Keep it simple, silly

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Birds the only sound until a passing car floats by, pressing on the asphalt, pushing against the air. The silence of the forest: never silent, only peaceful. I could spend my days just listening to this, absorbing myself in it, but what would it achieve? I would find an enemy in a mosquito or in poison ivy or in a particular bird call that I decided was annoying. It is a commonly misunderstood thing: enemies do not come unannounced; they avail themselves to us when we think we need them. While I think I need something to despise, there will be something to despise; while I despise a part of me, I will think I need something to despise.

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving harmonious and happy. An affirmation – the affirmation – courtesy of Charles F. Haanel. He points out that as a part of the infinite we have no choice but to be this. Trying to be anything else is hard work; the easiest path is simply to be this: whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy. To despise a part of me is to despise a part of this, and what is there to despise in this? Similarly, aiming to be any or all of these things is pointless: why aim to be what you already are? Just know that you are it, he says, and you will see that it is true.

So I am done with enemies, done with limitation. I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. And as I look at you, I see that you are too.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hot seat

Hoo boy! This is what it is to be in the hot seat. I’ve heard it referred to, seen it on television, but can’t say I’ve ever been here before. The body is running on overdrive – hyperalert – an experience I haven’t had in quite a while, and one that I’m more used to having artificially induced. Yes, they were some times.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. My entire picture of my life could be trashed today. Everything I’ve been working towards, everything I’ve worked for, could be taken from me in the space of just a few words. The full gamut of sensation and emotion works on me in a state I could call fear or I could call excitement.

And how could I not be excited? My entire story is under siege. My entire world is potentially disappearing before my eyes and there’s nothing I can do to get in the way. A new day is dawning, and all I can do is watch. At last, I am meeting reality head on; at last, I am seeing that I don’t have a choice. And the experience is sheer excitement, and gratitude that it is this one who gets to live it.

Come on down!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sick of it

I’m sick of feeling like this. Some days it seems I’m overwhelmed, overtaxed. The lightness that found me seems at these times to be a distant glimmer almost beyond the horizon, and the desire for that lightness to return just pushes it further away.

I’m sick of it; sick of it all seeming so important, sick of burdening my mind with supposed difficulty.

Why do I do this? Why do I weigh myself down? Of what benefit could this be? The only benefit I can find is this: to come to the point where I’m sick of it. For once this becomes self-evident, once I genuinely have had enough, the tools will surely avail themselves to me to find that place of release I knew so well not all that long ago.

In the past I would have blamed my situation – the external – but I refuse to fall for that diversion this time. I am living my dream and refuse to sabotage it again. This time I push through until there is nothing left to push. Every seeming obstacle, every seeming burden is but another gift, another image to dispel.

I am sick of the sabotage, sick of the attempts to self-destruct. No more, no more shall I get in the way. No more shall I interfere with the happy dream that awaits. Into the light! Don’t be afeared.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Let peace reign

When I look at this without a story, all I see is people doing their best. E and I are doing our best, and somewhere out there someone is doing what they think is best too. It is no different. All that differs – as ever – is our perception of the situation, and I can no more attack someone for their perception than I can attack a shadow for following me.

All that ever happened was a thought. The thought was believed and they acted upon it and here we are. Defensiveness will only help validate that thought, and validating a thought is of no help to anybody. Love, compassion, forgiveness do not validate thoughts; they dispel them, demonstrate how it never really happened.

My reality is my creation. I can choose to be the victim and play roles of defense and attack, or I can choose peace and the empowerment that comes with that. Peace tells me that someone out there is fearful, and while one fearful person remains, peace cannot reign. To be the victim is to be that person, and that is not my choice. My choice, instead, is to reach out in gratitude to the one who would show me where my fear still lies, where my work remains undone.

The time has come to let peace reign. Thank you, anonymous friend, for bringing me to this awareness.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Self-righteousness is such a dangerous thing. People who think they know best have consistently been a big source of the world’s problems. Hitler was self-righteous, Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot were self-righteous. Bush and Saddam and bin Laden are self-righteous, and so is the anonymous individual who would attempt to make our business theirs.

