When I am driving a car, I notice that whatever conditions surround me my mind will latch on to. If it is blinding snow, I build out the narrative that the entire 16 hours will be a wrestling hold on the steering wheel: The experience becomes a fierce concentration to avoid the looming ghost shadow of death which might appear at any time in concentrated darkness out of the white.
In rain, I envision a world of planing on the road at the next curve, or this next curve, or another curve further on that I cannot now see. All I need to do is lose my focus on my imminent demise and I will cease being in this body. Fate will take me.
Christmas has been a time for me that I liken to driving in bad weather. Because the “systems” I have experienced in the past are hard wired into my navigation system, I imagine that further down the road, say Christmas 2017, Christmas 2018 will be simply the continuance of the bathos sound track of isolation; being misunderstood; abandonment and resultant despair.
It fascinated me that even with my rigorous studies; my sitting at the feet of masters; my meditation practice and my prodigious reading, the “whether” systems keep building out.
As I was sweeping the snow off of the sidewalk to a quality of clearness that would easily match up with my neighbour’s standards so I could “fit in,” I thought about the traces of old stories that I still carry.
The system is no longer as loud or persistent. It is no longer presenting as reality. But if it were a movie, the main character would have translucent images appearing and partially obscuring clear vision for short periods of time. The audience would know that these are just interference footage clips. It is a hallucination that does not interfere with action.
I continue to move forward as a stronger believer in my own ability to love my way out of dark places.
It is like driving… and the bad weather was just something that happened a few hours back. The past never predicts the future. Clear roads are here. The snow has passed. My sidewalk is indistinguishable from the neighbours’ on two sides.
Right now, I am just curious. I am curious about who I am becoming; about how I will be in the world; about what my gifts can do to help others. I loosen my hands on the wheel, remember to breathe and know enough to know weather is not fate. And everything passes.
My sidewalk looks great.