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“Write what should not be forgotten.” ~ Isabel Allende
I have been writing.
This is a planetary situation. Deep healing is needed, at every level. Writing is therapeutic.
This is our life; there is no “going back.” No, I don’t mean that quarantine will last forever. I mean that this moment (breathe in and feel it) is it. The chronology of now: the ever-present present.
Yet, by writing things down, we can (in a way) go back. See how we felt at a particular moment in the past, whether it was yesterday, last week, last month, or 10 years ago.
Here are some lines I found comforting and/or thought-provoking when reading back through my journal entries and other writings. I hope you will find them beneficial, too.
13 February. (The calm before the storm.)
I have learned that it’s okay to feel whatever I feel.
I have learned that it’s better to follow my intuition than to ignore or doubt it.
I have learned that living close to the Earth gives me the greatest sense of joy and gratitude.
I have learned that this too shall pass.
I have learned that everyone is my mirror.
I have learned the importance of being lusciously lazy, doing nothing, relaxing, and staying in my pajamas all day on occasion.
I have learned to soften, to listen more carefully, to pay attention to more of the precious details—the butterflies on the path, the buzz of a hummingbird’s zoom, the baby scorpion on the wall, the little girl’s voice, the voice of my own inner knowing.
I have learned that I am love.
I have learned to fry plantains.
I have learned the differences between British English and American English.
I have learned to trust in the unfolding.
I have learned to be more patient.
When will it end? I wonder, though trying not to.
Trying to be present. Being present. Two different things.
We all want to know: what does the future hold? There’s a sense of nostalgia (for two weeks ago, a month ago, last year, childhoods of decades past). It’s a time of shifting paradigms. Of urgency. Of stillness, solitude, and surrender.
I notice myself eating and smoking way too much as an attempt to control. To have control over my life, my experience, gain pleasure, however temporary. (Similar to how I overate on the first couple days in my first Vipassana meditation course 13 years ago.)
I feel like fasting. I feel like eating all the bread and cheese. Eating is one of the few entertainments I have left. I feel it all. I numb it.
Quarantine, but I’m not counting the days. I sunburnt myself yesterday. After having stayed home for a week, I went to the lake and laid on the rocks and soaked up the sun, and now my heart and throat and shoulders are pink and tender. It was glorious, though—jumping into the cold water, letting go of preoccupations, exerting myself. I’m far too sedentary these days.
We planted seeds in old yogurt containers yesterday. Mota, cilantro, carrot, lettuce, moringa, beans, other unknown surprises.
I’m depressed, okay? I admit it. Listless, blah, blank. With oily hair, same clothes as yesterday, smelly body, total lack of desire.
“Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.” ~ Rumi, “That lives in us”
I am a planner. Hard as I’ve tried not to be. I adore calendars, plotting, projections, itineraries, goals. And now there are no plans to be made. Instead, everything is canceled, postponed to an unknown future date—or not. Living in the present has become essential.
Find a place for the mind to rest
We are always meditating, not always choosing how or on what
Not scrolling, seeking shock, surprise, entertainment, comfort, too much information
(Compulsion in moderation)
It’s okay to not know what to do.
It’s okay to slow down, to stop.
It’s okay to feel melancholy at the hour of another hazy sunset.
It’s okay to laugh out loud for no good reason.
Whatever you feel, it’s okay. It’s good to feel it. Acknowledge your aliveness. Document it, even, in a journal, a painting, a sketch, a song, photographs.
Things are always changing. It’s okay to feel out of control. Realize that you never were in it. Here, the breeze blows, the birds sing, the sun arcs across the sky. Everywhere, life goes on. Naturally. We are inseparable.
The cat(s) killed a bird last night. Its feathers are all over a corner of the bedroom. Its bloody corpse is lying there. This does not seem like the best omen for the new month ahead. (Don’t judge.)
It’s nature. The cat’s nature is to kill the bird/rat/lizard. The virus’s nature is to spread. Everything dies. Death is the biggest adventure in life. There are deadlines, and I will meet them. Gotta keep working.
Corona retreat continues. Life as a house cat. Making the bed is an achievement each day. Grateful to be comfortable. Aware of our luck and privilege. Donating to the pueblo food drive. Corn and beans for the people.
This body is my sacred earth
My lungs, my heart, are yours
The sacred earth that is our body
Wants to be fed whole foods
Natural, from seeds, soil, sun, water, and magic
Locally grown, in your garden or at least not half a world away from it
With freshness, color, life force, medicinal, herbal potency
The sacred earth that is our body
Wants deep belly breaths
Wants mindful movement
Remembering of oneness, love, inseparability
I am safe. I am strong. I am healthy. I am watching the ebb and flow of all the changes from my vantage point on the floral hillside.
It still feels ominous, reading the news. The plague encroaching. Systems failing, crumbling. Nothing is under control. Chaos all around. But peace here inside shining through the bitter judgment and criticism.
The sky remains, full of song.
I trust in the unfolding of each day, quiet and slow.
Oh honey, we all want to go back to sleep. But we can’t. We’re awake. We’re awoken, and so we must rise and shine our light out as a beacon to the others.
Venom. What is poison? Sugar GMOs pesticide glyphosate colorants chemical preservatives plastic petrol pharmaceuticals trans-fat fear denial hatred delusion greed.
Last night, when I woke up at 2 a.m., I started reading a memoir called Out of the Silence: After the Crash, by Eduardo Strauch, a survivor of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes Mountains between Argentina and Chile. There were 45 passengers; 16 survived after 72 days stranded in unimaginably difficult conditions.
I couldn’t stop reading until they were rescued. Even though I knew they’d be rescued. But I kept reading until that helicopter lifted them to safety, to survival, to reunite with their families.
Here are a couple of quotes from the chapter entitled “Love:”
“In the end, I believe it was love that saved us in a very real sense. It was only love—this life force—that was fueling the expeditionaries as they continued on their uncharted journey.”
“Everyone, at some point in our life in the Valley of Tears, felt that it would be much easier to just let himself die, yet because of love, we fought for life.”
The anticipation of the coming rains. / Desire for the storm to come so that it can pass.
In retrospect, it seems I’ve been preparing for this experience my entire adult life. Moving ever farther from cities and concrete. Closer to nature, off the grid, out of the frame, away from the crumbling system from which I came.
I usually sleep later than I used to
I fall out of routine
I visualize the volcanoes behind the haze
I write in my journal
I go out on the patio and walk slowly, feeling my feet caress the ground
Spontaneous walking meditation, contemplating flower blossoms
Slowing down what was already a slow flow of life
I clean the kitchen counter, wash the dishes, sweep the floor
I open my computer and work, editing other people’s words
Grateful that I now have more time to also write my own
I stand up and stretch my arms to the clouds
I look for the pink clouds at sunset
“What we have is the medicine of observation.” ~ Bryonie Wise
Watching, listening, being
Present moment, wonderful moment
Less phone scrolling, more book reading
A little more yin, a little less yang
Wild fermentation adventures in sourdough
My heart is mystic yellow
This is where I’m at
How do I feel in this moment?