Oh, the twists life takes. Just a few years ago I was paid to make other people's business mine, and now it seems it's our turn.

Where will this journey take us? What is happening for us here? It is so easy to feel like a victim in this situation, much harder to see it as an empowering opportunity. And underneath it all I see it as a powerful forgiveness lesson, if only I could bring myself to forgive. I am feeling far too self-righteous for that right now.

Friday, May 26, 2006


The smell of rain or, at least, the smells it enhances. And the sounds. After big thunder and downpour last night, a trickle of water now drips from the sky like a recently closed faucet, and the birds celebrate in song while the plants offer their aroma to the sky in thanks. Big drops on the windscreen commingle in a slow dance with gravity. And through it all a cool breeze blows softly, freshening.

Sleep would not abide with me last night and now there is a heaviness, commencing at the eyes it spreads out and down, all over. I feel it in the hand that writes, manifesting as an ache in the wrist; I notice it in the mind as it presses against my forehead, causing a slight crossing of the eyes. It even reaches my feet as they press into the floor. I am a drop on a windscreen commingling. Gravity holds me down.

Gravity is not a force to be reckoned with - it is too powerful for that. My pen moves as if in honey, my whole world surrounds me like a fishbowl filled with the stuff. Viscous, gravity today has substance.

And I see a fence railing resting on another; I recall the beam in the barn breaking; I notice trees with missing limbs, and I am reminded that gravity gets us all in the end. The gravity of the situation is this.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Flimsy flags

Short bitten fingernails, scarred hands, red pen. The blue page slowly covered by blue ink. Grey jeans, brown boots. Itchy scalp and slightly sore eyes. Newspapers on the table, voices to my right, a song above my head. Café del Sol on a Thursday morning. Warm; grey-blue outside. Green trees still, standing. American flag waving, closer.

So many flags here: American flags, Confederate flags, Hokies flags, Tibetan prayer flags, those quirky flags people hang outside their homes. So many symbols. So many ways to say I’m different than you, better than you. So many ways to identify ourselves. So many ways to keep us from peace.

What flags do I fly? I will tell you I am E’s fiancé; I am the son of C and T, brother of S, M, D and N; I am a Dockers supporter; I am an Australian living in the US; I am a facilitator of The Work and a student of A Course in Miracles; I run a music venue; I live in an old white house and drive an old white car. And I would fly these flags to show how I am not you.

Is any of this true? In this moment I cannot even know whether E is alive; not one particle of my being remains from when I was born; the Dockers may have disbanded; Australia and the US remain, as ever, mere concepts; I am not facilitating The Work nor studying A Course in Miracles; the music venue behind me is quiet, unattended; the house may have burnt down and if E is no longer alive, probability states the car is likely ruined too.

Flimsy flags flap the most.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Multiple Personality Disorder

It is so easy to get caught up in myself, so easy to believe the stories I would tell. And here this is, just another story. I watch the cycle and the way I hold myself in it, believing just enough to make it seem real, and I laugh. I am amused. I am very funny to watch: so sincere, so serious. Intense, even. And I keep playing my role to perfection, just as everyone around me does, and I see that we all think it’s so important, it all somehow matters, and I know I’m not alone.

Children screaming is what we are. Children screaming that it’s not fair, that everything should go the way we think it should. And we’re really funny, because all the evidence indicates it doesn’t, and still we scream and cry, shake our fists at the sky and demand better treatment. This is a circus and we are the clowns.

I love to watch this tragicomedy. It is so much more fun than being in it. I love the occasional moment of lucidity – the sheer respite of it – where I see me not as me, but as the actor of me. This is the most immersive form of acting, where I take on the role so completely that I actually believe I am the character. This part of me believes it. And as the chameleon that I truly am, that part of me believes I am Y, that part believes I am L, that part believes I am E, that part believes I am you, etcetera. A part for every part of me if I so choose, and I am infinite.

