Friday, October 2, 2009

Maybe I Should Just Have Named This Blog "Perspectives"

I sometimes forget the state I was in before I came here to Moloka’i. I forget that there were hours on end when I couldn’t stop crying, days where I couldn’t get out of bed, months and months where I could not listen to music, and could not do something as simple as getting out and going for a walk. I forget that for more than a year, almost two in fact, I pretty much experienced two states: I was either so overwhelmed with emotion I could barely function, or I was numbed out, in the “dead zone” that allowed me to continue to get up most days, go to work, and function as a relatively normal person. I forget that from the moment I first consciously allowed the real thought that I might not want to stay married until very close to when I left for the islands, I did not know if I would ever again be okay; and in the time just before and all the months after I moved out, I did not know—truly—whether or not I would survive.

I forget that I came here with one hope and one hope only, which was—which is—to heal.

And it is happening. I feel it in my eagerness to wake up each morning, in my lighter step, in my off-the-chart excitement that my sister is coming to visit (tomorrow!!). I see it in how turned on I am by rain, by the beauty of its drops on flowers, the way it falls so warmly gentle on my cheeks and hair. I am aware of it when I am taking pictures, how I stand perfectly still, in one spot, for long moments at a time, waiting for the exact right shot, and then can’t wait to get back and upload and see them. I know it when I am swimming laps (who would ever have thought…???), talking to wild turkeys, geckos, the full moon; when spontaneously singing to my kitties, and when I laugh out loud… which is, remarkably, often. Though somehow, in my mixed-up, perfectionistic, fairy-tale indoctrinated mind, I thought, especially after the magic captured me during the first couple of weeks, that it had happened. Overnight. Wala,I had arrived: fixed, cured, healed. All sadness, sorrow, uncertainty, disappointment, and despair swept clean away, and I will now, thank you very much, live happily ever after (even sans a frog/prince :).

So when funks come on—and they do—I lose perspective, and start thinking nothing is happening. So here’s a reality check for me (and the reason, I’m sure, that I am writing this). And I know these things, I just forget them, too. So, how about instead of “I came here to heal,” I came here to begin to heal; how about healing is a process, one that after the significance of the losses I experienced, could well take some time; how about funks will happen; how about emotions are as changeable as the weather (okay, bad analogy given that the weather here doesn’t actually change very much), but you know what I mean; how about I accept each and every moment, just as it is, without judgment, without story, without extrapolating some sort of inaccurate and inciteful (as opposed to insightful) meaning. How about I open up to the possibility that even the moments that feel crappy, that feel like nothing’s happened or is happening, that nothing ever will happen, might be essential, and might hold some sort of gem, a gold nugget, the prize in the cracker jack box.

They say when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Yesterday I received this poem, forwarded from a friend back home~

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

- Jelalludin Rumi

Even as I allow more visitors than ever that knock to come in, have a seat, and stay for tea (hell, spend a night or two, a few months, years, while you’re at it), I am aware that there is still so much resistance to anything other than what I think I want. And I simply, like a child, endearingly, want not just everything I want, but want it now. Right now, if you please.

I met a man at the pool the other day (definitely a frog, as opposed to a frog/prince…), who asked me if I was here on Moloka’i for as long as I am to find enlightenment. I couldn’t help myself, I laughed out loud. And then laughed out loud some more, and then some more. He looked at me puzzled, and asked why I was laughing. I couldn’t speak, just laughed some more… and then gave a little shake of my head and floated away on my back, earplugs in, head underwater, relaxing into one of the most full and mysterious silences I’ve ever known.

Enlightenment, I thought. Right. I couldn't tell him how much simpler it was than that. That all I really want is to feel alive again - preferably on a pretty regular basis. Anything more than that would be gravy.

Aloha Nui, from Moloka'i

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