Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Kerouac or the curve?

I think I’m beginning to understand why I am stuck in this funk at this particular time while I’m reading “Dharma Bums”. My usual tactic in dealing with “down” is to hurl myself into busy work until the clouds disperse. It seems the American thing to do. Be productive! Beat those blues into submission. I attempted that but life threw me a curve this time and, besides, I’m under the influence of Kerouac.

My brain is cracked open and I’m remembering my dharma days which I have not really recalled fondly over the years. A pall ha
d settled over them as I grew up and realized that I was a wannabe and never contributed anything to those times besides some action for a bunch of hippie boys. Sincerely, it was not a good time for me – I was soundly laughed at, considered stupid and regarded as a whore…of course, all of this was true! LOL …but I had serious unhappiness inside that displaced me from the lift everyone was receiving from the times. I was there, sort of. What I am remembering now, reading “Dharma Bums” is some of what I was unable to appreciate at the time and it is having an odd effect on what I am going through right now in dealing with this settling in here. I’m making my first home.

What I am going through right now is clearly
buyer’s remorse. Many people experience it and I know what it is so clearly because I had serious postpartum after my sons where born and it feels almost exactly the same only there are no crying babies and my breasts aren’t swollen with milk. But all month I’ve been on the verge of tears and my soul is tender.

Once I identified what I was going through, that’s when I began a “tactic” to get into making what is currently my purchase into my home…do some things to make it feel like it’s MINE! I began to design a grotto outside of what would be my studio door. The Japanese kno
tweed that I need to eradicate in the fall was growing up nicely and helping me imagine what I wanted. It had also provided a shelter from the headlights that I discovered after I moved in would pour into my living room at night from passing traffic.

It was working! I was getting up quicker in the morning, I began exercising and I started an art project. I was dreaming about my beautiful grotto when I got up last Monday morning to discover someone had cut down all of the cozy shelter spring had provided me…
someone had taken a machete and cut the knotweed down to the ground! Butchered.

I went outside in awe and rage and confusion! I couldn’t breathe! How could this happen? Isn’t this my property? I was dumbstruck when I realized that I really didn’t know where exactly my property line was. Anger mounted. I got myself calmed down and went and kno
cked on neighbor’s doors. No one answered. I called my partner-in-residential purchase, Michael, and he didn’t understand any of why I was so upset which seemed to upset him. I was on a slippery slope of despair.

I locked myself in my bedroom with my Dharma Bums and I’ve pretty much been there all week wondering what in the name of
Prajna am I doing getting so fucked up over this. Why am I manifesting all of this WOE? I finally remembered that it is all about the journey and really all about my anger and feelings of displacement. I am thoroughly pissed off and I feel as though my life is a wasteland and that I have allowed myself to be lead around by the nose by convention when it is not serving me one iota of genuine peace. A little late? …well, not really because I have simply forgotten. I may not have read the handbook at the time, but I was there in the dharma days and it’s actually just a matter of altering my perspective and remembering the bigger picture.

The time is right for me now to settle. It’s just that my idea of hurling myself into details is the totally wrong approach for me in this situation. Someone stealing my spring gift of a six foot leafy fence brought that home to me. Fortunately I had my paw wrapped around the Kerouac or things would be a lot worse for me today. Yeah I’m angry and I’m frustrated and I’m low - it’s part of being human. But the big picture is where I need to be now…looking at how rocking the journey has been. Looking at the SCOPE of events that brings me to this time and space.

So what came first…the Kerouac or the curve? Or are they both conspiring for my mortal soul? You decide.


Those were good times caravanning through the those mad, mad golden hills of northern California smokin’, drinkin and laughing about it all until all we
could do was lay back and try and dig all of the big, big sky and the wild stars in their crazy dance! Damn! I got to be there for that…

I look down from there;
I look back from here;
I look forward from there

…And I laugh.

Photo credit Larry Mars

1 comment:

Jim said...

Beautiful writing and even more beautiful sentiments Cile.

I too am troubled by the cutting down of the knotweed. Just as I am troubled by those who come into my imagined place of solace on the web and begin slashing with machete. To stand up to them or even react to them so often causes them to swing harder. And if not them, then the Karmic equivalent a few weeks later.

I watched a squirrel after birds stole the seeds he was storing. His anger was apparent by his chattering - but what he did was gather more seeds and stuff them right back in the trunk. Dumb squirrel. But he made his point to the robber birds and himself. And to me.

Plant morning glories. Hundreds of them. Buy 20 packages of seeds and sprinkle them in the raw dark earth. Heavenly Blue. Water them and tend them in peace.

They are my favorite.