Saturday, April 05, 2008

Life impacts my senses at the speed of light

Life impacts my senses at the speed of light. A moment emerges and is gone, both enfolded and supplanted by the next moment, the next sensation, like a mini-series of lives and deaths. When I am present to this I become aware of the ongoing drama of my inner-life, and how untouched I often am by the outer world.

I walked through a garden today, a garden drenched in misty rain, bathed in shadows and momentary shafts of light. It smelled of the earthworm's gratitude and the mating of flowers. My senses delivered me from my self-absorbed brooding. I've much to brood over, I suppose, and no one begrudges me my pensiveness... except me.

Preoccupied with my thoughts, I walked unseeingly past brilliant red camellias, purple-white magnolias, and tiny yellow azaleas and penjing forests. At some point I realized I had walked a quarter of the way through the garden without seeing a thing. And stopped. My feet had been following the lovely patterned walkway just as my mind had been following its predictable course, flowing along the thought-patterns I've developed over the years. In the tumult of life, I look for ways to control my circumstances, for ways to alleviate the pain of suffering and loss, the crush of anxiety, and the desire for isolation. And often, the way I cope, the way many people cope, is to try to fit experiences into a predictable pattern so that I can then anticipate the future.

Life is uncertain. It is contingent. It is poignant. It is absurd, and tragic, and indescribably beautiful. It happens. I cannot control the flow of life. I cannot control the speed at which life impacts me. I can only control myself: how I respond within, and how I react. My senses send messages to my brain about reality, and the filter of my attitudes in turn creates my perception of reality. In resuming the life I left behind in January, I jumped into an irresistible flow of if-only's and should-be's and might-have-beens that generated feelings of frustration and disappointment and sadness.

And standing there in the garden, my hair and face misted with cool moisture, my nose assaulted with scents and my eyes with colour, I stopped. I dropped out of my preoccupied thought-flow and opened myself up to the sensual immediacy of what I was experiencing in the here-now. And in doing so, I remembered my freedom.

I was born free. Free of cares and concerns and cravings. My concerns were immediate: food, water, shelter, affection. I responded to and learned from my environment: this burns, that is so cold it hurts, this stings, that tastes sweet, etc. And then I learned semiotics and language. I learned what things meant. And I also learned to give meanings to things. And that... that is what started the descent into hell--that fall from innocence. Life happens around children, and they use their children's minds to determine causality, and then meaning, and they build continuously upon this fragile framework of childish logic an adult life, until as adults we are long past realizing that we are responding to The Now out of patterns established in childhood that have no bearing on the present. Such patterns rarely lead to healthy, rich, fulfilling adult lives. How can they? Children are acquisitive. They want. They dream. They are continuously bewitched by the perceived desirability of what they see/imagine but do not have. Some adults evolve beyond this stage, but most do not. Most of us live under a childish cloud of dissatisfied acquisition and unconsummated craving.

Life impacted my senses, and my senses sent their messages to my brain, and my mind finally called everything to a halt. It took stock of where I was and what I was experiencing, and in that moment, I knew who and what I was, and I responded freely and authentically to what was actually happening. I remembered my freedom and my joy, remembered that there is no intrinsic meaning to my life. My life is like an empty vessel, and I choose what fills it. There in the garden, I emptied the cup of my mind, and then extended myself, extended all of my senses, and experienced the moment. I took refuge in the moment and found sanctuary. I found freedom in the absence of all that 'meaning' I had haphazardly gathered in an attempt to define both the world and who I was in it.

It was a moment of bliss, a moment in which I could see beyond the vanishing point of my perspective to the place where it converges with the infinite possibility of All-That-I-Am. And then it was gone. In a flash, the habitual thought-patterns reasserted themselves and
I was once again my familiar self. My consciousness embraced my identity like a child does a beloved toy. My sense of calmness and vulnerability remained with me for the duration of my walk through the garden, however, and I resolved to remember to embrace the life that impacts me at the speed of light.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

... and to embrace the light that carries me at the speed of life.

- SacredTouch

12:51 AM, April 06, 2008  

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