July 8, 2013

A New Day



Chicken and fence welcome sign-- wood and metal.
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning 
Praise for the springing fresh from the word 

(Sung by Cat Stevens. Lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon. See more at: http://www.allspirit.co.uk/morning.html

 Very often as I hurtle through these busy summer days, always rushing it seems, and always falling a bit further behind with each day, I find myself humming one old tune or another. There was a time in my life when through meditation and contemplation, and a bit more self-discipline than is seemingly my lot just now, I could successfully quiet the nagging and pesky inner dialogue which is so often a part of the human condition. It seems to have crept back in over the course of several years, and now be intent on running my life. It is back with a vengeance, and the only way I keep it at bay is to let the music, that lives also in my busy mind, play. So I often hum as I go about my daily business. Over the course of several decades, I have acquired a rather immense library of familiar and dearly loved tunes. This is not something I think about. Songs, some I have not heard in many years, are just there. Sometimes it is the full experience— lyrics, tune and even the approximate year and the band who recorded it. Other times a tune will worry around my mind, and I am unable to let it go till I remember the words that go along with it. At times like that, Google is a wonderful tool. Mostly though, the music just serves as a backdrop to my activities, and sometimes something I see or hear brings a particular piece of music to mind. At times like those, I often fancy that the music, the particular song I am hearing in my head, is a message. I think that Spirit has to find other means of speaking to us when we get so busy and involved that we ignore or under-nurture our spiritual sides. 

Morning has broken.
Eastern Sky at Daybreak
Such seemed to be the case as I gazed out the window early one morning a week or so ago while I waited for the coffee to brew. The sky was, simply put, beautiful. Mornings are often lovely here, but that day was magnificent. As an old Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) song I had not heard in years began to wind softly through my consciousness, I shook off my morning torpor and ran to get my camera. How exhilarating it is to venture out early and greet the day. In the days since, this tune has often been in my mind. So, is there a message there? I think maybe the answer is yes. Morning has broken— that could just be an archaic way of saying that it is past dawn. Or, it could be a more personal communication to a woman whose favorite time of day was once morning. Now, I get up grudgingly, wincing at the aches and pains the night seems to inevitably leave me with. I do not even court wakefulness once I am up, as all that accomplishes is to remind me of an endless list of tasks that need to be attended to. So, I cling to my grogginess and more often than not miss the beauty of the early day. While I will say that I am doing ever so much better than just a few months ago, I still have a very long way to go. I exist these days in a sort of busy void, neither particularly happy or unhappy, but preoccupied and rather unfocused a good deal of the time. Once again I am quite certain that I am being nudged though, to wake back up to a greater reality, to See and to Breathe in Life rather than just getting through it. "Praise for the singing, praise for the morning. Praise for the springing fresh from the word." 

Barn and Crepe Myrtle.
 Have I made any progress toward these lofty goals I espouse in this blog? I suppose that depends upon ones' definition of progress. I am still thinking about doing yoga and meditating. But since I already "think" far too much, all this accomplishes seemingly is to add to my already overtaxed synaptic activity, and to make me feel mildly guilty that thinking about these important things is all I am doing. I keep telling myself that there is no shortage of exercise or activity in my life. It is summer— the yard and the weeds practically grow right before my eyes. I have spent many hot, sweaty hours outdoors of late, and expect that I shall keep right on doing so in the foreseeable future. However, I am avoiding. Exercise is not at the crux of this particular dilemma, though being healthier, in better shape and more active are desirable attainments. It has got a lot more to do with the approach I am currently taking to my life, and that is piecemeal and rather frantic. Meanwhile, the household chores are still there, a myriad tasks constantly vying for my attention, and quite frankly, I am engaged in my usual overload of Projects. I only wish my list of accomplishments were commensurate with the amount of effort I seem to be expending. Do you ever feel like Don Quixote, tilting at metaphorical windmills? So often lately, I feel that trying to be equal to the task that is life is just such a futile act. Intellectually, I can see that I have created of my life the giant, or monster in this case, and that I am taking it all far too seriously, but the heart still insists on despairing.

I spoke before of quieting the "inner dialogue", that running conversation we all carry on with ourselves in order to assure that we are we, that reason and consciousness are firmly in control. What a load of bull our egos insist on feeding us. I long for that quiet place inside, for truth and the opportunity to experience what I truly am. I think that what I need to cultivate while I wait until I am able to undertake the Path toward Enlightenment I sometimes See so clearly before me, is openness and acceptance. Until I can embrace this mass of contradictions which has become me just now, I cannot move forward. I cannot be what I truly am until I accept myself and forgive myself right now. In earlier times, this Spiritual progress came no easier or quicker, but having already run this particular course, I am afraid that my impatience is showing. During that long ago spiritual quest, it took me months of meditation before I one day realized that I had finally achieved that long sought inner silence, and as soon as I realized it, it of course ended quite abruptly. (The need to "think" about what I had accomplished defeated it completely.) But I kept at it, the intervals of peace grew more common and lasted longer, and I found out that what fills the silence is ever so much better than that which we manufacture to hide from it. In silence, we learn to speak with, rather than at, God.

White Roses
The White Rose-- Spirtual Purity
Lest I forget also, quelling the inner dialogue and achieving silence was only the first step in a long process. I spent the next years learning, healing, releasing the past, and evolving through a series of internal initiations which difficulty I only vaguely remember now, though I thought I suffered greatly through this at the time. Then what? I suppose I might have opted out, taken my Enlightenment and left this vale of tears— that option was set forth. Only it never was an option, because I knew that I had a Purpose with a capital P to fulfill in this world, that I had went through all that had come before expressly so I could Serve that Purpose. And as I went through those next difficult years, I felt myself slipping. I felt my great Spiritual accomplishments eroding away. I held on as best I could, but I was forgetting so much, becoming unable to access states of consciousness that had been like breathing to me just a short while before. Memory has never totally deserted me though. There have been times when I have questioned my own sanity certainly, and ashamed as I am, times when I have been bitter and angry at what I have been through. Too often, I have questioned whether I have it in me to take that same road again.

Click your Heels together three times...
There's no place like home!
 I hope that the answer is yes. Would I do anything differently if I could reel in the years and start again? Quite simply— No. I may sometimes wish returning to that exalted and ecstatic state that is variously called Nirvana, Transcendence, Samādhi or Enlightenment was easy as clicking my heels together and being transported home, but anything worth doing once is no doubt even more rewarding the second time around. For me, ultimately, though I may kick and scream as I go, there is only God's Will, the Path that Spirit has set for me. In the meanwhile, I will just let the music keep playing in my head. There are so many songs that mean so much, so many that speak to me on levels I cannot reach otherwise just now. Time after Time.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I enjoy hearing from you...

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...