Upside Down

I’m a fairly intelligent person and I know how the world works.  You start with A and get yourself to B, whether that’s an easy task or something that requires great effort and creativity.  After that, it’s on to C.  Etcetera.

Or … maybe I’m wrong.  Life just might present us with stuff that doesn’t make any sense, that’s bereft of logic, often just plain weird.  Could it be that these moments are immense windows into another way of being?

I’m looking back at jolts, discontinuities, strangeness.  One happened a couple of days ago, when I was doing a Mutual Awakening practice with someone online.  I can’t even remember who that someone was, which is a bit of a jolt in itself.  In these practices, images often bubble up.  I’ve let go of figuring out where they come from.  This time, I saw a man looking at me with his eyes closed.  I could tell they were about to open.  Instead of the eyelids rising to reveal the eyes, they came down from the top.  When the eyes were fully visible, the lids didn’t stop at the bottom.  They continued down his cheeks, gradually showing an iridescent turquoise interior.  It was shining and it was huge.  Seeing into the man’s eyes, I realized that he was me.

My lips tightened.  My head tilted.  And I was transported to another place.  I knew almost immediately that I would talk to you about this mystery that takes the breath away.  Here it is Sunday and I’m talking.  It doesn’t matter how you react to this.  It’s clear to me that this break in normal reality needs to be communicated.

***

I’m thinking back to a vacation that Jody and I had in the Dominican Republic.  The dining room was close by a lovely pond bordered with tropical colours.  Long-legged pinkish birds walked in the shallows, seeking a fish buffet.  After a minute of watching the birds tense into their pouncing, I noticed their legs.  My mouth opened and I stared.  Their legs bent the other way … folding backwards.  What ever happened to A, B, C and D?

***

Last night, I went to a BeeGees tribute concert in London.  Towards the end, many of us were moving and grooving on the dance floor that was the narrow space between Row A and the stage.  One young man danced like … I don’t know what.  His fingers were jabbing in time to his neck moving back and forth, sort of like a chicken but not really.  More staring from me.

***

When the breaks in reality flood me, I get disoriented, wavery, hanging not so loose in some in-between space.  The questions explode in my head:  “Where am I?  What is this place?  How come I don’t recognize any landmarks?”

This is all okay
Just embrace the fog
Walk inside
It’s safe

Wobbled

The Grade 5 and 6’s often play volleyball in gym class and I get to participate.  I crouch when preparing to return serve.  My eyes bore into the opponent on the far side of the net.  My arms are extended, ready to bump or volley.  Every fibre of Bruceness is alert.

The contrast to athletic focus seems to have started during my long meditation retreats.  Sitting in the hall for as long as an hour several times a day, I sometimes felt a “shimmering down”, the falling of energy on my face.  It settled me.  Long sighs came from some place way deep inside.  Sitting here right now, the descending flow is with me.

More recently, in my work online with the Evolutionary Collective, I get to practice with someone for half an hour.  We ask each other the question “What are you experiencing right now?” and then see what emerges. In the year-and-a-half that I’ve been doing this practice with many different people, there have been transitions.  Away from “How am I doing?” and towards the essence of the person who faces me through the laptop screen.  Away from an urgent seeking for something to say and towards an allowing of the mouth to open, and a pause to see what wants to come out.  Away from doing it right and towards loving my partner.

If the volleyballer in me is seen as a perfectly vertical line, the gazer into eyes that I also am is a tilting, a wobbling.  Sometimes it’s even a gentle fall to the side, while knowing that my landing will be soft.  Often there is a sense of being cradled, of some sweet being crouching low to bring me softly to the ground.

Both while practicing with the EC and also just sitting around home, questions can wash over me:  “What’s happening?”  (No worry, no urgency, just curiosity)  “Where am I?” (Being lost and not needing to be found, okay with having no familiar landmarks)

It feels like some entity is behind the Wizard of Oz’s curtain … wobbling me.  And I’m very willing to be moved, to be touched, to be influenced as I amble along.

***

Sometimes I write about things that happened in the past – events, people, experiences, feelings.  That’s good.  Even better, though, is being in the middle of what I’m talking about right now.  And so it is in this moment.  I’m disoriented, buffeted by some grand breeze, slumping here and swooning there.

