This Is Earth

This is Earth, sell your house.  Go on, do it.  Just see it through.  How will any change ever truly come about if you don’t sell your house?  There are many thoughts inside your head that are not true.

This is Earth.  Give away all that you own.  Don’t be afraid, just begin.  The rest will take care of itself.  How can you ever breathe the true breath of the world – drawn way up under your collarbones – if you don’t give away all you own?

This is Earth.  Release all that is expected of you.  Forget everything they want you to be.  Close your eyes and make the brave discovery.  Do not let the noise of the world drown out the voice inside you, the voice that is to be held by you, above all the other voices, whose speech only you can understand.

This is Earth.  Know what is home to you.  It might be someone’s face held in your hands, or the music of waves crashing.  Keep your path, and the feeling of home, close.

This is Earth.  Do you know what you must do?  Only surrender to the door through which you must go.

 

Above Taughannock Falls

Viewed from the sky, the circle in which you expedite your daily life is a speck on the surface of the planet. But that doesn’t mean you’re any less the center of the universe than anything else. We are all whiling away the What Has Been, the What Is, and the What Is To Be, hurtling forward through our small lives with all their small details.

Maybe that’s why I was so relieved when, the other day, you coaxed me out of the car to walk through a tropical downpour, the defibrillator of thunder charging my arrhythmia back to life. How does apprehension unfold into exhilaration so seamlessly?

If given the chance, it can, and it will.

I followed you to the rain-ripened creek and we sank in, the seam of the water rising to meet our throats. You sang a lullaby, siren-like, and I – half drunk sailor – was caught by it. We held each other beneath the soft water and the rain left us. The sun returned, its dazzle commanding our attention as steam rose from stones. A billowing thunderhead shifted against the blue, reminding you of New Mexico’s big sky.

Emerging, we drip-dried below whispering treetops. A rustling wind made friends with us then, a wind whose kind voice suggested I view all things with sleepy eyes. Standing there with you, I thought I might be riding some sort of stationary current, aware of external motion from the vantage point of perfect stillness.

Standing there with you, I leapt from the fire of doing into the cradle of not-doing, the two places rubbing together and making sparks.

 

Beneath

Your life is not a neat and tidy little package. You are not just the basic facts they trot out in the printed insult of an obituary once you’ve left this world: born here, worked as a so-and-so, married twice or not at all, had children or didn’t, survived by three goldfish and a nephew who’s sad you’re gone but hopes to get his hands on your record collection.

No, underneath the surface distractions of health insurance and grocery lists and registration renewals and wondering how you’ll pay for everything, your life is vast, messy. Full of pain, crippling fears, secret longings. But your journey, whatever its length and nature, is something you can learn to honor. You could close your eyes and penetrate with clear vision right through your fingertips like an afterburner pulling yourself along in your own wake.