It’s so easy to get caught up in the days of it, the daze of it. Sometimes I get to thinking that these single days of mine all laid out in a patchwork quilt somehow make up my life. But they do not. Sure, they give a structure to it, a form, but they are not my life as surely as a patchwork quilt is not the sensation of warmth, merely that moment’s conduit for it. (There are many other conduits and, left in the rain, that same quilt would bring cold instead of warmth.) In this little season of such practical flux, with so little externally to call my own, I feel strangely caught up in the singular days and yet completely flown free of them.
I watch myself with a studied curiosity. ‘What will I do if I run of welcoming places to sleep?’ I wonder. ‘What will I do if I actually run out of accessible dollars?’ I ask myself questions like this sometimes, but it’s with decidedly more curiosity than fear at the moment… I’m genuinely interested to see what I do next, to see what opportunities I spy over the crest of this next wave. Because, bigger than the day-to-day ‘get through’ of it, this season of the last 4 months (during which I have averaged a new bed every week or two) has instilled in me even deeper faith and understanding of this fact – I will get through it. And, brilliantly more often than not, I will get through it with so much more than mere survival.
I feel like I have whittled away so much of what has covered me, so much of what I had previously cloaked myself in and called my identity. My car was part of my vision of who I was, my house, my things, my networks, my easy friendships with so many of the people of the last community I was an established part of, even my history in that area I held to as some kind of showy pendant to drape around my neck even as it felt heavy and my walk more laboured because of it. ‘Me. Mine’ I declared, gathering my titles and my history around myself in definition… I experiment with letting more of that go than ever before. ‘But surely you define yourself as a writer?’ some have asked. In moments ‘Yes’, in others ‘No’. In many moments over the last months, I have grappled with, played with the notion of defining myself in ‘out there’ terms as little as humanly possible. In some moments, it has made me feel inferior, in others scared out of my sweet little ego mind… But, in the ashes of these flaring, burning things, I have found a deep, profound delight in letting go of so much of my ‘out there’ definition.
Anything that can be taken from me is not who I am. Nothing that can be threatened is real. When I’m in the realness of myself, I don’t feel threatened by the possible appearance of lack or the taking away of anything out there. And, when I’m in this space, my trust in my ability to take the next perfect actions, at the perfect time, is absolute. True, I am not always in this space… In fact, I am often not in this space… But even my ever growing, deeply planted, devoutly watered ability to observe myself as not being in this space is one of my strongest assets. Awareness of these things always comes first…
To wind my way back to the beginning of this piece… What is my life then, if it is not these collections of days? Hmmm… Tonight I would say – My life is an ever expanding awareness of the truth of who I am and what I’m doing here… And as much expansion can be contained in a linear moment as a score of years… Time is but a thing and structure we play with.
What is your life, if it is more than a collection of days?