Now, this experience, these fingers pecking this melody on this keyboard, these eyes scanning the spaces, seeking the ground in which the blank marks arise, this right here, and nothing more, except of course, in the unchartered terrain of always changing, always shifting, never satisfied, and always impermanent thought.
Yet, here I am, in the midst of impending miracles, so many! I am lost in soft blue hues, pink ruffles, first burps, and wide eyes staring in awareness, and the cooing of first musical syllables, tiny gripping fingers, the pulse of two heartbeats joined and strong…I am constantly shaken into a soft sway, into swaddling, into a long sleepless night of joy and constant questioning, and pain…yes, tiredness and fear, here comes the Little Engine That Could, and I’ll jump aboard and ride that train straight into terror, of the unknown and my every possible triumph; my every inevitable failing.
How could I not? How could I not follow the thread of thought into hope, and dream, and fantasy and fear? Miracles abound! At every stop ahead there are miracles! I crane my neck and dodge the wind so I can see, because just ahead, a Golden Ticket, and…
And then, I stop, and re-remember. I am walking silently in a maze of miracles, a forest of wonder. All around me a never ending mosaic of beauty, of growing, of becoming. I’m constantly showered by falling moments, and in each one, A Golden Ticket. A touch of blossoming belly, a smile of knowing, the excitement of what is happening now: the unknown blooming inside and a laugh of love, a frown of fear, a sharing of unquestioned tears.
In this moment: closeness
In this: anger
In this: worry
In this: boundless joy
In this: nervous expectation
In this: There is, this.
In this: A Miracle
I wrote what follows quite a while ago, with a whole different purpose in mind, mostly a silly laugh. And strangely I see now how applicable it is, in it's sillyness, as even though I am so wonderfully lost in this landscape of miracles, I am constantly reminded that I am always Home.
There is a curious malady which overcomes you, say, when you are hiking the backwoods or deserts of your world; perhaps even in the mall if you are wearing crappy shoes. At some point, after you have discovered the beautiful waterfall, the Indian ruins, or the happy drunk leprechaun handing out the 20 dollar bills, suddenly, the whole thing just seems, well, over, and really, you just want to go home.
Here is where it gets interesting, because wouldn't it be nice if you could just whisper some code word into your combination altimeter, barometer, thermometer, calorie countin' superman secret agent IPhone, and whooooosh! Here comes your private chopper to pluck your sorry ass from the wilderness or the Starbucks and back to your lovely, most perfect life?
Alas, most of us don't own helicopters, so therefore we must deal with this strange and worrisome condition of the mind: GetHomeitis. This condition is not only dangerous, it is potentially deadly. GetHomeitis is characterized by the increasing urge, verging on dementia, to be finished with what is happening now, where we are, and just get home, which must be exponentially better. At least this is what the never satisfied mind is desperately trying to convince you. The beauty and wonder of the natural world suddenly take a backseat to the imagination and it’s never ending derangement. It's a curious mechanism of human physiology- the more exhausted and stressed the body, the more the mind elevates what is familiar to iconic levels. Your spouse is so much more loving; your house so much more comfortable, the football game so much more important, McDonalds is like the best most nutritious wonder food on the planet! Even your car, waiting patiently for you at the trailhead or the parking lot, is not just a very tired early millenium Jeep with hope in place of air conditioning, it is a miraculous safe haven, protecting you from the stickers, pickers, cacti and shin daggers you have been wading through and the perfume and lotion salespeople you have been dodging for the last six hours, not to mention the hillbillies who have been obviously following you, undoubtedly interested mostly in your ability to squeal like a pig.
The result of a bad case of GetHomeitis is a kind of self-hypnosis. All enjoyment is replaced with the burning desire to just get home. You will plow through cat's claw, ripping your clothes to shreds, bound through ice cold creeks on snot slippery stones right into the self-help section of the bookstore, desperately searching for the way out. You will brush jumping cacti until your pant legs are pincushions; you will ignore the blisters and thorns and heat exhaustion and tarantulas and mountain lions and the lost goldmine you just walked past; indeed- you will walk straight off the edge of a 10 thousand foot cliff- all to satisfy the only concrete notion that you can hold in your burning brain- I HAVE TO GET HOME!
And, commonly, in your trancelike state induced by your overwhelming need to go home, you will walk right past the trail junction or signpost that will take you there, and wander the desert maze of trail or tile, lost and delirious until you are dead enough for the vultures to swoop down upon.
To make matters worse, if they can be worse, there is no cure for GetHomeitis. Indeed, even if you somehow live and find yourself limping happily in your front door, you will rediscover that the mortgage on your castle is milking you dry, your Honey Do list has grown exponentially since you have been gone, your kids want McDonalds six times a week, and you can't even watch the football game because your teenage son is sitting in the living room with five of his stoned buddies watching Heavy Metal Mania on MTV. And suddenly you are afflicted with another condition, one just as urgent and just as dangerous:
And, helicopter or no, back into the wilderness you shall go.
I’ll stay lost, right here, in this wonderful wilderness of Miracles.