Friday, August 12, 2011

Shadows in August

The clouds slid across the hills yesterday in the form of shadows fluid and dark. I could see this dance of darkness and light changing the tree and earth surfaces in my view, yet being under the cloud shadows was a different story. The intense heat of the August sun halted and the coolness in the breeze stepped forward. Colors changed, and for a moment there were thoughts of those possible predicted thunderstorms. Fleeting, soundless and insubstantial, the clouds continued moving; tall grasses rustling in the sun. This is how we live, here in the shadow, here in the sun. We notice and we don't notice and each moment is just this.

So it is with the day lilies that open their blooms for one day. Clusters on a stalk promise blooms tomorrow or next week until the day comes when it is the last lily bud on the stalk. The bees find their way to the open blooms, the deer nibble off buds with no care for the bloom that is forever lost to sight. Lilies come and go, clouds shift, shadows come and go. Summer months that appear and beckon on the horizon from mid-winter are here and gone too.

So I am here in this moment at the computer, seeing the shadows move, watching the sun illuminate that particular clump of trees and blooming goldenrod, picking the blackberry seeds out from my back left molar. Not dead yet, no longer a child nor childbearing, seeking still a way to express the love I feel and comfort myself as a human being by sharing this moment in a blog post. Easier just to appreciate the raucous sound of the jays, and the fluttering dance of maple leaves in the sun.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Here Today, Here Now

I am puzzling over the odd illusion that I get things done, that there is an endpoint, that I do something until it is finished. There is great resistance in me over giving this idea up, yet I clearly see it as "an idea." Even in the setting of a goal there is really only the doing. I might finish a meal and wash the dishes but I am not done with eating. I may weed the garden but I am not done with gardening. I may hold headstand for a specific number of breaths but I am not done with headstand.

The lessons of the summer continue with every poppy and daylily bloom.

Living fully within the constraints of this very moment, not reaching into the future, nor grasping at the past, seems to require releasing this idea of "being done." It is not the same as leaving things unfinished, nor does it mean not accomplishing anything, but rather truly letting go of results. I think humans quite naturally construct beginnings and ends for emotional and psychological convenience and to feed the illusion of certainty that we find so comforting. It is a huge shift to loosen my grip on this way of understanding. Once I see it clearly, it seems to have pervaded everything.

Moments of being offer me great freedom from this clutching. In those moments when I can fully be in-the-being mode rather than in the doing-to-get-done mode, there is even greater happiness than from the illusory constructs. But my oh my how I do fight against this! That is where practice makes all the difference. Plodding along, moment by moment in meditation or a yoga session or in the garden, or the kitchen, or with a list, or in conversation, or contemplating my calendar, I can actively see my tendencies and practice loosening the grip.