I knew it would likely be overwhelming to face everything again upon my return, and now I must say that it is exactly as I expected -- no more, no less. It's strange how one can be ambivalent about leaving, and then equally ambivalent about returning! Or maybe it is not strange at all, because that is what ambivalence is: seeing both sides. Home is good; going away is good. Might this mean that I have become somewhat successful in feeling "at home" wherever I am?
Vaguely while I was away, and more intensely now that I am back, I've been mulling over the meaning of integrity and wholeness. Specifically, I am wondering whether it is possible to bring one's whole self into every experience and every relationship. And I am also wondering whether this is desirable.
The reason I ask is because I took "work" along on this last trip, thinking I would need to spend some time attending to it in order to maintain my sense of who I am. To my surprise, I didn't want to touch it. I mostly wanted to wander about, looking at things and taking pictures. When chatting with others, I wanted to hear about their lives, and didn't really want to share about how intense this past year has been for me. So, I did not bring the fullness of my being into this experience or these relationships. I left a huge part of myself behind.
Maybe that's why my luggage didn't come. The cosmos participated with me in this experiment of mine. Even the clothing symbolic of previous adventures lingered back in the strange netherworld where lost luggage dwells, only emerging to greet me again when I am fully back here, in this life, in this self.
Maybe I needed this experiment in Being -- to just be exactly where I was, in the present, not bringing past or future along, just focused on the here and now. There is a way that this was refreshing. Maybe that is exactly what "vacation" is supposed to be about.
And yet, at the same time, it wasn't completely satisfactory. There were moments of a kind of loneliness, when I realized I wouldn't mind some high-quality attention from others concerning some of what I struggle with in life. And there were moments when I may have been holding back too much, which had the effect of not giving others a chance to participate in finding new points of connection that might have been mutually enriching.
Now I come back cautiously. I have not plunged fully into everything. I look at it all from a huge distance, and think very carefully about which set of tasks to take on first. I feel like I am easing back, one layer at a time, into the complexity of my life. My shower and refrigerator adventures of yesterday forced me to refrain from plunging forth too quickly, brought my attention firmly to the basic needs that structure our lives, and reminded me to be grateful. This morning, I was able to go through my restored morning routine with keen, appreciative awareness. It all starts from here, the basics that support life itself: water that cleans and fresh food that nourishes.
Thus cleansed and nourished, now what do I do with this gift of life? How exactly should I project myself into this complex, paradoxical world? What can I do that will truly make a positive difference?
5 years ago