Where did it go? For years there was this natural pulse of activity in organizing teleconferences and events. I can’t even call it an effort because it felt as natural as breathing, almost like it was my breath. Every day, all day, thoughts appeared that were related to the Lyme community, to the politics of it all, to the treatment efforts of physicians and patients, to the challenges of patients and caregivers alike, and always, to the joy of possibility that arises when suffering dissolves in understanding and compassion. There has been and undeniable “Yes!” to anything related to chronic illness, until there wasn’t.
Of course, I resisted the “No”. It made no sense to the mind that is addicted to needing an answer to the question “Why?” All the mind could produce was a list of seemingly valid reasons for this shift, but when investigated, held absolutely no weight. And so eventually, after some ‘required’ amount of suffering through thoughts of “I’m not being a contribution”, “Maybe I’m just a lazy person”, yada yada, blah blah….I stopped resisting and made peace with right now…not doing very much of anything. And in the allowing of ‘not very much of anything’, I noticed the richness.
With my attention withdrawn from resistance and questions, it settled quietly on the trees, the branches, the leaves that changed color and dropped to the ground in fall. It filled itself with awe in standing in the same spot every morning and witnessing completely different sunrises. It drank in the pleasure of the winter chill and the ice slabs that formed and then broke on the river during low tide. It became familiar with the visiting bird friends and their preferred times to feed. It became the dead tree limbs that formed a natural fence line at the yard’s edges. It became a boy named Charlie who sees the world without the noise of language, and always falls towards love and play. It opened to day to day routines that seem insignificant to the mind, but are overflowing with experiences that range from apathy to unbridled joy. And it noticed the constant chatter of ego and it’s insatiable neediness.
I have had time to reflect deeply on my relationship with Thandi and her passing. I’ve had time to revisit videos and memories of our daughters when they were just little, and to feel the flow of tears that love provokes. I’ve had time to contemplate life with Dennis as we deepen our roots in Maine. I’ve enjoyed slow walks on beaches and long sits on benches and rocks.
Essentially, it’s just been about feeling life, being life, with no significance and with no job identity. It has taken quite a while to peacefully answer the question of “So, what do you do?” with “Not much of anything.”
I have noticed in this phase of ‘not much of anything’ that the breath of supporting the Lyme community has not gone anywhere. Even without my outward organizing, the phone calls and messages still come in and the conversations remain nourishing. An event even formulated. There is less activity for sure, but the source of it remains complete and full. It feels like a winter rest. And there is a stunning beauty to that landscape.