All is well

Wall Art

Some changes are gradual.  I’ve gained thirteen pounds over the past few months and my fitness has declined.  Last week, I started with a trainer at my new fitness club.  “Derek” and I are looking longterm to get me stronger, more flexible and trimmer.  I won’t go from 178 to 165 by Sunday but June 3 is doable.

Life, however, isn’t just about increments.  Some changes are sudden, jolting and disorienting.  Transformations.  It’s like yelling “Ah ha!”  It’s being in totally unfamiliar territory, maybe a neighbourhood where you don’t recognize any of the street signs or buildings.  You’re swooning, groping inside a fog, asking yourself “Where the heck am I?”

I like symbols.  They point me towards truths that my brainy mind just can’t grasp.  Such a one showed up yesterday.  My sister-in-law Nona shared a post from designyoutrust.com on her Facebook timeline.  It was called “Before and After Photos Show the Power of Art to Transform Boring Buildings”.

This content is so visual, of course, and my writing is not.  But I’ll give ‘er a go.

Consider the blank wall.  It makes sure the offices and people don’t fall out.  But crazed painters see far beyond the cement.  Here are some jolts:

1.  From two-dimensional to three.  Imagine steps in the middle climbing high between two apartment buildings.  A pub full of celebrators on the ground level.  Folks on the stairs and leaning out of windows.  Flags and flower boxes.

2.  In real life, a small tree grows in front of a bare wall.  And then … Voilà! … a giant redheaded girl in a flaming dress is holding a watering can above the little one.

3.  A three-storey building is painted in robin’s egg blue.  Very nice.  Until one wall explodes as the night sky.  Blue, pink and green nebulae swirl against the blackness.

4.  A mass of grey disappears in favour of two orange stucco homes framing a river, bridges and the sky beyond.  A simple wall now vibrates, sucking me into the scene.

5.  And consider the hills of Palmitas, Mexico.  Whitewashed homes cover the rising land … briefly.  Part Two is a riot of pastel colours that swirl before my eyes.

***

Huh?
What is that?

The world now shines

Lost in Love

“Write about this.”

“I can’t write about this.  I’d get a paragraph done and then have nothing more to say.”

“Is this real?”

“Yes!  Supremely so.  It sings in my soul.”

“Sounds good.  Just begin and see where it goes.”

“Where it’ll go is fifty words tops.  Far better to write about that.”

“Does that sing?”

“Well … not really.”

“So what kind of writing would that be?  I’d call it CRAP!  Write what you love or shut up.”

“Hmm.  Okay.  Fifty words here I come.”

***

I was on the Evolutionary Collective Global call on the internet tonight.  There were thirteen of us.  We began with the teacher teaching a bit.  My face started pulsing.  A soft energy encircled my eyes.  There was a sense of falling.  My muscles were falling.  I was slow.  I was soft.  Woh …

“What’s happening to me?”  I still felt safe but the space around me was huge.  It seemed endless.  My eyes were glazing.  I felt like I was swooning, falling into a very deep hole.

And then it was time for the thirty-minute practice with one other person, selected randomly.  “Pam” and I started.  We looked way into each other’s eyes.  More falling.  The thought came: “I’m lost.”  And somehow delightfully so.  There was no danger.  The swirls of energy on my face intensified.  Sharp edges disappeared.  All was blending.

I became disoriented.  “Where am I?”  Again, no sense of deficiency.  Just floating free, untethered from the mother ship.  As I looked into Pam, she appeared as The Beloved.  There was no feeling of romance, no hint of sexuality.  There was merely and fully loving my friend, wanting all good things for her, wanting her to be supremely happy.

I teetered on the edge of unconsciousness.  No joy.  No bliss.  Instead, there was awe … and a supreme dissolving.  There was no Bruce.  There was no Pam.  There was simply love.

The group had an opportunity to share towards the end of the hour.  I told the folks what I’ve told you.  Others touched on a similar lostness.  We were falling together.

Two hours later, I’m not as deeply in, but the space still surrounds me.  I’m wondering how I’ve been able to type these words.  All is soft.  All is sweet.  All is well.

***

Hmm.  Quite a few more than fifty.