I’m feeling quite backed up and overwhelmed by what I would like to write about. It’s a little weird that I have this compulsion to share my experiences and how I process them, but that’s the way it is, so here I am.
It’s a bit passed 6:30. I got up at 4am.
I have a theory that if I can adhere to any thread of a semblance of consistency that order and perhaps a smidgeon of disciple will evolve out of the practice. That is how I rationalize checking my email first and then looking at Facebook for a while. The third leg of that trifecta is a quick review of current events via The Huffington Post. I was quite touched, this morning, by their exclusive release of Joe Walsh’s recent offering “Analog Man” – his first song in twenty years. I was still a bit tender from watching Bonnie Raitt sing “Angel from Montgomery” the other night with Steven Colbert.
Anyway, my long term goal is to feel a part of the human race and I trudge along that trail in various feeble ways regardless of my internal opposition.
“Mine is not to reason why …” Aside from the macabre theme intrinsic to Tennyson’s poetic retelling of a tragically heroic military venture, I have long been lifted up by his commanding words.
Sometimes it is just best to charge ahead firmly buoyed by the belief that one’s actions are the next right thing to do.
So, … somewhere back there I came to trust myself to act on what I perceived to be the next right thing: sometimes because it just felt right; and occasionally because I paused to consider the options; and sometimes just because I have a mysterious faith in my reactions. I mean, really … every day is “the valley of death” no one is promised tomorrow and even though Bonnie with her band and Joe with his crew strum and croon on decade after decade, still making my heart soar and my eyes leak, the truth within the line, “They rode back, but not the six hundred.” echoes off of yesterdays.
There was a chunk of my past that was spent mingling with a very educational fellowship. That motley crew had more advice to offer than one could shake a stick at. Many lessons remain indelibly etched in my psyche – some were inscrolled via faith and others ingrained by experience; some remain enigmatic. The latter are usually the admonitions that come back to visit from time to time. Those are the times I sit and attempt to reason, “why?”
One such phrase is referred to as a promise. One of many promises guaranteed to result from a prescribed course of action. That promise is, as most of them are, stated as successes of the collective, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” Well, I think it is human nature to have regrets, which I suppose is part of the point in their message. As I recall, a primary tenant of that fellowship has always been that, “The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.”
That premises is put forth in a manner similar to the license plates in New Hampshire – “Live Free or Die”.
Some, perhaps some of you reading this, have had the luxury of a softer choice. From where I sit, those fortunate folks who, for whatever reason, felt drawn to or through thought and consideration decided that a spiritual life was a good option; a viable alternative; a better way to live; a calling; a mission; a pleasant path – well, God bless ‘em all.
I don’t often think about it anymore, but as of late, Twitter has reminded me.
There is an ilk that has been backed into corners with guns held to their heads; not uncommonly literally. “It is not their fault. They were born that way.” The unseen force of addiction compelled them “to charge into the valley of death” over and over again. A few are able to trudge out of that valley, “but not the six hundred.”
It is said to be simple. It is freely admitted that it is not easy. It is thought that one must experience such a state to understand. I don’t know. I have known nothing else. My human nature is not my friend. I have learned to weaken it by siphoning off its patients. It patiently waits for me to forget to meditate. It patiently waits for me to isolate, to withdraw, to neglect to connect, to sink back into the morose quagmire of selfishness and flounder once again futilely in the illusions of this world.
So, … occasionally, I write as I cohabitate with “cannon to the right … cannon to left … and cannon behind…” I do not regret the past. I have no wish to close the door on it. Hell, it provides plenty of material for all these stories.
Maybe tomorrow, I’ll jot a few notes about what I was thinking about sharing.
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