Clearly Unclear Place > Trust Mentors’ Inspiring Words
March 9, 2016 1 Comment
I have come to a place where I am indeed stuck, hence the title, clearly unclear. I had catapulted myself, with ease actually, out of Pennsylvania, with several hours of creating a profile and investigating a work-exchange site, specifically a WWOOF position. The host needed someone immediately, and then I miraculously found an automobile to transport across the country, that also was so urgent, that the owners tossed in an extra 100 dollars to entice someone to drive it. So I reduced what I’d take with me to two bags and was off. It was with ease that I also found my way back from the west coast destination for the automobile, back to my host in rural Arizona. I would make it work, the idea was to be isolated with electricity and internet access, to complete my eBook and start composing music again, while writing my blogs. It was a choice just beyond homelessness, and closest to an artist residency. And then I learned that I was the only worker there, that unlike other work-exchange operations, that this was not 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, but every day, and pretty soon I discovered that there was way more work to do than could be easily snipped off at a 5 hour point. Then personality differences ensued. After delicately communicating expectations against the reality and letting reproachful comments slide, one morning the tension fractured, and I was asked to leave immediately. I had just enough time to wash the alfalfa hay and dust out of my hair and pack. When I had the audacity to finally make a statement about the current situation and express my own opinion while being driven from the remote farm to the next town, the tires screeched to a halt and I scrambled to make sure that I could get my valuables, now three bags, out of the vehicle before it sped away.
I felt more of a sense of relief, than panic. I had been maintaining a meditation practice and had scooped out a bit more time through my own demands to at least do a little bit of my own work in between sleeping and working on the ranch. The animals I loved, the people were angry and overworked. I still remained calm as I stood on this dusty road in the middle of nowhere hitchhiking. A woman of the church finally stopped, she brought me to a place where I was able to approach a man sitting with his iPhone and laptop, to ask if it would be possible for me to poach some of his internet waves in order to send a message to my cousin, who I was pretty sure lived in Phoenix.
It turned out that in the very small allotted time that I sat there with WiFi through this guy whom I had some nice conversation with, that my cousin had returned my email with his contact information. I figured I’d start hitching to Phoenix, and discovered that my cousin lives in Tucson, the other direction. I found rides to take me there also effortlessly.
I have been here a little over a week. I have not had a clue of where to go. I have never warmed up to Los Angeles. I like to discover a city through having the option to walk around narrow streets and bicycle. I like to be in a place where I don’t HAVE to have a car, but can easily find the local ultimate frisbee pickup games, tennis courts, having a place to swim nearby is also lovely…and being among people who are artists and musicians with full hearts and open minds.
Suddenly it occurred to me that Tucson is this progressive place, particularly since it has a university, that is like an oasis in the desert of massive business chain entities that line several of the wide 4 lane highway streets that cut through the city. You know, the massive chains that are everywhere in the United States, as soon as you get out of the ‘old town’ or central quaint neighborhoods, you are confronted with these massive familiar businesses that are like flavors of ice cream, their brand names are so familiar to everyone.
So I decided, yes, I’ll look for work here, and housing, and then I had an experience one day that said, no, this is not what I want. And then I had another day that gently encouraged me to go with this new plan – do the duty, pay the price – and then the following day I was again feeling discouragement. As I communicated in a letter yesterday, perhaps I shouldn’t have come across and listened to, most of my adult life, the words and messages of Carl Jung, Carlos Castaneda, Joseph Campbell, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Charles Eisenstein, Wayne Dyer…
i.e. Tolle “Awakening to your Life’s Purpose”, Campbell “Follow your Bliss”, Jung “synchronicity” “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”, Chopra ‘I am the creator of my best life”, Castaneda ‘the teachings of the shaman Don Juan”, Charles Eisenstein “We are all here to contribute our gifts toward something greater than ourselves, and will never be content unless we are.”
And in my confusion, I’m delighted to have opened up this to read today.
“If we are stuck and do not choose to visit the empty place, eventually we will end up there anyway. You may be familiar with this process on a personal level. The old world falls apart, but the new has not emerged. Everything that once seemed permanent and real is revealed as a kind of hallucination. You don’t know what to think, what to do; you don’t know what anything means anymore. The life trajectory you had plotted out seems absurd, and you can’t imagine another one. Everything is uncertain. Your time frame shrinks from years to this month, this week, today, maybe even to the present moment. Without the mirages of order that once seemed to protect you and filter reality, you feel naked and vulnerable, but also a kind of freedom. Possibilities that didn’t even exist in the old story lie before you, even if you have no idea how to get there. The challenge in our culture is to allow yourself to be in that space, to trust that the next story will emerge when the time in between has ended, and that you will recognize it. Our culture wants us to move on, to do. The old story we leave behind, which is usually part of the consensus Story of the People, releases us with great reluctance. So please, if you are in the sacred space between stories, allow yourself to be there. It is frightening to lose the old structures of security, but you will find that even as you might lose things that were unthinkable to lose, you will be okay. There is a kind of grace that protects us in the space between stories. It is not that you won’t lose your marriage, your money, your job, or your health. In fact, it is very likely that you will lose one of these things. It is that you will discover that even having lost that, you are still okay. You will find yourself in closer contact to something much more precious, something that fires cannot burn and thieves cannot steal, something that no one can take and cannot be lost. We might lose sight of it sometimes, but it is always there waiting for us. This is the resting place we return to when the old story falls apart. Clear of its fog, we can now receive a true vision of the next world, the next story, the next phase of life. From the marriage of this vision and this emptiness, a great power is born.”
Alas, as I take in information with my brain and heart, and also stop and allow new messages to come in, I must trust that I’ll find my way.
I’m still looking for that artist residency and community….