Where to begin? Life has not lent itself well to blogging lately. Too much living and not enough time to write about it. Maybe that’s the way it should be.
I find I am content. Satisfied. Friendly toward myself even. And that doesn’t make for great subject matter or inspiration.
I spent last week on a meditation retreat, cupped gently in the hands of the verdant rolling hills of New York’s Hudson Valley and two skillful and nurturing teachers, the lovely Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, and surrounded by a community of new friends and fellow travellers.
Stepping so far away from my day-to-day, away from not only work and family, but also my smart phone and computer, my patterns and habits, from TV and even reading, that I felt like I had taken a blow torch to some mental and emotional cob webs, set them alight, watched them burn and maybe even let them go. Yes, Shiva the Destroyer—and Durga’s consort—was in the house.
While the inner machinations of my own mental process is fascinating to me, I doubt it will be to you, so I won’t bore you. But one surprising thing did come up that I wanted to share.
It is this: this label, this story that “I am a parent of a child with special needs” is … changing. Feeling less precious, less necessary.
In the moments of stillness and silence of the retreat, when I expected it to appear like a gale force wind, it was merely a quiet breeze.
How strange. Surely, after these last couple of years, there could be nothing else worthy of my ruminations? But not only were there plenty of other thoughts to watch—most notably my profound and continuous striving to be someone other than who I am—I found that it just didn’t come up much.
By the end of the week, when I came out of silence to my first intimate conversation about what I had seen, I noticed that I didn’t even bring it up. It simply wasn’t part of the story. After years of demanding that there’s got to be more to life than this…I find that there is.
I don’t know how I feel about the possibility of letting go of this identity, or if I’m even ready to. It has been a liberator and a jailor, a lightening rod and a scape goat, a shield and a veil, a pulpit and a gallows. That’s a lot to let go of.
And “letting go” is too active a verb to describe what’s happening. I’m not doing anything. It’s doing itself. It’s letting go of me. Or maybe not letting go, just melting, melding, or pulsating between itself and something else.