I am so impressed with my ability to be so much at once so convincingly. Multiple Personality Disorder is much more widespread than previously thought – it is the condition of the universe.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Honest work

The tall grass waves at me outside the window, “Come and get me!” it beckons with a smirk. It has seen me struggling through its neighbours and delights in the thought of me attempting another assault. “Why bother?” it asks. “I’ll only grow back again just as thick and you’ll almost break your back, and then come winter I’ll get covered by snow and ice, and you’ll be wondering why you ever bothered.” Ah, wave away, I like a challenge.

It’s good to have some physical work to do. It invigorates me. Mowing a grass forest, digging out a floor, shoveling snow, carrying wood: it is all good, honest work. Honest work: that’s an interesting term. What is it that makes it honest? It comes to me that it is labour without excessive thought, and each thought is another step from the truth. Office work is not honest: there is gossip; there is the cognitive dissonance – the compromising of values – that comes with the following of every directive from above; and cooping an animal up inside each and every day goes directly against nature’s intentions. Customer service has all this, plus the dishonesty inherent in pretending to be nice to each customer. Lawyers and politicians are paid great sums to lie through their teeth. Psychologists and counselors attempt to convince messed up people they’re not messed up while covering up their own inadequacies. Even a doctor – signatory to the Hippocratic Oath – must often choose whether to make a patient feel better or tell them the truth. A labourer suffers no such conflict in the workplace.

So what is a worse fate to suffer: a broken body or corrupted values? Tough choice.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I am tired. Tired of identifying as this; tired of acting like it matters; tired of living by the meaning I’ve attached to it all. I feel overtired, like I’ve been asleep too long and am struggling to adjust to wakefulness. The night has been long and I’ve stirred occasionally, been blessed by the dawn, thought I was awakening and then found I’d only slipped back into dreamstate.

Dreamstate. This is what I know. This is consciousness. This is the way of it for now. Consciousness is but identification with the dream; it is the place where choices still seem real. It is the place where this seems real. Dreamstate.

So what do I seek? Unconsciousness? In a sense, yes. If unconsciousness is that place beyond thought - where mind simply is - then yes. Consciousness is driven by thought; thought is what keeps me out of reality, in dreamstate.

I am tired of being tired. I want to rub the sleep from my eyes and witness a wakeful vision. But then, maybe I’ll sleep-in a little longer.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Turning in His grave

It’s a sunny Sunday, great weather for working on the house. Why do so many calendars have Sunday as the first day of the week? It is strange. My understanding is that there’s some kind of Christian connection to it, and my limited understanding of Christianity informs me that on the seventh day God rested. Isn’t that why they all go to church today? Isn’t this supposed to be the seventh day, not the first?

Christians seem to me to be a confused bunch like that. Over here there is a common bumper sticker that says, “Power of Pride.” I would guess that at least 90% of the people sporting that sticker identify themselves as Christians, and again my limited understanding of the religion tells me that pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Come on guys, there’s only seven.

And this whole notion of ‘holy war,’ of Christians fighting, baffles me. From what I can tell, Christ preached love, peace, forgiveness. I’m not hearing much of any of this from so many people who use His name to justify their actions today. That would be my definition of blasphemy. If the fella wasn’t resurrected, He’d be turning in His grave today.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Green. Where once was either black or white now presents as a sea of green. Light, dark, short, tall, the only things that aren’t green appear to be man-mad: white house, red brick chimney, yellow plastic cart, grey shed. I am sitting in a freshly mown swathe cut through grass as tall as my waist. A reverse Mohawk following our sledding route from but a few months past. The swathe would be broader had I not lost the nut that held our newly serviced mower’s handle in place. It’s hard to push a mower with a bung handle through waist high grass, thick as an unkempt forest

And yes, I should have tackled it earlier, I’m well aware of that. And the mower hadn’t received a service for at least five years and its wheels were wobbly and I simply had no idea how fast things grow around here. And these all look like excuses and you’re probably right.

