Now, Self, Alone, God
January 15, 2012
My life has become very primitive. Here, where I live now. I have left the sunny angst of California and its intellectual dilemmas. Here the snow winter shuts me in, without vitamin D, I have not left the house for days. I am ruled by the seasons, they are no longer just inspiration for poesy and ritual. Will J be able to drive in this weather to pick up my food for me?
My life has become primitive. I need, I always need, someone to wash my dishes and pots so that I can prepare food. Many of the things I need for survival I cannot do. It is ongoing, my life is asking someone to help, scheduling when they can help. Can someone help today? I need to find someone to help today.
I am not complaining. I am not “whining,” I am mourning losses, I am sad about my present circumstances, and sitting with God, who listens, holds me in my sorrow. My beautiful skin once lit from within—a Sicilian heritage, nurtured by homemade facials that my disabilities rarely allow anymore—is now dry, dull, rough, made so by this place’s hard water and rough weather, and by age and illness, and worry about money and survival.
In this life of constant survival concerns and powerlessness, God is my beauty. I am filled with divine blessings and childlike wonder. These are gifts, freely given me, through no merit of my own. But I do work for them. If we give way to the deception that there is no time for spiritual practices when life is brutal, we have lost sight. The crux (or a crux) of spirituality is that we cleave to it no matter what. Easier said than done, but a truth nonetheless. It is vital that I try my best to cleave, even if sometimes the best I can do is an on-again off-again, and faltering.
Our country was traumatized by the bombing of the twin towers. It is known that when a child suffers a great tragedy, the child does fine if given parental support. And gets far worse if further traumatized by parents – or other caretakers – who either do not support the child through their suffering, or “kick ’em while they’re down.” When we, as a country, suffered the tragedy of the bombing, our government grabbed hold of our already terrified throats. They made us line up in airports, stripping us of our rights, insisting, “You are scared yes, good, be scared be scared be scared, we are taking away your rights, we do this to help you.” It was like a parent saying, “We do this for your own good!” as he punches a child who was already beaten up by schoolmates.
We as a people (or at least many of us) are still reeling from the government’s abuse, and from our daily scramble – which they helped induce – to pay bills, survive, avoid homelessness. One way we still buy the government’s message “Be scared be scared,” hook, line, and sinker, is to believe we have no time for either spiritual practices or spiritual lessons. We’ve been deceived into thinking that there must be nothing but our brutalized day-to-day scramble, that survival takes all. I am not denying the harsh realities that many of us live in nor the reality of that scramble to feed our children. But we have been lied to, convinced survival is an excuse to forsake our spirits, as if working to keep our spirits whole no matter what has not always been a core human and spiritual concern, as if our current excuse to focus only on survival is different from past excuses in human history.
Beauty fills my day, my crippled body, my worried heart. God is that beauty, gives that beauty, shows my beauty, holds my beauty.
God, help me continue my spiritual practices, continue receiving spiritual lessons, keep growing so I can meet the problems of this primitive life. Help me continue to help others find your beauty, find their own beauty, because unless I do so, I cannot have beauty myself.
If you enjoyed the thoughts above, I share in-depth about my life as a mystic, shaman, and just plain ol’ human being in Share My Insanity , available on Amazon.