Some who care about me may squirm, but something happened yesterday. As I walked out to the car to go help my wife transfer boxes from her old studio, I looked at my reflection in the tinted rear hatch window: knit cap pulled down over my head, ancient sweater my late sister sent me from a thrift store in south Austin, black jeans, sandals, hair askew, in need of a shave—all covered with dust, of course. (Taos talcum! The stuff is everywhere.) There also wasn’t anything about me that didn’t suggest I’d gone native years ago. Well huh.
Even worse, as we drove down the road, a spontaneous non-judgmental state descended on me. I didn’t mind the dead cars or the bumps. No extraneous worries or homesickness. No pining for anything in particular. Listening to my wife, I was simply present without subtexts. No scheming months ahead to counter worries triggered by imagined moods. The passing scenes opened and dissolved as we drove by. I could have been in Burma or Ohio and it would have been all right. This has almost never happened to me.
The condition lasted for several hours. Later I felt a little worried in the night, and that was more familiar. I tussled with a blog post and deleted it. I read about a friend who’s reading from his new novel in a local bookstore and got envious. Before I knew it, it was three a.m. and I was in the bathtub, remembering my day here in New Mexico amidst the dust and hassles when they didn’t bother me because I knew that I was taken care of and looked like I belonged.
Back to working on the book today, the one you haven’t seen because I haven’t published it. Another Day in Paradise, it’s called, some stories from the last four years. This will close a chapter in the big adventure of my life. Things are coming together. The debris fields will be cleared. I have a partner I can talk to. We can move or stay or do most anything. A wise man working through similar dynamics said, “stasis is less frightening than movement.” I know whereof he speaks, but stasis can be scary, too, when the world is at a point where old ways make no sense.
Many know little of our true Nature; you can tell by the way they act. We could all be savoring this moment as we roll around the sun.
Yes, activity is a remarkably effective counter to doom and gloom, particularly if said activity is directed at a real problem. Any progress, any change, is helpful.
“Working on a book won’t make me rich by Thursday, so to hell with everything!”
“I’m so fucking old, I need it YESTERDAY!”
“Peanut butter and crackers, that’s the ticket!”
“Man, do I ever need a nap…”