I could come up with more if you want, just as I could for the perpetual mess inside. But I won’t – not for the moment – instead I’ll accept your supposition: J is lazy; he’s in way above his head; he doesn’t care; he needs to get his act together; his life is a mess; he can’t look after himself. And I think I can see where you’re coming from. Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it, and I promise to look into it.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Just noticing

Sitting by a sunny window, what do I notice? Cold hands warming. Clogged gut digesting, settling, moving, grumbling. One nostril breathing. Slight pressure in my forehead brimming. Mucus dripping to the back of the throat. Swallowing. Hot tea heating first my mouth, and then the route to my stomach. Upper cheek tension. Body relaxing. Right ankle stretching. Head swimming; almost always swimming, struggling to keep afloat amidst the waves of clashing thoughts crashing.

Noticing. Not judging, not naming, just noticing.

The space seems emptier when I just notice. Thoughts given no credence tend to dissolve into meaninglessness, and all that’s left is this: a series of sensations, no more.

Every perception is a judgment. Every judgment a thought that takes me from this attempting to make it that. People will tell you that it is wrong to judge, but that is a judgment too. All I have found is that judgment disturbs my peace, and I enjoy my peace. Go ahead, judge if you want to. And when you do, just notice.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Sun shines in but it’s cold. Fly provides the soundtrack to a new spring morning. It wants out, perched now on the window frame, longingly seeking the source of the light. You won’t find it, fly. Even if I let you out, you’re going to fly aimlessly about until something eats you. Fodder.

So I opened the window – a three-fold process – and the fly headed the other way, replaced by the cat, who was quite content to sit in the frame while I held up the window. Now the window’s shut again and both the fly and the cat are still inside. Somewhere.

Ain’t that the way? Seek escape until the avenue presents itself, then run the other way. Seems to be my way, anyhow. Seek, find, bolt.

When we returned from LEAF, there were a dozen or so flies attempting to get out at each bedroom window. I opened the outside windows so they could get out. Two of those flies are still in there, still unable to negotiate the maze. How long does a fly live for? They’ve been there at least two days now. A lifetime of fruitless searching, aiming straight for something they could never hope to reach anyway.

The sun is off-limits. Look, but don’t touch. Actually, don’t look either, it’ll blind you. It can warm you, give you life; your entire existence revolves around it. But don’t touch. It can touch you, but you can’t touch it.

Are we all but flies? All aiming for what can’t be reached?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wrong side of the bed

The morning glares aggressively at me, warning me not to get in its way. If I could, today I would have gotten out the wrong side of the bed, but even that wasn’t possible because the wall was in the way. Damn wall, spoiling my morning before I even got up. Then vomit on an unclothed comforter, a computer that wouldn’t wake up and another one that wouldn’t go to sleep, and me in the middle wondering how thread is made; wondering where the thread in this lays.

A guy outside does a quick ska dance, laughing, and my brow furrows in frustration at his insensitivity. People are not allowed to have fun at times like this. Wrong side of the bed wouldn’t let me out this morning. Not even the wrong side of the bed is on my side.

Why are people so proud to have an attitude? I have one now and it sucks. An attitude is just a sign of discontent: “Hi everybody, I’m fucked up and pissed off, aren’t I cool?” No. You’re a sad piece of shit is all. And you know it.

And through all this I know that none of it is true. My tongue darts from the acid to my cheek and I lie to convince myself that I’m as bad as I want to be. Why would I want to be bad? I know I prefer enjoyment, and yet I will do all I can to ward it off, like it could infect me with an incurable malady. And that leaves me with malaise. And I got what I asked for by trying to get in its way: I stepped in and it smeared its malodorous gunk all over me. Checkmate!

Gee, I’m a funny bastard.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Robyn's birthday

Robyn’s birthday. Happy birthday, Robyn. As I sit surrounded by this green land I find another moment to think of you and us and how things came to pass.

I love you Robyn, and I am so glad we split. We have each come closer to what we were seeking than we would have together. Our relationship was, in many respects, compromise. I could never be who you wanted me to be, and vice versa. I think now we are each closer to who we want ourselves to be, and that is a gift.

You have always wanted to know why I left, and maybe this is it. For so much of our relationship I was looking for that reason and could never find it, but the mere fact that I was looking for it was probably reason enough. I felt compromised; will that do?

