved, even if only for a little while. Love is a gift and loving her was a privilege.

I am not sure where to go from here, I guess I’ll discover that along the way, all I know for sure is that my journey continues.

 

 

Blue Supermoon/Blood Moon

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Early this morning we had one of those ultra rare cosmic incidents: the second full moon in a month, known as a Blue Moon, also happened to be a Supermoon, which means its particularly close to earth, and we had a full lunar eclipse, known as a Blood Moon.

Thanks to contemporary fiction people tend to think of the Blood Moon as a bad omen (as if omens could be either good or bad) but it really isn’t because blood is life.

I could go on for hours regarding the symbolism of this extraordinary event but instead I’m just going to relay my own experience of it and mostly let you draw your own conclusions or refer to other people’s opinions on the subject. There are many.

I woke late, thanks to a slight case of bronchitis, the reminder of a nasty case of flu I didn’t actually get having only suffered mildly unlike so many others here, that keeps me coughing through the night. I saw a doctor yesterday about it and got a couple prescriptions that should help but I can’t afford to fill them until after work tomorrow.

Being late meant I got to witness Selene, the goddess of the Moon in all her magnificent fullness on the way to work and then arrived at my truck just as the eclipse began.

I gazed in silent prayer as my truck warmed up and then watched intently as I first drove North cutting through town and then Northeast as I left the metropolitan area.

A lunar eclipse happens pretty quickly so by the time I was mostly heading East the moon was half eclipsed and dropping below the tree line as the sun rose.

I would lose sight of it and then catch a glimpse in my mirror or see it reflected in my windows.

I could see the red haze begin to form as it pales from view as if hidden behind a colored veil.

I lost it again for a dozen or so miles as I headed East and then caught it in all its glory as I crossed over the twin bridges on I10 affectionately refered to as the “Dolly Parton” bridges. If you’re curious why they earned that name you can look up some images.

So there I am on top of the twins and behind me on my left is the pale red ghost of the moon while ahead of me on my right is the sun while I crossed over the rivers.

Behind me lay Mobile. My destination was towards the rising sun. Then I descended the bridge and both were again lost from view. By the time I made it over the next rise the moon was gone and the sun shone brightly.

In those few seconds when I was caught between the two, the sun raging as if to catch the moon while the moon reflected that rage as beautifully as she could, I experienced eternity. It was for just a fraction of a fraction of a second but even a fraction of a second in eternity lasts forever.

I continue my day and my journey in awed gratitude.

 

A change of plans

Laid out with careful consideration
Like cards from Tarot
Each option an action
Each person an archetype
Each possibility an outcome
Each potential interacting
with each laid card
All placed with skilled hands
Read with trained eyes
Aware of interrelation
Accepting of interdependence
Interpreted without influence
and an understanding of consequence
A future is revealed
Under the Seer’s gaze
Considered with attention
Reread with intention
Then shared
Defined
Explained
Discussed
Reshuffled
Re-laid
Reinterpreted
Again and again
Until agreed upon

 

Then carelessly laid aside

ignored

and forgotten

 

Now

deck in hand

I once again shuffle the deck

and place the cards one by one

to reveal

only

the direction of my path

without expectation:

 

Forward.

Always forward.

 


Image: Two of Discs from the Thoth deck.

Life

I could spend my life

Lamenting what I may never have

Or learning

and moving on

With gratitude

I could spend it

Worrying about tomorrow

Or crying about yesterday

Or I can choose to live

Now

I could spend my life

Acquiring material things

Things with no meaning

Or I can use my time

Improving my Self

and my world

I could spend my life

In so many ways

Ignoring emotion

In blind devotion

Pretending

Offending

Or embracing my humanity

As sacred and divine

and offering hope

To all I encounter

(including myself)

and learning to love

My choice is made easy

By one simple truth:

I can imagine no better life

Than one spent learning to love

————————-

Image: “People at the Beach” by Nat B

Discover. Now.

Life is all about discovery.

When we are born we discover the most amazing things: the world develops before our very eyes and as we grow it expands as if we, ourselves, are the gods that create it moment by moment.

In our teens we discover complex emotions that threaten our very existence: rage, pain, immense joy and sadness, and, for the very first time, even though we may not recognize it for what it is, Love.

We go through school being taught pointless rhetoric: math, science, history. All the while being taught none of those things that could lead us to deeper paths; mindfulness, loving kindness, compassion. Those are supposed to be taught by our parents. Parents who never learned those things either.

Learn them. They will lead you farther than you imagine.

Later still, we discover that we wished we had learned more of those worthless ideas. Paid closer attention. What was that formula for finding the volume of a circle again? That will come in handy later. I promise you that. So pay attention if you can. But there’s more.

We discover the value of money. Of friendship and of hard work and of possession. We go into the world discovering fine food, good company, bright lights.

Oh… shiney.

Too often people don’t make it past those last discoveries. They base their lives on the hedonistic values of life: a big house, a nice car, good clothes, physical pleasure. Discovery ends. Life has been explored and all that it offers has been found.

Discovery continues despite that belief. Our friends die. Our loved ones leave us. Our investments fail us. We discover loss, suffering, disappointment.

Those discoveries become empty. Meaningless. Superficial. Life becomes meaningless. Emotions become an intolerable consequence. A side effect of life.

If we are insightful, or have a fortunate predilection for it, or have a loved one willing to force our awareness, or we are just plain lucky, or unlucky, we push deeper. Struggle harder to find meaning.

Our path of discovery narrows to two distinct paths: inward or outward.

The outward path leads us to medical discovery. To miracle cures. To pills that end our suffering. To gurus and healers and shaman. The path can branch over and over from here but it always leads us to the discovery of the inward path though very very few can make that transition.

If you find yourself at that transitional fork in your path I hope, I truly hope, you find your way to the inward path. Reach into that place and you will find a hand willing to lead you farther than you ever imagined. I promise you that.

The inward path leads us to ever deeper discovery: understanding, self love, honesty, acceptance, awareness, unity, Love. True Love.

Discoveries that lead us to higher planes of existence. Planes where loss and suffering are accepted as simply a part of life and where the value of a single breath, drawn long and slow while listening to and feeling the beat of our own miraculous heart connect us to the very soul of the Universe, is beyond measure.

What we discover there can never be fully expressed in words but in that place are experiences outside the realm of comprehension and yet understood as if we were once again children creating, moment by moment, the very fabric of our own distinct, yet combined, reality.

My wish for you is this:

Continue your journey. Never cease in your struggle of discovery, because even further beyond that point lay infinity: a point of chaotic generation and regeneration of life where the distance between infancy and eons are but fractions of moments of the life of a single drop of moisture on a spiders web and all that we have discovered between birth and true life, the life that always awaits, that bekons and welcomes all, are a single reflection on the surface of that dew that shimmers a while before dropping into an endless ocean that rises as mist to condense on the web over and over again.

In that chaos of constant re-creation resides the Divine where She rests on this, the Seventh Day, with arms wide and welcome, to bring us into Her embrace.

It is a place of constant discovery and awe and wonder where a word as simple and complex as “Love” or “Gratitude” can define our very existence.

Though I tend to speak of it in terms of enlightenment and higher planes of consciousness it is not some mythical place reached only through lifetimes of deep meditation and study. It does not require the use of psychoactive compounds or healers or teachers.

It is here.

It is Now.

It awaits your discovery.

Close your eyes and breathe.

—————

Image: “Infinity” by Tue Bengsston