A Lucky Man

BillandNancyI have always had a rational, skeptical, pessimistic nature – probably a gift from my culture and my education. Paradoxically, I have spent my life exploring spiritual paths. These two aspects of my nature have created an uneasy environment in which to live. I am drawn to a belief and trust in the underlying Wholeness of Life, but some part of me always dismisses that trust with stories of the dismal state of the world in which I (we) live.

I have lived in this precarious balance most of my years.  As I age, I am blessed with the presence of my dear spouse, Nancy. We have been on a remarkable journey together through paths and byways over the decades. Our introverted natures are compatible with each other. We love and affirm each other. At this particular time in our lives I find myself supported and sustained by her growing wisdom.  She is a shaman. She sees, and has always seen, the Unseen World in which our “reality” rests. She trusts, and has always trusted, this deeper Reality. As her path and awareness deepens, I find myself trusting in and relying upon her vision and her wisdom more and more.

I don’t see the Reality she sees. I glimpse it on occasion, but not with the clarity she sustains. But I do see her clearly. I trust her completely and therefore am watching the veil that has always separated the two parts of my nature begin to lose its opaqueness.

At times in our decades together I have led the way. Now it is Nancy who leads and I who gladly and gratefully follow. As these later years unfold, I sense that my own rational nature – a part of me I do not at all despise – will be joined more assuredly with my deeper, Tao nature. As the veil thins I look forward to a deeper integration of the seen and the unseen. I don’t see all that clearly at the moment, but I know someone who does. I have trouble trusting, but I know someone who trusts completely. I am a lucky man.

I’m Too Old For This S…

The Tao has no preference
for one thing over another.
Everything belongs, without distinction.
Therefore it never tires
and is always new and fresh.
We, of course, make distinctions, 
exhausting ourselves by preferring this, 
and disdaining that;
clinging here and avoiding there.
How sad, for we were made for quiet peace and joy.

The Tao Te Ching - Chapter 5

As Shakespeare once said,
(He must have, somewhere in his works)
“I’m too old for this shit.”

Thing is, I’m discovering that I actually really am.
I spent thirty minutes yesterday shoveling snow,
clearing a path between the cabin and the motor home.
I spent the rest of the day recovering
and today I’m still tired, and still it snows.
(As, of course, it should this time of year.)

As I sit and watch the flakes pour down
to erase yesterday’s work, I am subdued.
No amount of good health,
and I am quite truly in good health,
can cover the reality of seventy-seven years.
My life will need to change in the coming year.
(Is there no end to transitions?)
I can’t caretake a mountain property any more.

Somewhere inside is a small voice,
difficult to hear amidst the noise,
that whispers:
“The best is yet to come, but it won’t be the same old illusion
of imperviousness and endless energy.
It will be quiet and unobtrusive,
with no need to impose a thing upon the world.
You really are too old for this shit.
It’s time to leave the shit behind
and find what lies beneath.”

Still, it’s sad somehow.
You know the feeling.
We all do.
That’s why we come together
in all the ways we can.