Walking home from a wonderful Heart Dance class in Brunz yesterday, I finally felt inspired to write a new blog entry! I say finally as it has been exactly one month since I returned home from my 5.5 weeks in Spain, and until now I had not felt any inspiration to write a blog! As my trip was nothing short of a juicy adventure, I definitely came home with the lofty expectation that I’d be spewing with great insights and stories to share!!!! But, no… not so;-) Instead, it has felt as though I’ve been just waiting; waiting and waiting; listening and listening and waiting still. Waiting quietly, and somewhat impatiently, for an inkling of a writing impulse to spark, land, seed, and flourish! And low and behold…here it is! And damn I hope it’s good…for your sake anyhow!
Dance class and the weather really set the tone for the buildup and birth of THIS piece: the dance hall was packed with beautiful people, the waves of music were luxurious to move to, and, in anticipation of the spectacular thunderstorm that was poised ready to pounce, the air in the hall was palpably thick with humidity. Although the storm held it’s fury at bay for the duration of our dance class, intermittent sheets of rain pounded down on hall roof, whispering of the intensity yet to be unleashed.
At the end of class, I found myself laying on the floor, soaking up the textured heat of the room and soaking in the dripping evidence of my two-hour dance efforts! In that state of absorbed, warm, feeling-presence, a simple yet satisfying thought bubbled up to the surface and exhaled: “I am here to grow and die”.
Still with me? Too simple? Anti-climactic? Too bad:-)
As I recall it, once that thought landed, expanded and settled in, I experienced bliss, humor and calm simultaneously. In that moment, that thought “I am here to grow and die” felt like a solid and yet soothing Truth, and the simplicity of it was well savoured.
Now, just to give this Truth-stating a dash of “easy there tiger” seasoning, admittedly, nowadays I generally attempt to stab at or grasp Truth with a heavy and willing dose of humility. My willingness to admit ignorance/humility in regards to Truth-grasping is sustained by my rationale that it seems irrational to expect a finite experience of self-hood (which is a long-winded way of referring to “self” or “an individual mind”) to completely and clearly understand the infinite mind of God. (BTW, when I use the word God, I am referring to everything; as in God is everything, and also generally implying that everything/God is Love). So, if this doesn’t feel like Truth to you, no worries, no need for it to:-)
Back to my story:
On my way home from dance I began to try to unpack and understand why the thought “I am here to grow and die” had landed in me with such a distilled and solid sense of ecstatic peace. Matching the momentum of the thought clouds in my mind, the sky above hummed with eager heaving; and the clouds, swollen and tight, were all-to-ready to crack and birth their electric light. Quite literally within moments of me crossing the threshold of my front door the heavens opened, and the first bolt of lightening earthed so uncomfortably close to my home, that several neighbours and I cautiously poked our heads out of our doors and windows to see if any of our local trees were smoldering!
And so, with the storm unleashed, I began to write:-)
I think the reason the thought “I am here to grow and die” felt like such a solid truth, is that the pattern of birth-growth-death is evidenced everywhere in nature. Minerals, plants, animals/humans, planets, solar systems, galaxies, and even, it seems, universes all in their own right experience a beginning (birth), a middle (growth and transformation) and an ending (death). And since, in this life, I’ve already experienced birth and some growth and transformation, then it appears the simple and solid truth that the only things left for me to experience are more growth, and then eventually death.
So why, you may or may not be wondering, is the truth of growth and death so soothing? Well, it’s because I’ve come to realize it is not only birth and growth which are to be gratefully savoured in a life, but also death. Death is an integral aspect of the gift of life, of experience.
Finite birth-growth-death cycles are reassuringly cradled in the endless arms of infinity; and what would be more experientially luxurious to an infinite being other than CHANGE? I mean, if you were an unending, unbeginning being of oneness wouldn’t you crave and create an experience that was other than constant sameness? Wouldn’t you crave parts, contrast, really anything other than the boring, lonely, unrelenting boundlessness of your one self? Finite life, birth and death, would be just the balm for a ceaseless reality. I mean, who doesn’t love a good story! And truly, the only way sameness/boundlessness could have any EXPERIENCE at all would be to have that which was opposite to itself: form, boundedness, birth-growth-and-death! Talk about a relief…finally, a change in the bloody, unrelenting scenery!! I’m sure no-thingness would eventually wear thin!
The old adage “variety is the spice of life” neatly sums this up:-)
So, Yes! definitely my life is a gift; but hooray, so is my death! Death is just as essential and necessary as birth in this finite game. Reframing my death in this way allows me to not only accept it, but also to value, honor, respect and even cherish it. It is not a monster, it is not the bad guy, it is not the result of failing at life. It is a gift. The experience of existence is entirely hinged on my capacity to begin and to end. And I find this incredibly soothing.
I am a finite being afloat in a sea of infinity, and the only essentials on my “to do” list are a) begin/be born (tick), b) live/grow/transform/learn (tick, with more ticks to come), and c) end/die. Talk about a relief, it is entirely impossible to fail at achieving the rest of my list: change is inevitable, as is death! Yay!, any anxiety about fulfilling my purpose in life is quieted (well, almost…I am human after all). But truly, I was enough when I entered this life and took my first breath in, and will be enough as I leave this life and let my last breath out! The infinite loves me because I am finite. This is the dream. I am the gift.
As I believe I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog on the topic of death, I am by no means suggesting the desire for a hurried ending! Instead, I am hoping (and assuming) that this perspective will simply help me feel less apprehension towards the mystery of my birth and death, and all the change I experience in between these two events. Ultimately I’m hoping to assume a greater attitude of gratitude towards every flavour I get to taste in the soup pot of my existence.
Thanks for reading, it was a joy to write!
And by the way, the storm is over, there was no damage, but it was an awesome light show!
And also…if you read this blog with a hopeful curiosity to hear about my Camino adventures, thanks for continuing to be patient!