I’m slowly putting some order in the first week of this new year. I began writing this three days ago.
2019’s First Day
This morning instead of writing in my 2018 tattered grey journal, I decided to begin a new journal. After all, there were only three empty pages left in this old one. I went to the shelf where I’d seen two empty journals earlier. To my surprise, they were not empty, they were full of 1998. So much for any hope of a blank slate. I interpreted this as a suggestion that I compare then and now. And so, I leafed through them to reconnect with my old self. I was very sad then. Most of my concepts about what gave meaning to my life were being massacred. I felt that the engine of my soul was dead, and I was silently drifting on left over momentum.
In hindsight it looks very different and the end of hope turned out to be a necessary detour. The other revelation was that the subjects of my mental gnawing had not changed but my approach has changed. On one hand, it’s possible to see life as being trapped on a Merry-go-Round but the difference was the state of soul with which I interpreted this circular ride. After all, we are on a round planet turning and turning in the same direction. And on a cosmic scale our earth goes `round and `round the Sun who also has its own circular journey in the cosmos. In a sense, we never go anywhere new. But the journey seems new if we crack through the crust of habitual perception and allow ourselves to be clueless. It may feel vulnerable but that’s the only condition that permits transformation.
The last week of 2018, I was physically and mentally low. It wasn’t an emotional depression but more like an empty fuel tank. But there was something else going on that required descending into something like hibernation. It didn’t escalate into frustration because time educated me that new experience requires an empty vessel and seen with new eyes empty space is full of options we may have overlooked because they were not on the old list of recognized possibilities. Frustration, sometimes verging on despair is required to jump start the engine of discovery in our high-speed world.
Today in the cold and snow, the Pueblo is doing the turtle dance. PQ and cold weather are not compatible and so we stayed home. It was lovely and peaceful doing nothing. The New Year came in quietly. We watched the powdery snowflakes drifting silently downward. It was healing to do nothing beyond a few simple routines while sending and receiving good wishes for the New Year. Of course, we all know that the world beyond that peaceful winter scene framed by the living room window is fraught with madness, fear, desperation and uncertainty but the earth continues to turn, the Sun rises each morning and this year here in New Mexico we will have more water after a dry 2018.
Mother Earth is expressing turmoil in tandem with the confused desperation of her human residents. This earth journey has never been an easy ride. As the Turtle Dancers rhythmically stroke the earth with their reverent feet gently stirring her to another round, I feel gratitude that life continues despite the alienation of those who fight with their fear and rage against peace.
I no longer despair about situations that I can’t change. There are hidden rivers of power beneath our vision rushing with cosmic force, but I will dance my humble steps as best I can to the rhythms of creation. As a student of the earth dance, I may not get it just right this time around, but I now recognize that dissonances exist in every song and provide a contrasting frame for the respite of balance. We have entered a new year and bring to it the effects of our previous years. I will work to resolve the discords of loss, defeat and fear with peace and balance. It seems like the best any of us can do for our besieged world.