The heavy rain and lightning caused a power outage today, postponing two of the Skype interviews that I had scheduled. Sitting in the silence of the house with no electric currents running through the walls reminded me of being in the wilderness ranger station that I grew up in. We had no electricity in the little two-room cabin. Only a battery powered radio so we could listen to NPR. The thistle and shamrock Irish/Scottish music station, Prairie Home Companion and Car talk in the background of our daily activities (or lack there of). There is something profoundly simple about a life absent of electricity. The imagination has more room to exercise itself. Games and conversation and food are the hallmark of entertainment. And life feels more sensual and intimate.
Today when the power went out, all the people I live with in this communal house collected in my bedroom. There were people piled on the bed and couches and floor. We started talking and laughing about the food that we were fed as children. There was a humorous kind of nostalgia that arose from realizing that our parents had no idea how to feed us healthy food. Twinkies and Hot Pockets and Wonder Bread Sandwiches were the fuel of most of our childhoods (It’s surprising any of us made it to adulthood). But when the power went out, it was like life stopped. The busy-ness of our lives, abandoned for the promise of human connection. I looked around the room and thought to myself, “I love communal living”. These people, once strangers are now more than friends, more than family. Our lives are interwoven. We are like extensions of each other now. We have gone from feeling like misfits lost in a sea of people that we do not relate to, to this… A feeling of belonging. The separateness we all feel in our daily lives is the necessary contrast we go through in order to understand the basic premise of this universe, which is oneness. And that feeling is so sweet; it may just be worth the trip here.
This last month has required a lot of bravery for me. Expansion waits for no one they say. But it got me thinking about courage in general. The act of moving forward despite fear into the uncertainty that awaits us. Most people try to avoid that uncertainty by making their lives as predictable as they can. They follow the beaten path. They do not leave room in their lives to question. They fear death above all. But those people are cowards. And cowards are already dead. They leave empty footprints upon the surface of the earth. I was thinking today about how wonderful it would be, if people really lived instead of pretended to live. I was imagining how wonderful it would be if people let their souls fill in the footprints that they leave behind. We are all searching for meaning. We are all searching for purpose. But we will never find it if we continue to live careful lives. We will never find it if we are cowardice enough to let other things lead us through our lives than our own personal sense of joy. I still make this mistake from time to time. We all do. But mistakes can never really be mistakes. They are only ever confirmations about the path that is truly the right one for us to be on. I’ve had many of these “confirmations” lately. Many of which inspired me to start this blog.
People let me into their lives every day. No…not just their lives, their very being. They give me the gift of vulnerability. They do not know what I’m going to do with that vulnerability. I could cradle it or I could use it to destroy them (or so they think) but they are brave enough to give it to me all the same. It is a gesture to the universe at large. It is courage to walk into uncertainty and build a home there. And so, I have decided to do the same in return. I have decided to share not just my life, but my very being with you (the reader). I give you the gift of vulnerability with this blog. I will be recording the goings on of my daily life here. I am giving you the gift of my pains, my joys, my thoughts, my emotions, my identity. I am happy to give you the same gift that you have given me… transparency. Let this willingness to be open to each other and to the rest of the world, be a bond that unites us. Let it remind us that even though we come from different races and countries and religions and genders and cultures and neighborhoods and yes, even worlds… We are all one.
And I will always love you.