Spent most of yesterday just shy of pique – back aching from multiple shifts with a shovel, the emotional strain of feeling superior to my neighbors who use snow blowers, etc. The dogs were confused too, as they always are when we don’t walk, even though we’re outside together. The younger in particular would dash off, come back, stare as if asking, When . . .
The electricity went out as well, which was charming for five minutes, spiritually enlightening for ten, and then just maddening. The Buddha I am not. It put me in the mind of John Demos’ Circles and Lines, a fine book that captures better than any in my experience the (uneasy?) relationship between our physical and spiritual conditions. Specifically he talks about Colonial settlers, the routines and rhythms that dominated their lives. Theirs were circular being rooted in the natural world (light of days, weather of seasons, repeat). Ours are straight, moving ever onward, because we are rooted in . . . capitalism? Well, the idea that the future will be a tad better, shinier, faster, more efficient, etc. And so much of what we make removes us from the natural world, keeps it at bay.
Knowing a bit about the circular mode (remembering it, mostly), I am driven to painful distraction when the linear reality of my life smacks me upside the head. No computer, no music, no lights to drive first shadows then night away. My mind locked in my body shrieking ‘this can’t be it! It can’t!”
But then today I made it out in the woods again, and the dogs too, and came back to make tea, feeling not especially strongly about anything. These lines resonated from my reading in A Course In Miracles this morning (I paraphrase): you don’t object to God answering the call of others nor perceive it as a threat to his answering your own call because you know, however dimly, that God is an idea which is strengthened by such sharing.
What is harder for me to get is the notion that I, took, am an idea – in which the idea of God can be found – and I too am strengthened through sharing, literally unto the divine. That kind of thinking – which Emily Dickinson held and extended so beautifully – literally makes me dizzy. My mind humps overtime to try and find a way out. Yet – and perhaps this the point of this morning’s five paragraphs – I am not so distressed at yesterday’s stumbling and feel not much lifted today as unconcerned and thus prepared . . .