Wednesday, April 20, 2011

crappiness, averted

Saturday afternoon, I'd planned on taking the light rail to Mockingbird Station and choosing a random film to see at the Angelika, as a fun way of having a night out by myself. Yeah, I'd also planned on stopping off at an earlier station to say "hello" to a nearby Silas before going on to the theater - but for the most part, the night was just going to be me out alone - something I was looking forward to.

I'd asked Grams earlier in the afternoon if she'd drive me (and my aunt to pick me up) to the Spring Valley station where I could catch the train - but by the time I'd finished my meditation, took a shower, and was ready to go, time was ticking. And thanks to my poor time management, I found myself rushed. I'd waited too long to check the prices for both the DART day pass and the movie ticket, as well as the schedule to see just how long I'd have with Silas before having to make my way down the line. I couldn't find exact change anywhere in the house and on top of that I was still going to have to make it to the station on time - and I love Grams, no question, but the woman's not the quickest driver in the world, I'll put it that way. As I was sitting in the passenger seat still in the garage getting ready to go, I realized we just weren't going to make it in time. And it pissed me off. I wasn't upset with Grams, of course. But with myself. And at the situation I've year after year brought in to being. And at the fact that at almost 30 years old, I can't go out without having to dig around for change or bum a ride from my grammy. I was so irritated that I just hopped out of the car and said I'd be back later, headed down the alley, and went toward the park.

I'd already mentally prepared myself for the energy of others that night and I didn't want that, or my spritz of cologne, to go to waste - so I thought that this would be a great time to text my friend - I'll call her Emily - and see if she wanted to hang out. She's one of the precious few I've been wanting to see for ages and I knew that if anyone could help raise my spirits, it would be her. Actually, I had just asked her the day before about sometime soon scheduling to go and observe her Montessori class. But considering how key the spontaneity factor had been in my reunion with Emre, I reasoned that it should serve she and I just as nicely. She was at a barbecue, but told me that if I felt another burst of spontaneity later in the evening to let her know, she'd be free.

Literally within moments of stepping on to the walking trail, I began to feel easier about things. The weather was nice and the setting far too affable to stay stuck in self-pity. Whenever I'm in that kind of environment, I find there's just too much Life buzzing around that it's difficult to even consider not taking part. So I did: I walked and breathed, watched and listened, smelled and paid attention.

I found the perfect spot on a hill to sit and look across the pond, where eventually I decided to take my evening meditation. I soon discovered it was a popular stretch of grass, as ducks and children began to gather. The "AYAM" was joined by the quacking of ducks (and the quacking that followed as the children mimicked the ducks) - And the sound of the children's laughter as they rolled down the hill, despite the cries of their parents warning them not to for fear they'd roll right in to the water. There was the sound of the children chanting "First is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with the hairy chest." I returned to the mantra over and over - but still...I welcomed it all.

As I walked home, I knew that I wasn't ready for the night to be over, so I texted Emily again. And while until Saturday we hadn't spoken or seen each other since a little after high school, I'd say that she's the soul I've connected with most these past couple of years, as we've texted and emailed at least every few days.

While I was waiting for her to drive over, I excitedly noticed how not nervous I was. Maybe there was a speck of something floating around inside - if it could even be called that. And I imagined that this speck, this harmless little nothing, must be what a "normal" person must feel when they experience what's known as "nervous." Something large enough to be noticed, a case of your brain telling the nervous system that something out of the ordinary is going down, but small enough where it couldn't possibly paralyze you or keep you from proceeding.

She soon pulled up in front of my grandmother's house and we hugged, and then immediately began our walk around the neighborhood. Conversation went back and forth, stream-of-consciousness style, consoling and entertaining at the same time. It was as wonderful as it could have been! Just like my first two reunions before it, this one was just as energizing. And possibly even richer I could say, since we'd been in touch already and for so long. As far as I'm concerned, this was just the first of many evenings with Emily.

I love how the evening began with my thinking I knew what I was going to do - and how once again, Life stepped in, redirecting me to something It knew I'd revel in more. So kind it is. So forgiving of my forgetful disapprovals.


  1. I think of moments like this as lessons that tell you that you don't get to pick your lessons. The Universe knows exactly what you need and when you need it. this is very cool stuff happening, kiddo.

  2. Good Morning Jeff. As usual I enjoyed reading your thoughts and adventures. This one reminds me of sailing. You set course in one direction but the winds changed. In sailing you don't fight the wind, rather you move in its direction and allow it to propel you. Without the wind there would be no sailing. And, without occasional executive functioning malfunctions and how they hurry the clock along there would be no spontaneity, - not that night anyhow. It seems like it was a lesson in letting go of control, as much as anything else...and Joy, the meditation by the park.

    You have no idea how much this blog has inspired me. Things have been rough with Alex, every rough lately. But I'm getting to the point where I need to be okay in the face of any of it. So, I've ordered the first Byron Katie book, been listening to some of the podcasts online. I'm ready to do The Work. I don't know that it would have come to this had I not been given the precious opportunity to see how it has so completely helped another. Thank you.

  3. @Tracy: It never ceases to amaze me, really. And as often as it happens, you'd think I'd yield to it a bit more gracefully. LOL! But I am catching on.

  4. @Suzanne: Your comment really, really touched me, and brought such a smile. You've no idea. I'm so glad that my experiences have helped you or inspired you to question your own, in whatever way. That's why we're all here, isn't it? It's what we give to each other whether we realize it or not. I love that you're checking out The Work! It is one of the most awesome tools I've ever come across. It's my prediction that your relationship with Alex and the struggles you've been having will begin to reveal themselves as being...much more awesome, more full of Grace...than you might have seen at first. I wish that for you, my friend. Another thing I think you'll come to see is that you already ARE okay in the face of it all - and questioning helps you to see that. If you haven't already seen them, The Work website and YouTube are filled with dialogues of Katie doing inquiry with people. So excited for you!

  5. More evidence of major shifts--this is so awesome to watch from the sidelines! And even more so to experience in your own body/mind. Your spirit is jumping up and down in celebration--for sure, Abraham is lovin' your excursions! And the fact that you're near 30 and figuring this stuff out is quite heartening--I didn't start--really start--until I was 40. But you've got all the time in the world.

  6. @Deb: Thank you for this! I appreciate it. I'm accustomed to thinking - mistakenly, I know this - that somehow I'm behind. But really we're all right on time. What's 30, what's 40, what's 113 to the immortal Abraham-ness that we ultimately are? =)