Adding It All Up

This morning I awoke in darkness, wondering about my life. Folded back under my covers at five thirty am, I sipped a gorgeous cup of creamed earthquake blend coffee and measured my existence against stark contrasts of other human lives to which I bear witness. On one side, the man I am living with these days, who eats crap, leaves messes, smokes clove cigarettes and sits in his easy chair watching more TV than Satan. (But the most strenuous dimension of this situation is that I LOVE this man. Every day, I ache under the weight of my judgement and disgust, and pray to God to help me love more purely and unconditionally.) And on the blazing starlight end of the spectrum, is a particularly effulgent and delighted Goddess, Tree, who posts every day on Facebook about how fucking RAD her life is, and all the stuff she appreciates and… and honestly, I compare myself to her and feel like I must be failing somehow… not living, bikini clad, on Maui and making EVERY SINGLE DAY the juiciest fucking day of my precious human life. Sigh.

But do you see? It’s the quintessential contrast. One man who has seemingly given up on himself and his life… And a woman who is an olympic marrow sucker. Then I groped about at the nebulous notion of “me”… I have far from given up on myself… And yet I’m not spilling tears of JOY for the profound GIF T of this life. I’m more like plodding along. And digging deep, for the mother of all roots. The unseen Ultimacy which embraces all Creation from within the all-pervading center. I mean, I guess that’s pretty ummm… “noble”… but I’m not like having a BLAST, or anything.

And then six thirty am rolled around and shoved a towel, a swimsuit and goggles, and my laptop into my dingy pink back-pack, hopped on my bike and pedaled through the steely autumn fog, toward my swimming pool. Jason, the lifeguard was delighted to lay his eyes upon this undercover mermaid. I let him thaw my frozen hand in his, as I shared my morning musings. I think I’m a few miles too deep for him. He didn’t really get it. At least not all of it… But speaking my thoughts aloud allowed the contemplation to expand and evolve and work its way through my system. Ultimately, my question is… what is the meaning of life? And am I even in the right ballpark?

Recently, I was writing in my journal, and I stumbled upon a meaning that reverberated with a core of resonance, deeper than I had yet touched. I wrote that the meaning of my life is to LIVE TRUTH. And furthermore, I was sure that I would clamber to the top of the mount and call out to you from the wuthering heights of Athena Graceland… I FOUND IT!!!!

But not so. Because the face of truth is revealing itself in utter simplicity today. Profundity has fluttered mightily like a shattered flock of heaven-suspended doves, breaking the sky apart with a multiplicity of singing white wings. The locker room was pleasantly warm. I changed into my ragged bikini, stood too long under the stream of perfectly hot water, and then, nearly naked, braved dawn’s chilled embrace en route to my modest, urban ocean.

Lo! This morning she glowed like a steaming, aqua jewel under a dimly beaming, white-washed sky. Snuggled up to my kick board, gliding through this viscous dream, my softened mind slow-wrastled with big questions, as I drank the evocative slice of paradise in through my senses, and it was suddenly so obvious. Presence, silly goose! It all ads up to NOW. Take it or leave it. Minus the leaving it part. Because as far as I can tell, the now is inescapable. But that’s alright, because it’s a pretty interesting place.

And then I mused on how this aquatic instant was so much easier to love than some of the other scabby moments of my life… but oh well. I guess that’s where Truth/Love/God comes into it for me… Even in the puss-oozing, ugly, confusing moments, I still have the freedom to lift my consciousness up into the prismatic radiance of the Infinite. In ALL moments I have that option. I always have the freedom to make love with the silent center of existence. Right NOW. And to let this humble intimacy inform how I move and speak and breathe. Even if I’m not bursting with passion, like Tree on Maui, I’m pretty jazzed to be “me”… on this path. I put “me” in quotes, because when I wake up from this dream, I imagine laughter might boisterously tinkle through the corridors of eternity at the compelling yet elusive notion of this seeming “me”…

And speaking of jazz, they are playing jazz here at Pizzaiolo this am! I walked in, and it engulfed and expanded my pre-existing contentment. Sometimes the music here is way too rock and rolly for my sattvic preferences. I tease my mom about how Ananda is “too bland” for me… but the truth is, bland is actually becoming sorta delicious to me these days. It’s almost like the new spicy. But the point is that I have found so much relief in the generous, nuanced simplicity of this morning. Sometimes, I drown myself in my own self-indulgent depth and profundity. But today, I am delighted by the cold, white-washed sky, and the poetically steaming pool, and the existence of mild-mannered jazz. And let’s not forget pu-er tea with rich milk and raw, local honey. And the magical act of pouring coherent strands of alphabet through my fingertips! How cool is that?! I can just nestle here in this woody booth and think about whatever I fancy, and spit it out through my fingers like worms poop nutrient-rich soil!

I will leave you with these words from my bomb-assed guru, Paramahansa Yoganada, because they are persistently pressing themselves into the forefront of my mind, in sacred retort to this wash of thoughts, which I have sprayed upon your mind.

“I will think until I find the ultimate answer. I will turn the power of thought into a searchlight whose brightness will reveal the face of Omnipresence.”

Om. Peace. Amen.

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