Sunday, March 21, 2010
Today I just didn't want to go with Taylor on his scooter. He has one of those push scooters like maybe some of your 7 or 8 year olds have. Yes, thank goodness he likes to go out on it. But, gosh, today I just didn't want to go along with him. I wanted to stay in and read. I have three books going and I just wanted to stay put and underline things and just veg---I mean, just "be." (Okay, veg was right the first time.) The hardest part of my days are from 3:00-6:00. I know that this is in total contradiction to my previous blog on complaining. So, let me just clear this up. I am not actually complaining. I am just sharing. (Are you buying it?)
Because it's in the afternoons that we go on the scooter and play ball and then go on the scooter some more. It seems like I already did this life one time around a long time ago.....like when my boys were little. Some of you are starting it all over again, but with your grand children. That is the natural order of things in real life, isn't it? But, here's what I really do need for one of you to tell me. What is real life? Seriously, I lose my bearings some days and I cannot for the life of me figure out whose life is "real." My life sometimes seems to be caught in a chasm---maybe like an elevator stuck between floors. I don't have a feel for what "normal" people...normal families do. Am I missing something? When I'm out on the scooter with my 25 year old son, what are the rest of you doing? Anything important? (And, is this something I could do from home? Like stuffing envelopes or something? Competitive knitting?)
Just today I read the neatest thing by the Buddhist teacher Stephen Levine who said, “Hell is not wanting to be where you are. Every time you push against what is going on, every time you don’t want to feel what you feel, you double your pain rather than make it go away." You see, probably like you, I have this idea, this belief, this constant noise in my head that keeps telling me that I need to keep striving to "be somebody." I don't mean like be somebody famous, but like be somebody who has an impact on the world. And, how in the heck can I have an impact on the world if I am out walking behind a Razor scooter three hours a day?
Now please don't email me and tell me that I already have had an impact on the world. Because you know exactly what I'm talking about. Come on. Look at your own life. What project did you work on today? Are you writing a book? Settling a court case? Memorizing a sonata? Translating the Dead Sea Scrolls into eight new languages?
Here's my big, fat spiritual question: Can being a somebody be something really extraordinarily ordinary like, simply being truly present in whatever moment we find ourselves in? What if we're just pushing a handicapped person up a street on a toy scooter? Does that count or should I want to be something more specific--specifically SOMEBODY.
Taylor is completely content to be in the sunshine, scooting along, taking in the sounds and smells around him. I, on the other hand, tend to fight that---and resist my own life. How old does one need to be before that inner voice just relaxes, stops nagging, and maybe even begins to sing?(Oh Lord, I wonder what it would sing?) I can promise you that many of you, my dear dear readers, that you too "battle" this same pressure, yearning, need to fulfill, achieve, prove, win, succeed...this need to be somebody.
Press 1 on your keypad if this is true for you. (See...100% of you pressed 1!)
Tonight, when I was drying Taylor off after his bath, he stopped and softly rubbed my face with the back of his hand. He said, "I love you, mama." And he looked directly into my eyes and held my gaze as if he knew I was questioning who I am and my place in this world. Just like I question his.
He does not know psycho-babble, but if he did, he would most likely say, "You already are being somebody, mama."
Looking back into those sweet, trusting eyes made me think about what the singer Pearl Bailey said: "People see God every day; they just don't recognize him."
Does God ride a donkey and a scooter do you think?
Would you recognize him if you saw him?
Would he recognize you?