That night I came home and told you I was moving onto a community was the moment I could no longer accept being compromised anymore. I had no other way to express it then. Today, hopefully, I would do a better job.

And I am not saying, Robyn – not for one second – that you compromised me. I compromised myself by not being clear: to you or me.

I am trying to be more honest now, Robyn. I am trying to be more open. I am trying very hard to prevent such a compromising situation ever happening again. And I can report that – for the moment – I am doing a much better job than I did with you.

I am sorry that our breakup was so hurtful to you, and I am thankful that it led to something much better for you. And I love you very much and am forever grateful for all you continue to teach me.

Thank you so much. You are beautiful.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Tao of sound

Sitting on a bridge over a lake, greenish water drifts aimlessly below me, unknowingly heading out and beyond, in the way water will.

All is quiet today. Occasional moments of packing from those left behind, and the birds and wildlife take over again – coming home, grateful it has been returned to them again. A goose floats away in front of me, head bobbing back and forth as its little legs paddle like a steamer. And now on land among friends its head pokes down, searching for treasure; mining.

Yesterday this was noise, today it is silence, and always there has been a little bit of the other in each. The Yin-Yang of aural stimulation. The Tao of sound.

I love being at either end of a festival: the anticipation, the celebration, then the dissipation. An entire lifecycle in a weekend.

And a fish swims under me, oblivious to the world of air, another survivor free again from the depth charges laid by paddle strokes and ziplines, dives and waterslides. All is quiet in the water again until the goose splashes to a landing. The Yin-Yang of aural stimulation. The Tao of sound.

And the breeze sifts softly though the greening leaves, brushing by, a hushed breath dancing. And heavy machinery drives by on the country road, steely resonance heaving. The Yin-Yang of aural stimulation. The Tao of sound.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


It rained. It really rained, and thunder and lightning joined it, and it was really quite spectacular. And not too much of our stuff got wet, which is good. And it’s Mothers Day and I haven’t gotten E a thing yet. And I’m sore and yesterday I felt sick and stayed in the tent most of the day and you’d think I would’ve gotten used to this camping business by now. And this morning the kids must have woken the whole campsite up and I noticed that I’m not very tolerant when that happens. And I’ve got itchy spots all over me. And the sun is out and people are waking now, and E is scratching her ear, and it really feels as though there is nothing to say.

I haven’t poked my head outside the tent yet. Early yesterday morning there was a beautiful mist lifting from the lake. Both mornings I have heard geese and other birds, and then the people awake and the music starts and I can’t hear anything but that. Where do the animals go? How do they deal with all these gatecrashers? If animals invaded our homes like this we’d have them eradicated. It hardly seems fair, does it? How did we ever become so arrogant?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Manifest, oh!

No rain yet, only sun and cold, cold nights. I guess you just gotta expect it to get cold beside a lake in the mountains.

It seems half the Floyd community is here, and we’ve got a prime location together just by the main stage, behind some vendors’ stalls – which, again seem to be occupied by half the Floyd community: Shanti’s beautiful bowls at Little River Turning, Eli’s amazing glass creations at Inner World Glass, and Pat and Dave’s jewelry at Earth Dance Jewelry. They’ll be making our wedding rings. And not too far away, Billy sells his flutes.

I am surrounded by creativity in Floyd, and I recall this is exactly what I asked for about two years ago when Dharmananda briefly decided they didn’t want me anymore. I decided then that I still wanted to live in community, and I wanted to find somewhere more creative. Floyd is it! It is certainly a community, though not intentional as Dharmy was, and there is creativity everywhere: E’s Shamvara pillows, her mother’s florist shop and all the cute creations she makes, my boss A and her unique fashions, The Sun Music Hall that I purport to run, Kusun and Solazo – who I’m supposed to be helping M manage, and all the other venues that dot this little town, population 432.

I asked for creativity and got it, I asked for family and grounding and got it, I asked for a mutually loving relationship and got it. What more could I want? Now what beckons seems to be prosperity. Just like before, I have no idea how, or what it will look like. All I have is the faith that I get what I ask for, and the evidence to back it up. Let’s see where this journey leads.

