Thursday, March 10, 2011

TIME PASSES, BUT DOES LIFE GO WITH IT?

Life is streaming by. I look forward to each day because it is closer to something I’m waiting for. Not that I know what it is I'm waiting for. In the meantime life is exiting the hourglass a few grains each day. Why am I at a loss for what to do with this moment? More to the point, what do I not like about this moment?

I’m old enough to think about my death. How will it come? Will I die of sickness or accident? Will it be sudden or drawn out? Will my partner die before me? I would prefer to go first, but this is probably a purely selfish desire. About seven years ago the consciousness that accompanies the final lap on this journey entered my personal world. After 55, the reality of time begins breaking through the defenses of youth. When my grandparents died I was shocked out of the youthful assumption that nothing really changes.

When my father died it changed my identity in relationship to time and family, and when my mother passed I realized the dangers wrought by development and time that are out of sync. She was still very young inside. Her soul was a pink rose not fully opened, and had chosen the best way to leave an old body before it didn’t serve her anymore. It caught us by surprise. It haunts me in a way that my father’s death did not. His personality and his body matched in age, and he needed a new start on both. But mom had just begun to find her way out into the sunlight from a cramped space and then run into the time limits imposed by the physical world.

I was always aware that I would not die young. But I was driven by a fierce desire to make the best of my time on earth, and was very aware that I had become lost in a flood pool somewhere and after the storm the main river sloshed by without me. Again and again I have reviewed my life trying to find the place in time where I was caught. But the larger me is aware that this was not just an accident and that that place will never be found. The circumstances of life may or may not be accidental but the individual purpose is up to each of us to sort out. The Trickster shows us where we are fools but also how little it matters because the meaning of life doesn’t show itself in merely external results. There are things to experience and learn in a flood pool as well as in a river.

Expectations and assumptions are the cause of impatience. Why assume that there is more to life on the big river, and then again is there even a river? Life expectations so easily dissolve when scrutinized. This may be the Trickster’s main accomplishment. By sending us on the proverbial “wild goose chase,” we gradually learn that chasing is useless. We already have whatever we need and time is a canvas not a clock. You will paint your portrait whether or not you intend to do so.