Rising and falling, rising and falling, rising and falling… so is the Universe, and our lives we are taught in such streams as Vipassana, and within this scheme the conscious mind is peacefully observing. Equanimity, they teach us, is the ultimate goal, neither desirous, nor perturbed… accepting of the patterned laws of the World and ever aware, watching, always at peace.
But oh how my own little human feelings shift from one day to the next, and oh how one day the sea roars with her fury, only to fall sublime and mirror-calm in the next. Oh how rains beat down on the lone observer, only to clear and reveal tomorrow’s sunniest warmth. When we are wise, arise, we watch and are not awed by sentiments… when we are wise, yes… but I am not always wise… who is?
And what a tumultuous last two months that have passed! perhaps the most challenging of my life. In 2012 I’d cultivated many novelties, among them a vibrant organic farm operation, incredible personal developments, and thriving interpersonal relationships with family, friends, and clientele. Things had seemed to be more and more under the control of my conscious designs, and it seemed that Universe was with me, catalyzing my many dreams, creating molecules of elements, production of visions. I’d seemed to be progressing on life-long goals: to create a livelihood spanning conscientious agriculture projects in both Canada and South America… Guyana was supposed to be about that, I’d thought: a productive international experience, the ideal mixture of travel with service and green, always green. I was sure I was on track, but alas…!
Then came that ruinous attack, that violent collision, that falling to victim of cruelty, ignorance, racism, hatred, and abuse. I am left here struggling to comprehend, to accept, to move beyond, and to put into words the force of that beating and subsequent escape, infection, and cessation of work in Guyana. The blows were deep and the losses more than of blood alone. Violent trauma, then but a foreign concept, became integral and held me in its nefarious clutches. And though I instantly received vast new information: new data, a cellular understanding of vile tendencies still at large today in our human world, I also lost much, suffered great losses, and suffer. Cast to the sea of martyrdom, I lost some of the blind trust (or was it social naivety?) that had let me live this adventuresome last decade… my faith was pulverized and nearly drowned.
So what of equanimity?
Neither can I just let it be, but I try to launch myself to ever-greater elation, elevation, try to extrude great leaps of learning and personal perceptual evolution from it all; to not just accept the perpetrators of this heinous act, but to embrace and Love them even! Bah, bullshit, baloney!! In the bottom of my heart I am sickened by the filth of it all: the nameless, faceless aggressors; the lawlessness of that forsaken country and all other oppressed peoples and states; the thousands of years of brutal slavery, torture, and oppression; the fierce ignorance and apathy that allows these patterns to persist into our times!
I lay fallow to slow physical healing, to failure, and fear, and the drudgery of necessarily lethargic weeks, and to bouts of severe depression even, and questions without answers. ‘Why did this happen?’ I screamed asking to myself over and over, trying in futility to generate some meaning, but none came. I can’t see why any of it has happened! Sense is non-sense. Was it all a sign that I had in fact been ‘off track’ the whole time… my whole life even?!
In a recent personal development course on integrity we’d talked lots about the power of story. Story is the ongoing dialogue we hear nearly all the time in our minds, whether we’re listening acutely or not. If you listen right now you can hear it… perhaps it’s analyzing what I’ve just written, what you’ve just read… ‘Is it true, or not true?’ do you agree and comply? Or perhaps it’s more interested in getting thinner, or making love, or resolving some broken relationship, building a better car or business. Really, it goes on and on and on, creating patchwork meanings from the fragments of things we’ve collected, things we’ve heard others say, things we’ve read, things we’ve been taught or learned from our experiences. To our culture, legends served to guide us, to give direction when we needed it… but inside ourselves, in our own inner personal worlds, stories can lead us way astray. Reality is far more, and far less, than we can begin to perceive objectively through the thick lens of our experience and reflections… the refractions to colours and textures are our own meddling with what happens out there… and we are not at the centre of the Universe, but mere fragments, parts of a super-massive whole, grand beyond comprehension, so why try?!
Then I was back in Canada, beaten up, deeply wounded, failed professionally, and flirting with a confusing serpentine depression. All of a suddend I was without work to do, without a service or practice, without optimal health, and without valid meaning in my life. So I made a decision and acted swiftly on it: Go back to Brazil. I’d use some of the money I’d received from catching up on three years of income tax and I’d zip on down to Brazil to ‘get back on track’. When I’d left Brazil a year and a half ago I’d thought I’d return soon, but I didn’t. I love her, feel some strange attraction to her, as if… but then the stories resume… and all the fantasies and visions I carry, all the experiences I’ve had, all the things I’ve told people I’d do here start whirling around: expectations kill the moment and slaughter the magic! But anyways, what was it that I had envisioned was going to happen?