Manifestation is so exciting to watch!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Joining the dots

Early morning stirrings outside of Asheville and another wet festival weekend is about to commence. At my last wet festival weekend I met E, so I have no call for it to dampen my spirits. My clothes, yes; our tent, yes; but not my spirits. We’re going to the Lake Eden Arts Festival, a quaint little folky festival around a lake in this North Carolina cultural hub.

I love this country for its fullness. There is something for everyone here – culturally, socially, politically, geographically – there is a home in this nation somewhere for almost anyone. And in this moment it feels as though I have found mine: beautiful family in the hills in a place called Floyd. Floyd! If this didn’t make my friends laugh when they first heard it, they missed an opportunity; Pink Floyd being so central to my life for so long ‘n’ all.

Oh, the twists a life endures. I notice so often that a conversation, a chance incident, serves as preparation for the real thing a little later. It’s like it’s all already happened, and then in this life it all gets pieced together in a pattern that is nowhere near as chaotic as it appears. And it seems to me that if eternity – all time – exists, then there is no other choice than for everything to have already happened: it all exists within eternity somewhere. What looks like life is merely joining the dots.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My place in this space

This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace. (ACIM Lessons 361-365) Your simple direction. I love that ‘direction’ has two meanings here: direction as in guidance, and direction as in the way I would follow.

And so ends the Course. The last lesson being done, still a tiny bit from the manual to go, and where am I? Am I enlightened? No. Am I a giver of miracles? Not really. Am I a teacher of God? Hardly. So what do I have to show for myself? Greater understanding. Through the experiences the Course has opened me to, I think I can say I have a better understanding of my place in this space. Things seem to make a lot more sense. What once looked like chaos now lacks meaning. The world I once saw as my enemy is slowly filtering away as imagination. The past is getting dimmer and the future is fading, as this here now is gaining ground. I am seeing innocence where once only evil lurked. And at times I can look upon you and see me.

I am on my way home, as I’ve always been, as we all are. Only now I have direction, where before I had confusion. A path is being beaten to my door.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

There is nothing left but this

There is nothing left but this blue page, black pen; café and its ‘60s music, the hum of a fridge, the rattle of crockery and the soft breeze from the overhead fans. Cars cruising past from time-to-time – that’s not 25 miles per hour! And the sky out the window pressing to get in, like the deer that smashed through the glass door here two days ago. Sooner or later it all gets in. Nature never stops, that is Her way.

Birds across the way peck in the tall grass for treats. They eat like birds. Why is it when someone doesn’t eat much, we say they eat like birds? Birds eat something like twice their own bodyweight every day. Only fat people and weightlifters eat like birds, and even they couldn’t keep up.

The trees reach for the sky, never realizing they’re already in it, and we’re all caught unawares. The green traffic lights shine my way, saying go, go, go, and I stop here, anarchic. And in their redness, two dragon eyes appear and glare accusingly, threateningly at me. What did I do? Why me?

There is nothing left but this: me and my crossed legs afore the timber table, resting uneasily in the armchair – camouflaged out the side of my eye, purple-yellow patterns when it stares right at me.

There is nothing left but this, me and this and that.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

She of infinite patience

The aroma of freshly baked bread wafts in and I recall the loaf I prepared last night has now been made. That technology can time a loaf of bread is but one more thing to give my gratitude to.

But most of my gratitude now goes to my teacher, E: she of infinite patience, grace and forgiveness, she the indefatigable, she of evenness of temperament. I searched for you, E, in so many forms. I thought I found you in obsession; I looked for you in dozens of shallow sexual encounters; I tried to join you with drugs; I sought you in my travels; in two long-term relationships I still could not find you. For all the time you were waiting for me here in Floyd: she of infinite patience.

E, I thank you for loving me even when it would be easier for you to run the other way. I thank you for seeing in me things that I struggle to find. Thank you, E. Thank you.

