“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
How bright these lights that shine now. Here. In this moment. Blinding us between staccato strikes of darkness that seem to last forever.
Each flash highlighting a simple frame, like a silent movie lit with the phosphorescence of an atomic blast, melting the film it is remembered on and leaving only hallucinogenic traces in the impenetrable darkness that follows, relaying an entire history in the nuclear ashes of our memories over a cup of coffee shared in lament.
Each flash an anchor to any given moment that we revisit again and again until it defines us. Until we use it to define ourselves to others.
A moment of passion. Of fury. Of compassion. Of hunger. Each playing out in fractional tales that seldom, if ever, follow the lines of the acts laid out in steady progression, to ultimately mythologize the story of our lives.
And we, faithful fanatics of Life, believe the tale that plays, act after act, each read after played, and believed as if written by the hand of god itself.
But they are lies.
It is our adherence to these false memories, these golden calf we cow-tow to with learned and obedient humility, that rob the true essence of their meaning.
We are not the sum of our experiences, the memories of which we redirect to fit the image we carry of ourselves, we are the sacred being that stands now at the burning edge of reality, creating life as we wish it to be, or living, true to form, blindly, those maligned memories meant only to keep us beating on the shores of yesterday.
It is always a choice.
We can choose to live in “almost now”, that sleight of mind, the mirage of now we allow to be influenced by the past, as Observer, or we can choose to live on that burning edge of Now, here, mindfully, in each moment, created second by second with an understanding that what we believe to be true is most often contaminated by who we believe ourselves to have been and, instead, to see our Self through the eyes of the Divine as Creators because this, whatever “this” is, has never happened before, whether it be that moment of passion or of fury or of love or simply opening the refrigerator door.
None of it could have happened in any version of the story without you.
I choose Now.
Image by Jana.
November 23 brings another full moon and with it comes impulsiveness and anger. Not a good mix.
Solution: Be mindful and compassionate.
Well, that was an easy moon to explain so I’ll move right on to the good stuff.
Here we are at the beginning of a new year so it’s time to set intentions for what we want the coming year to bring.
“New year?” you say.
That was part of what I didn’t cover in my Samhain post so I’ll cast a little light now.
In many ancient beliefs the new year begins not at spring but just before the dark of winter.
That may seem strange to many of us. We often view the little death of winter as an end times. But the old view is more alike to a time in the womb. The darkness before the light.
In that view it is a time not just to survive and hold out until “life” returns, but a time to prepare for the life we already have. The life we will be born into come spring. A time to gather what we need to face that birth. To nourish so we can flourish.
So winter is here and while the work I am doing for a living tends to evaporate for a time, and in that way winter appears to reflect the more modern thinking of winter as and end, I have learned to be grateful for this short hibernation.
It is, for me, a time to replenish my physical needs, to further my spiritual needs, and to explore and redefine my intentions. A time for me to catch up with all the inner work I am forced to put off the rest of the year and to focus on my goals.
Yes, my financial state becomes… uneasy, this time of year, but this winter is providing some unusual opportunities that I am deeply grateful for.
My employer has set me up in a park model trailer that is quite comfortable and he is not charging me rent.
I have the opportunity to return to Mobile before Christmas and to help some very good friends I have come to think of as family with some remodeling in exchange for room and board and a little pocket cash.
While I haven’t made a ton of money up here because of the weather I have made enough to make some headway with my plans for the website and will have covered almost all of the expenses before heading south for a month or so.
I will be in Mobile, Alabama during the coldest part of the year up here and have a boss that will cover my expenses to return, and if next year is anything like this year turned out to be I can expect to make enough in one last season to focus the next twelve on writing.
I have replaced my unreliable Rodeo with a low mileage minivan with enough room to return north with everything I left behind that will make a good trade for something larger next summer. So when I leave here next fall everything comes with. No more leaving my life spread across two thousand miles.
Long story short; I have a lot to be grateful for and this short rest before the long haul is just what I need.
There is a silence here. A silence in the air. In the ground I walk upon broken with heavy boots leaving the slightest crackle of lightest snow snuffed little by little with each step as my path hardens into firmest ice.
Above me a sky of photograph blue spreads so far I can see the curve of this incredible planet I call home.
Big Sky. Yes. No denying that moniker. I’ve seen many skies and Montana has the biggest skies I’ve ever seen.
Early winters are the norm here. I guess I forgot that having lived so many years just east of the natural weather break the Badlands provide. Here, there is nothing to stop the winds amplified by unimaginable miles of rolling hills meeting high plains.
So here I am. At the edge of what I knew facing the experience of what I will know.
Sounds familiar. Sounds like Life.
Unless we live under the warm blankets of comfort, never venturing out to explore what we may yet know, we fortify ourselves. Build walls.
To never step into the cold, the blizzard winds that tear at us, each frozen tear of the Universe itself falling from heights we really can not imagine like an infantry of icy pebbles, or grains of purest sand that burn our feet with impressions of the memories of worlds that left them, is to never experience the gift that life is.
How fortunate I am that the Divine, both furious ice and flame, has put me here to see with eyes and feel with hands what those with only the machinations or extrapolations of minds may express or experience through words.
I hope my words suffice.
Surrender isn’t the same as giving up but it sure can feel like it.
The insurance adjusting never paid off. Thousands of dollars, 6 licenses, 32 certifications, over 600 hours of training, and I never worked a single job. Some things just aren’t meant to be.
I’ll take what I learned there and try to apply it somewhere else but in order for me to do it right and to continue pursuing my goals to turn to writing full time I need to be able to support myself and can’t do that alone on the substandard wages I made in Mobile.
So I came back North to finish out the season hoping I could make enough before freeze to at least pay off the debt I created trying to change careers and bank some to see me through winter, but it’s not happening. Freeze came early. The season is pretty much over.
Unless something unexpected happens I have no choice but to commit to driving truck for the full season next year. The man I am working for in Montana is providing a comfortable trailer rent-free as part of my pay so saving money will be easier.
I’ll head back to Mobile for a few months when I know for sure the work season is over and return in the spring.
I was optimistic and hopeful when I moved to Mobile last year and while I’m not giving up on my goals I can’t help feeling like I failed even if it is just a temporary setback.
But that’s just a feeling and I am neither defined nor controlled by it.
I will make the best of what I am given and keep moving forward no matter what.
When I decided to change my life, the goal was not only to change who I am today but to change who I was yesterday.
I know that sounds a little sketchy, but follow me for a minute.
One of my brothers and I once had an argument about what color a particular car my dad owned was. I said red, he said blue.
That’s a pretty big difference and yet…
You’d be doing me a favor if you finished reading the article HERE.