In my internal story I’d simply return and pick up where I’d left off last time I was here: so healthy and at peace. I’d re-live and add to the multitudes of amazing experiences I’d had, the seeming miracles I’d witnessed and partaken in. I’d stay with old friends and pick up with them where we’d left off too… and things would be exactly the same as they were or better – the mind’s grasp on time and the changes that happen therein is exceedingly weak. In my story I’d be a beloved hero: I’d return to Rapha’s land and cultivate there, partake in making great things happen there and thrive; I’d go to Julia and express my full love for her and she’d reciprocate; I’d arrived to the university and be heralded with trumpets and bells…
But instead I arrived to Sao Paulo, pop. 22 000 000 to no sizzling fanfare, just a grey expanse of buildings, upon buildings, upon buildings upon… an Atlantic Rainforest-turned urban jungle, a garden of Eden-turned Babylonian prison of concrete and steel and eye-stinging smog… and my little wounded heart, my shipwrecked body, the vessel of my spirit and vision cast forth seeking a resurgence of strength, love, manifest beauty, and green…
Yet even courting a grin – for the arrival is always so pleasant to the I – I stumbled out into the grey light, into the haze, spoke some words in the singing foreign tongue, and launched into the travel, pinkling on my new companion, my dear sweet Uke. I played a merry mystery song, hopped a bus and as soon as I’d arrived, was zoom-zoom leaving that nebulous grey whole. Oh how the city pulls the rural light into its center, it’s devouring core, oh how once within, all memory of space and time and freedom and the unbridled expression of sweet Ecos is erased. Reality becomes an urban drama, an endless cycling of to-the-top seekers clawing either for survival or more luxurious ends. But to the top of what pile?
So before the invisible giant, before the nefarious gravitational force could grab me, before it could lure me, persuade me with its illegitimate promises of glory, of women, of fame, of culture, of risings, risings, risings, and the inevitable crash, yes before all of that, I was away!!! To the forest, to the farm, to the family, gente fina!
-Interlude- you’ve already read the story of Rapha (see last blog post): of the strangeness of a paradise going wrong, falling off. Of ideals and talk, of reality and lethargy. Perhaps that’s the general tale of Earth? With all the potential to act kindly and lovingly, to be still and graceful, to live in abundance… we choose grief! Oh grief leave my heart! and leave the heart of my True love, Gaia! Let us live in peace and sweetness, in plenitude and generosity, in creation, and yes, in Love.
Then back, a floating back, a struggle against my will, a backtracking, a longing search for connection. It’s that which I seek, no escape, no holiday. It’s connection I crave, buried somewhere, hidden, out of reach. It’s hiding there, behind the veil, behind the sheen, a joking, taunting, choking, belittling flame. And it warms my curiousity only then to burn me and be snuffed out, disempowering me with its smug illusion… and I know my enemy – instinctual desires – and yet I flirt with her bitter poisons, so sweet, sometimes…
And there is she: promisor of Truth, beacon of uplift and belong, of acceptance and creation, of ancient intuitive magics, of wisdom, flower lust, and holistic repose… and my Love, I would hold you forever if you’d let me near, for your word is real, I feel it all around me, recognize in your eyes the sweet fertility where calmness resides, and I would too… let me oh chance and design, let me to reside near my sweet one again.
Hers are the hands of grace, sweet petals, soft and merry strokes. If idle, I would wade to immerse my spirit in the flowing stream, watch one by one as her pastel colours unite and fade into the crystal unity, whispering invisible love stories to the banks and mosses and ferns. Hers are the eyes of forest and musk, of familiar mysteries shown only temporarily and rare to mine, the celestial seekers; to the growing-weary eyes of age and a seemingly endless search for the simple luxury of Love, of simple recognitions that all is truly good, all is full, all is fair and calmness the Law. Sweet lady I knew you once in a lucid dream, only arrival and remain.
Grace, you are the primordial awakening, the first taste of fruit, the dawning of unity after great millennial divides, and symphonies after silence. You are the dew upon leaves under warm moonlight breezes, the promise of warmth after cool rains, the simplicity of the zigzag flight patterns of bees, and ripe pollen, at once complex and utterly pure. Yes here I freeze and bloom in your gaze, am so deeply warmed, and if not for convention and good education I could occupy my paternal force and draw you towards my center. If Spring were willing, I could express what must be reflected: Truth; that this is a bond made in time, for time, and our time… coming or not… is shared. The road is long, Sweetness, and I sometimes can’t see and end I would prefer, and loose the light of hope even as your earth eyes close to sleep and dream yet again with the Divine.
Be you real or mere fantasy, I hope and pray for you Arrival…