My search ceased with you. May this stop be forever.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Poisonous spiders

Children screaming, "Mom! Mom! There's a poisonous spider!" Mum coming once she's off the phone saying, "That's not a poisonous spider." Child responding, "I know, but it's getting closer and I'm frightened." How many 'poisonous spiders' surround us?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Loose ends

In the silence, what have I found? I have found that my mind is seldom silent: that it takes me on incomplete journeys, never leaving anything wholly done. It does this in the silence, and I see its manifestations around me in this process I would call life. Loose ends surround me, and inevitably I would prefer to start another thread rather than finish one off.

Loose ends are burdensome. Too many together and they form a clutch of nasty knots. Unravelling them then becomes the task and they remain undone, incomplete. Loose ends…

Wholeness comes from completion, from finishing things off. There may be no end to eternity, but what has a beginning necessarily needs an end. That is the lot of this plane. Leaving things undone here keeps me from the eternal, for I am stuck between a beginning and an end – the antithesis of eternity. On the other side of the end it lies, and all needs to be finalized before it opens to me.

So it is time now to finish things off. If I started it, I must end it. This is follow-through, focus; discipline in action. Completion comes through perseverance. Totality is the intention.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


After my post last week about my belovedly frustrating Fremantle Football Club, I resolved to do the most heretical thing in sport: change teams. I was tired of backing the perennial underdog, so decided it was time to back a winner. The colours didn’t change, or the players, the coaching staff; not even the administration – what changed was my story about them. From the time I began supporting them - which was the very day their addition to the competition was announced in 1994 - I have gone into almost every game with at least an underlying suspicion that they would throw the game away. And statistically, they haven’t disappointed me – losing more often than not.

But last week all that changed. My team is a winner now, through and through, and when it comes to the crunch I know they’re not the ones who will fold.

Things have been interesting since I changed teams.

To begin with, in an almost unprecedented move, the competition’s governing body controversially decided to award our team the win in the farcical encounter that inspired last week’s post. The determination with which the club pursued this result reflected the steely resolve I expected of my new team, and again they didn’t disappoint me.

And then last night I listened over the internet as we took on our arch rivals (who we’d beaten only five times in our previous 22 encounters) and unbeaten competition leaders in one of the most intense tussles I’ve ever witnessed in this game.

For those who don’t know, one goal is worth six points in this game, and you can also score single points. A typical winning score will be around at least 100 points.

Fremantle led by five points at quarter time, by two at half time and by three at three-quarter time. Even if they had made it this far, the team I used to support would buckle in the final term. But listening in, I knew that my team were winners and would do everything they could to prove it.

The last quarter was a dour affair. The opposition kicked a goal that put them four points in front, and if I had been supporting my old team I would have known then that it was all over. But that team doesn’t exist, and the team I support now fought back: first with one point, then another, and another (oh no, was this the team of old?). We were one point down. And then, with little time left, one of our players had a reasonable chance of scoring a goal. He was a member of my new team – the team that gets goals in these circumstances – not the old one, where a point to draw or no score at all would have been expected. I listened expectantly – with the expectation it would be a goal, nothing less. He kicked the ball. There was no question.

We won!

Friday, May 05, 2006


Last night my conscience appeared before me in the form of E, a good friend of hers, and someone I’d never met before, to interrogate me in the inquisition of the thing I’m most ashamed of. Judge, jury and executioner, relentlessly coming at me for hour after hour. And the verdict? Guilty. My greatest fears about myself have been realized – they’re all true and I am scum, slime, a despicable human being; a monster.

As painful as it is – and I assure you it’s painful – they have probably done me a service. They have shown me how much my conscience hates me, the lengths it will go to to drag me down and hold me there. They have exposed my guilt and let me stew in its festering stench. I am glad it is out in the open, where the fresh air can cleanse it until there is nothing left for the shame to attach to.

What scares me most is everybody discovering this thought that most shames me, but it is too late now – if word is to spread, there is nothing I can do to stop it. And word spreads very fast in this community. And in a sense, the further and thicker my shame is spread, the faster it will disperse.

