Been pretty deep in the muck in the past few weeks.. You know the muck, right? The mire, the mud, the sticky Earth that promises to take you so deep into the darkness of all the things we call this human life. You know, that movement downward into the soil that allows us each to be born again, renewed and nourished into blossom by the worms, the humus, the shit. Yep – that muck.. I’ve been right there in it. Deep in the cool Earth with all it’s weird smells and strange dances of pressure and release…. I’ve been continuing on as one strange thing happens before another can take place. I’ve been in a battle with parasites in both my own body and the bodies of those I love. I’ve walked home after my bike seemed to have walked the other way with some unknown stranger. I’ve tried to cross a creek, but slipped into the current, and that has landed me on my butt, knee wrapped in ice and elevated in its new oversized shape. There’s more…there’s always more…
With all this mud in my ears, I have moments of catching the wind and hearing the song of the birds on it. I have these brief moments of clarity where the green lycan that clings to the trees is able to cling softly to my mind and return me to the present moment – sweet as it can be. I have sweet moments of reprieve from this seemingly endless landslide of muck that is racing happily to come meet me. It’s in these moments of pause that the lessons inherent in all of these things begin to make themselves known. In the light of each unfolding, a larger view of what stands beneath each of these injuries and missteps becomes clearer, and more apparent. It’s not easy to witness when I’m looking down at each hiccup or when I’m loudly demanding “why”. These lessons become illusive when I find myself searching for them…in fact, it seems that the harder I look, the deeper down I sink… In those moments of searching, the wind seems to still, the world seems to go quiet and all I’m left with is my own searching – the answers sliding away from my awareness with the world that sings and breathes around me.
This is a moment of pause. With a swollen knee and not much to do other than wait and heal, I’m finally accepting that here is where I am…down in the muck. With such acceptance comes this one wish of myself to myself. I hear within me the whispered request to please, be present. Each moment of pause gives space to these lessons…
Be present to your life as you move your body from place to place. Be present to your life as you find yourself in one place over another. Be present as your body moves from stagnant to awakened. Be present so you can be attentive to the unfolding of another chapter…an unfolding into another way of being that requires the dissolution and rearranging of what has come before. Be present to the state of destruction so you can begin to rebuild – when the time comes. Do not wish it over. Do not wish it done. Stay present so you can move through, collecting the wisdom being offered to you. Because surely, there is wisdom here…but to hold it, we must hold the destruction, the breakdown, the muck.
I’ll tell you what though, I don’t want to. I don’t want to be laid out or have things go missing to learn this lesson. And yet, how else do we really learn them? How else are they going to take root if we are not able to make space for them? Because each moment in our lives has a purpose. Each moment is an act of creation in which we can begin to allow ourselves to engage in the process of our becoming. But to do that, we need presence. And to do that, I think we need pause. And pause…well pause can come in many shapes and sizes from endless places. For me, it comes from the wind, the birds, the sun and the trees. It comes from moments of interaction with place that allow me to become amazed with every process in the world, including my own.
I offer this tale as an acknowledgement that when we are searching for answers, we often miss them. But when we are able to find pause, even just for a moment, maybe just to enjoy the breeze, we create space for the answers to come to us. We also must know that only some answers are available in the muck and they’ll deliver us to them, whenever we fall.
Open to the muck, the mud. That precious darkness that teaches us endlessly how to find our light.