•September 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Three weeks ago my father passed away. While not a surprise at his advanced years his passing was nonetheless a shock to me that continues to reverberate through my days. The life I live, I’m horrified to admit, leaves little room for grief and grieving. Like many I am on a treadmill of work related responsibilities, pigeon-holed into an existence that asserts employment and productivity equals a rich and full life.
At my core, I care little for my employment, indeed, little for being employed. Work and career have always struck me as methods to legitimize what is at bottom the worst of humanity– greed, selfishness, and back-stabbing ambition. As much as I’d like to turn my back on all of that, like you I have bills to pay and food to put on the table.
Ahh, why have you read this far? You, no doubt, have felt this way before yet have had the good sense to keep these complaints to yourself.
•July 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment
As I noted in my last post, I have often moved between my interests, my passions, never fully committing to one, abandoning one for the other…It has been an exhausting and in some ways damaging course to follow. This morning while reading Pema Chodron’s No Time To Lose I read:
Nevertheless, by reinforcing old habits and obstructing the yearning to grow, we slow down our progress considerably. The habit of vacillating has consequences. We fell increasingly restless and dissatisfied; and we begin to regard ourselves as procrastinators, losers, people who never get anything done.
These have been some of the prices I’ve paid for my lack of determination, my intellectual fickleness, and my impatience. Yet, now, having my awareness return to these challenges they themselves diminish in stature. I sit and settle in and experience whatever surfaces.
And just moments ago, my wife expressed her wish for us to start our day together in meditation.
•July 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment
I’ve bounced between political and spiritual pursuits with enough frequency to know the route between these two destinations. Likewise the route between writing and meditation practice. It has seemed, in the past, that if I were engaged in one of these pursuits I wasn’t engaged in the other. And at some point the absence of the other would turn me from my path.
Over recent years a desperate quality has crept into this ping-ponging. A more urgent need for an all-encompassing and definitive interest has asserted itself; in short, I have wanted one or the other of these passions to be the be-all and end all.
Slow learner that I am, I only recently thought I am trying to catapult myself with enthusiasm for a pursuit into a new me. The problem, of course, is that in the trajectory from one thing to the other I always take myself with me.
For today, I’ve stopped trying to accomplish anything and instead have embraced where I’m at, somewhere in transit, somehow unsettled, somehow content.
•July 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment
I’ve worn myself out, and from the reading I’ve been doing lately of Jungians I’m right on schedule! My persona, hard-won and resilient is wearing thin and something more essentially me is showing through. My customary habits are tattered, and I note with a sickening awareness their insincerity, hollowness, and lack of compassion.
I’m not so naive anymore to think I can rid myself of these burdensome masks all at once. With practice–and here I mean with attention, I may be able to emerge as something different, kinder, more patient…somewhat less of what I now recognize as my self.
•July 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment
•July 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Readiness often precedes opportunity. For some months now I’ve been prodded toward a re-orientation of my life. I’ve changed jobs, and while I still work in the same industry my new responsibilities are so different as to suggest a change in career; I’ve drawn away from paths and pursuits that I once thought held my future, and in the interest of brevity suffice to say those are of a spiritual nature; I’ve been writing more, working on a memoir; and reading more of seemingly disparate topics –Marxism and Jungian psychology for example.
All of this feels as if I’m preparing for something, and at 55 years of age I recognize the anticipation suggestive of transformation. Yet, other than this vague sense of an impending overhaul I lack specifics. There doesn’t appear to be a 10 Steps to a New You curriculum to follow but instead a persistent what? at the foundation of my self. Try as I do to scent the whiff of certainty on these apparent winds of change, I’m left only with the question. Slow thinker that I am, I’ve decided to live, as Rilke famously advised, the question.
Nightfruit is a record of sorts of abiding with this and other questions, of enthusiasms and of doubts.