It has been living with me for long enough now. I don’t need it, don’t want it any more. Guilt is no way to live. Somewhere, suffocating under this fetid mess, the purity of innocence still shines. Once this ugly veil is discarded, maybe it will be easier to find.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Not a day for meditation

Today is clearly not a day for meditation. First, E and I went upstairs and closed the door behind us to ‘meditate’, and were twice interrupted by L. Then, when E left, I sat down to genuinely meditate and first E came up to tell me she had to leave unexpectedly; then L dropped in to say, “Oh, you’re still meditating,” (phew! looks like we got away with it); and finally, just after they walked out the door the phone rang, and due to the circumstances of E leaving so suddenly I answered it. False alarm. I tried sitting again, but by this time had gotten the point: not now.

There is a guy at E’s work who gets really upset if people talk in the hall while he’s trying to meditate, and I remember a woman at Dharmananda who refused to use the meditation hall because some individuals chose to time their meditation, ending with a short, quiet alarm. And for some reason all the interruptions did this morning was tell me, “Not now.”

I guess I’m lucky. I guess meditation for me is largely about finding peace, and getting upset by interruptions would hardly be an indication that I’ve found peace. So maybe I’m on the right track – maybe it even works. Who knows? I know that people have been doing it for thousands of years; I have noticed that regular meditation seems to have a positive impact on me – and yet, when I think about it, I have no idea why I do it. Is it for peace? Greater awareness? Relaxation? Inspiration? Maybe it is all these things.

And then I recall that approaching meditation with a motive doesn’t work. Maybe I am on the right track.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I felt tears from my eyes this morning as I finished my meditation. There was no sadness in them. I was far too joyful to be sad. Were they tears of joy? gratitude? peace? Maybe they were just tears. For this one, it didn’t really matter: they were comforting, and that was all – warm and rounded and comforting.

Emotion is overrated. Giving a name to a feeling simply reinforces it, gives it the air of reality. Anyone who has examined these things is aware that excitement and fright share exactly the same sensations: the label is the only thing that differentiates them. Similarly, tears are by no means the sole domain of sadness, nor laughter necessarily an indication of happiness. And detachment is not emotional, so emotions come from attachment. I prefer detachment: it is far more amusing and balanced and complete than attachment. Yes, emotion is definitely overrated.

And I love laughter and tears; I love that people express themselves in the manner that feels right to them. I simply have no cause to believe the emotion they attach to their sensations has any basis in truth. Expression is interpretation, and interpretation is not necessarily true.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Peace be to me, the holy son of God. Peace to my brother, who is one with me. Let all the world be blessed with peace through us. (ACIM Lesson 360) Thank you.

Peace is underrated. Peace is amazing. What I find is that I’m scared of it: when I really begin to enter the space of peace I shy from it, attempting to escape back into the chaos I know so well. So I have seen peace – or something like it – and I have run in the other direction. It is too full an experience for me, too complete. I seem to prefer being unconnected and fragmented. And that can change.

And peace is my inheritance, it is my right. And it is there – I have felt its beautiful warmth enrapture me. Only to stay there is something I am not ready for yet. For the time being, I choose suffering instead. And if this be suffering, then things ain’t too bad. For I am loving this now in this moment when peace is my next-door neighbour, knocking on my door, pleading with me to let it move in. All it takes is for me to open that door and the flood of light will do the rest.

The light is there and it is overwhelming. Resistance is as useless as it is pointless. Why would I resist eternity? Why would I let my little self get in the way when paradise beckons so convincingly? Because I can. Because it doesn’t matter. Because that’s the way it is for now.

And who could argue with that?

Monday, May 01, 2006


It’s a chilly morning and the covers are friendly and welcoming. I like chilly because it invites cosy. And I like cosy because it is.

E is in a hurry to leave and I can’t find it. I look at the clock and hear that there aren’t many minutes left until we need to go, but the urgency hasn’t hit me yet. Things tend to work out, I suppose. Nothing ever prevented me from being here, now, and that’s not likely to change. There is no place else to be.

This hand just writes and I watch and when it is done I will see what happens then. I notice that when I believe I need to be someplace else that I get stressed, aggravated, and the sense of urgency feels very real. I prefer this. The situation is no different – time wise we are in a rush – it is only that in my mind, in this moment, I am here, not there.

And that could change.