Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Now

At times Now feels too tender and fragile a thing to hold. Maybe looking ahead and behind to the future and past are just easy out's I developed to avoid the weight of Now. The absolute and total potential of it.

In truth, Now is so soft and so breezy when we manage to exist in it with awareness. It requires no vigilance or preparation. It's a state of brief flow buoyed up by our appreciation of the moment. I can't do better or be more in Now. It exists as a sole entity, free of comparison.

Sometimes I just need to say the word. Now. Bring it back. Now. I'm alive. Now. This is a tender moment. Now. The light feels so good as the sun shifts across the sky. Now. Stop wasting time thinking about what's next. What's next is an egg that hasn't even cracked.

Repeating Now to myself throughout the day, especially when my mind wanders to areas of concern or anxiety, is a powerful way to reset my attitude and absolve my grievances. Now has become a sort of hymn, a rhythmic anthem pulling me back from the past or future and into the moment.

The most effortless access I have to Now is the moment I wake up. Opening my eyes, I sense my inner consciousness as my true self housed inside my body. For mere seconds I hold a particular inside-out view of myself and my life that's both liberating and amusing. In the spaciousness of these first moments I seem to forget the agreement I've made with "reality"- of my body as my self. I feel like a Russian nesting doll, consciousness attached to a soul nestled in a physical form of flesh, housed within a universe wider than I can understand. It's silly and pure and bewildering, and makes me feel like magic.

If I were able to capture the feelings and thoughts that often define my first minute (or less) of being awake, I would exist on a higher plane as a happier version of myself. Now really connotes wonder. Wonder at the oddity of our souls existing within a physical avatar capable of everything from climbing mountains to splitting atoms.

When we achieve genuine presence, even if fleeting, life is a marvel; a parade of Nows suspended into oblivion like a string of bright lights punctuating the dark sky of space.

"Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!"

-Mary Oliver

Sunday, September 5, 2021

A Surplus of Solitude


This blog is chock full of endless references to my utter love for time alone. I've always been someone who requires an incessant amount of retreat & recharging. If life was like a dating profile where I'm asked to define myself in offensively small boxes, 'independent' would without a doubt be the first word come to come to mind. I've lived alone for quite a long time, traveled alone, and grew up an only child with strong skills in self entertainment. 

The thing is.. the last 14+ years I wasn't really living alone. I always had the companionship of my sweet baby dog Macaroni. My heartbeat outside my body, dictating our daily schedule and providing a constant sense of presence and camaraderie. Life is vastly different without him. 

Appraising Eagle Peak

This newfangled sense of loneliness didn't start with his passing though. It definitely began with quarantine. Pre-pandemic I was an avid proponent of both working from home and long stretches of solitude. Welp, the pendulum swings always- if we can count on nothing else in life, we can surely count on that. In the past two months I've been more restless and lonely than ever before. I've taken to working in coffee shops and cafes again, willing to pay my way in caffeine and pastry fees just to be around other humans. At times I feel completely stir crazy.

I even took on a second job bartending at the local tap house. I've loved meeting so many of my neighbors and chatting with regulars but I'm avidly searching for a place to live in Tacoma. At this moment my browser has open tabs on Zillow, Apartments.com, and Craigslist. 

Life is full of moments where we fortuitously change our minds. What we want or need can shift so drastically that we feel like imposters in our own lives. If I've learned anything in my thirties it's to NEVER SAY NEVER. Life/the universe/the all/God has a way of laughing at us when we make definitive statements. Irony seems to be the language of the divine. Though I said time and time again that I'd never move back to the city I'm now trying to stake a claim in the closest metropolis south of Seattle. I miss my people! I don't want to spend another Winter out here alone-this time for real for real, without Macaroni's company.

Tahoma from the Eagle Peak saddle

“Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” 

-Paulo Coelho

Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend the day hiking with Claire after way too long apart. We climbed to the saddle of Eagle Peak at Rainier- one of the most challenging trails I've done in awhile. It was blissful to get outside with a dear friend and to not be left to my own devices. More of that good good friend time to come this week as I depart on the annual Takhlakh Lake camping trip tomorrow! Time with our chosen tribe is truly the most life affirming medicine.

Claire    

Trail Specs:

7.2 miles

2910 ft. elevation gain