Today – another tick in the annual count for she-who-scribbles while her spacecraft steers itself around the sun.
Sitting watching the morning star rise in the pre-dawn coolness, I thought back to this offering, which I posted exactly a year ago on this unlit light blog. It wants to be shared here. I fancy it might be my yearly birthday post, since I can’t find one word I’d change. And I need these words.
Birthdays are a good time to reflect on one’s blessings, and to offer gratitude to our friends for their kindness and thoughtfulness. I always begin my birthday with a gesture of thanks to my mother, who not only gave me the miraculous opportunity for life, but also fostered, nourished and inspired the flourishing of that life in every way possible.
Now in my eighth decade, and delighting in life regardless of its curved balls, I feel to share some of the observations that have delivered me to this joy. It’s the best I can offer; may your mind and heart be able to receive.
But what you are never feels pain.
But what you are remains unchanged, eternally.
You’re flat and exhausted and depressed.
But what you are is forever poised as equanimity.
You’re broke, stressed, squeezed dry, homeless and hungry.
But what you are is unaffected and impartial.
You’re smashed by disappointment, betrayal, abandonment.
But what you are is ever calm, accepting and unbroken.
You’re afflicted by physical and mental aberrations, abnormalities, imbalances.
But what you are never suffers for one second.
So what you are is clearly something with which you need to become very familiar. And it’s e-a-s-y to do so. You don’t need a formal introduction. You don’t need a manual or a map or a guide book. You don’t need to change your religion or your beliefs (although changes may well occur as a result). You don’t need a 12-step plan or a meditation practice.
What you are is more obvious and closer than the tip of your nose. It’s the one experience you can never escape, 24/7.
What would you call that? Your aliveness? Your awareness? Your presence? All these words come close, but none are ultimately true or exact. Why?
Because they aren’t yours. Or mine. Or anyone’s. Drop the personal pronoun, and there you are – radiant all-knowing alive presence. The Light of Knowingness, self-luminous, always-on, never-needing fuel or flint…
And that is what you are – free, fulfilled and flourishing as all you conceive, perceive and experience. All of it.
How wondrous that this is possible – that this primordial awareness is huge enough to hold the entirety of creation, excluding nothing – yet be unaffected and unmoved by any expression of its handmaiden, consciousness.
It is truly The Beloved, the Godhead of the saints and sages and poets.
And it is what you are.
Image – Bowl, Miriam Louisa Simons, Japanese washi, threads, cardboard