Aging, Awakening, Beginner's Mind, Clear seeing, Compassion, Consciousness, creativity, Enlightenment, Evolving Nature, Flowers, Grandfathers, Grownups, Healing, Inner Landscape photographers, joy, Kids, Lions, Listening, Marriage, Mindfulness, Monkey mind, Partnering, Perception, photographer's, relationships, Saging, Sati, spirituality, Theology, Vipassana, Wifes and Husbands, Wisdom
Next morning I woke up with the intent of following through on the old Sage’s advice to learn something new about my spouse and my self. I wander into the living room to huddle by the fire as the wife sits in her cozy chair bundled in a binkie and reading. As the heat sinks into my bones, the need for contact arises. I ask my wife what her take on our day of silence was all about. Her eyes to the page she says what I knew she would say (but only after she’d said it) – “what was it about for you?” This is my signal to set the intent so I share what I presume are some of the more important insights from the day before (for me) and how I’d written about them in my blog and was feeling quite pleased. She listens intently and attentively. When I am done, she looks at me with a twinkle in her eyes and say’s: “well, for me, I was pissed off at something you’d said but it passed after lunch and then I figured you had just decided not to talk, and that was OK with me too.” And a bubble popped! A story bubble with layer upon layer of habitual inter-woven monkey mind chatter operating at sublime levels but operating all the same. Baby What a gift! Like a Zen Koan – Turning Words they are said to be called.
And in that moment
I woke up a second time and of this second birth of the day her words opened just enough space to see what I had still been asleep too.
SPRING! COLOR! GROWING THINGS! NEW LIFE! FLOWERS!!!!
And it’s not like this is new information, not like this was some light bulb epiphany. I’ve known all my life that this body of mine and this soul has needs which can only be met by being knee deep in some garden. And each year I tend to forget that I have this need so each year, I fall into a funk and act stuff out because I am not mindful of my own mind because I am too damn busy paying attention to the drama, to the contents, to the stories that all revolve some how or another, around “me.” Oh how common this is or is it common at all?
Then when some occurrence inevitably arises that slaps new breath and new light into me, I awaken and I remember “Oh yeah, I am missing color, I am needing green I yearn to smell the life-scent of moist earth and gaze in wonder at the first early shoots and buds of flowers beginning their unfolding life’s journey…Oh yeah, I have been asleep to this visceral need of the animal within for some time now and it has been growling and I have not been in tune and when I do awaken to its hunger I can then respond with gentleness and from that self-care, wise seeing a/k/a intuition, the little voice, often speaks. Our challenge as awaken beings is to listen…..I have, it seems, as my wife might attest, a long way’s to go thus, I am grateful to trust that we all start where ever we are and few ever know where that was.
Once upon a time the working of my mind was such that in the twinkling of an eye Ego and a judging mind were oh so quick to jump into the confusion of the sudden remembrance and I would spend much more time kicking myself for not remembering my promise to my self this time last year that the next time I would remember….and sighing with the realization that this is a repeating pattern, a habit of living, a state of mind, a way of being that afflicts all human beings some of the time, some of us, most of the time but none of us all of the time.
Awakened moments are also part of the pattern – photography can help us zoom in on our unique perspective of the pattern of the One Life. Photography can help us move to the place where if only for a twinkling we see our true nature revealed to us through light and lens.