I have no idea
where I’ll be living
at this time next year.
But then again, really,
do any of us
have any idea?
We may think we know,
but that’s just a thought.
In the end,
we only have this moment.
Everything could change
in the blink of an eye.
So I’ll stop comparing myself
to those who you
who enjoy relative stability,
that all of us,
no matter how wealthy or how poor,
no matter how healthy or how sick,
no matter how young or how old,
all of us
only have this moment.
I’m discovering that
it takes more courage than I thought
to keep going in the face of uncertainty.
A part of me envies
those with established lives:
established work, established relationships,
complete with vacation plans, retirement plans,
and even plots for what remains of them
one day when they’re done with this earthly life…
Another part of me knows
that my spirit would wither and die
if I were made to exist within the confines
of so much familiarity.
Yes, my wild spirit
would not condone all these plans.
So where is the balancing point?
I’m tired of the anxiety that comes
from not knowing where I’m going.
I’m tired of feeling guilty and ashamed
that at this point in my life
I still haven’t “figured it out.”
More questions than answers,
and so easy to blame the one
who pulled the rug out from under
the stability I once enjoyed
as the female parental unit
in our family of four.
Faced with so much uncertainty,
I want to run and hide,
I want to escape…
but from what? From whom?
I realize there is no escape.
I cannot run from myself.
I cannot distance myself
from the one who craves stability
and who at the same time
wants to live wild and free.
How can I bring these warring factions
to rest within the space of awareness?
How can I get them to settle
and engage in some quality peace talks?
Ah, answer me that and I’ll dub you a shaman,
a wise one, a mentor, a guide.
Come to think of it,
seems like I need one of those right about now.
Trying to make sense of the chaos
I realize I haven’t breathed deeply
in a while so I
and I take a deep breath in…I
and let it out slowly.
Suddenly, there is no chaos.
Suddenly, it’s only this moment,
all it ever was,
all it ever will be.
Nothing to be added to it
nothing to be taken from it–
whole and complete just as it is.
Searching for meaning,
and so it must be made.
This journey of chaos
from birth until death
in a universe so infinitely large
that our precious home
is little more than a dust mote–
if we don’t make meaning of this,
we might die of sheer despair.
So make meaning.
Make meaning of everything you do
from the first light of dawn
until your eyelids grow heavy with sleep.
Every thought, word and action,
strive to understand
the meaning that others have found.
Happiness is within your reach,
and it is here now,
in everything this life is,
in the meaning you bring to it.
For the longest time
I thought I wanted peace,
quiet, ease, solitude,
all the free time in the world
to do whatever I wanted to do…
And of course these things are still nice,
but as time wears on
and I accept that life is just chaotic sometimes,
then I am neither surprised nor disappointed
when I find myself standing in the middle of chaos.
In this centered place of acceptance
I can look out into my life
with the eyes of love
and do good work
with the capable hands I’ve been given.
I don’t need to create problems
by complaining or feeling resentful
about the fact that things haven’t turned out
exactly the way I wanted them to…
I can stay open, be curious,
and with a clear mind observe what is.
Suddenly the moment opens up
into a far richer masterpiece of
color, texture, and sound
than I could’ve concocted
with my limited experience
and understanding of life.
I can laugh and dance with the chaos.
This is it. I don’t need to fix it or change it.
I don’t need to be someone different.
I don’t need to achieve anything.
This is it. This is my life.
I laugh at the freedom and space
that an open mind creates.
I laugh because this experience
was within my grasp for my whole life
but it took me until now to realize it.
I laugh because the experience is mine now.
So simple, so unremarkable, so precious.