Slow Curves and Sharp Turns
I am trying to make myself journal several times a week. I think it is helpful, yet sometimes I feel I have nothing to say, nothing to offer even myself. My head is a dull bulb casting shadows on nothingness. But this morning I have the time and the quiet to sit with myself. I keep thinking I will work more in my connection to myself and thereby my spiritual connection but I’m just not sure what that means. I find that I can create many paradigms to help myself become stronger or healthier, but the mystic seems to come only when it wants to come anymore. Hard as I try I can’t seem to stretch towards it.
There was a time in my life I felt very self aware, very connected to something greater than myself. I’m not sure when that evaporated. A catholic faith was replaced with something less defined, but felt stronger, at least to me. A connection to the spirit that was not encouraged or supported by the formal religion. I have slowly evolved into someone I’m not sure I recognize, which is so cliche it makes me want to puke. But then, these tropes must come from somewhere I guess. Yesterday I ran for the first in a long time, running with intermittent walk breaks. At the end of my run I found myself thanking god, the universe – pick your poison- for my health and the beauty of the day. That is all very normal. But then I found myself pushing to go a little further with my run, just a little. And then I did this totally weird and very unlike me thing, I found myself offering my determination and my suffering to the universe. As though they would want it. How bizarre and how very catholic. But I was desperately serious. Even so, neither the gratitude nor the suffering felt recognized. It was just me and my feet out there alone. This is the wrong path. It was the wrong path yesterday and it continues to be a place not worth exploring today. But somehow here I am.
It all feels like so much noise. I never would have dreamed I could be this exhausted and this sad.
Through all of this I am trying to maintain an outward structure. I keep making dinner, going food shopping, working out and tracking my diet. It feels somehow pointless and at the same time something to cling to. I can make sense of the numbers on the scale and biometrics I pretend are real. The scale was just too cheap to be accurate, but I still follow along religiously the fat – subcutaneous and visceral – as well as all of the other little details my magic scale pretends to know. Really, not much difference between the scale and any other prophet that speaks from a place of ill deserved confidence. Except I feel I have some power over the scale, or at least a way I can show up, affect the outcome. For some reason I woke up thinking about how many people I know dismiss the Islamic faith, deriding the idea that god came to Muhammad in the dessert. I guess in order to be believable it needs a burning bush or a virgin. Of course those two things rarely go together. Irreverent, wrong, no wonder I have no connection. My grandmother would be horrified. I envy people with such deep faith. I am not a non believer, I just don’t think there are so many rules or hoops to jump through. Seriously, why would a higher power need or want to be adored? Such a man made concept. Loved? Probably. Adored? Seems a stretch. There is something so subjugating about adoration. Why would an all powerful being be so insecure that it needed subjugation? It just doesn’t fit. I think it is unhealthy the way we need to deify things. It takes away the mystery and the magic. But then, what do I know?
So I find myself casting around, looking for something to believe in. Something to hold on to. I have the support of. my family, especially my husband, but I feel completely alone. A few days before my father died, before we even knew he was dying, my brother had a dream. He dreamt that my father and two other friends who had already passed were sitting in our old living room with him. They were all together, laughing and drinking a few beers. My father looked much younger but he was carrying himself the way he did at the end of his life. He was frail and stooped over some. My brother asked him why he was acting like that, why he seemed ill. And my father said because he wasn’t all the way there yet. The next day we got word that he would be receiving last rites. My brother said maybe it was just his brain working things out. But I don’t believe that. I feel in my bones that it was my father, reaching out to my brother as he moved on. It isn’t just that I believe that, there is a knowing in me. An unshakable belief.