Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time Lapsed--As Seen On TV

I know that my neighbors and friends probably look at Taylor and me and wonder how I can pull all of these great revelations out of what I see in him. When you meet Taylor and are around him, it just seems like so very little is really going on. There is often little affect, very few words and to the "naked" eye, just not much happening inside that little guy. But, I'm with him almost 24-7. I know every nuance, every sound muttered and not muttered. I see vague smiles. I feel soft touches. I see the tilt of his head, the grimace of his face, and how he holds his hands. I suppose being with Taylor is a bit like being a bird watcher. Every movement is meaningful. Or a gardener. Little sparks of green mean new life. Or maybe like paying close attention to ants if you're lying in the grass. Fascinating. Seriously. Or maybe a little like Jane Goodall as she studied primates. Jane observed hour-upon-hour eventually documenting behaviors and customs most of the rest of us would have missed--in our drive-by safari jeep. If we don't sit very still, sit very very still and wait and notice, we miss a lot. Because what often is going on (in all of us) can be so subtle that just to glance casually--to do drive-bys in each other's lives--- nothing of "importance" tends to show up.
I love watching shows on Nova that have all that time-lapsed stuff on flowers blooming, fetuses growing, on erosion, on anything fast-forwarded from one stage to another--you know what shows I'm talking about. It's that fast-forward, WOW-revelation, that takes us from something seeming ordinary to the unfolding of something spectacular. Whoa! When did that happen? What was I busy doing while all of that was unfolding? It's the before and after of extreme home make-overs or any make-overs that just dazzle us. Man alive! Just look at that change. Whew.
But, life doesn't happen in time-lapsed video. Life happens one small step at a time. Day-in-day-out, step-by-step, breath-by-breath. It seems so ordinary. Some days our lives might even appear as if there is nothing to look at---nothing of value to see. But, what is it that we're looking for anyway? What are we expecting?
What are the guidelines? What page in the rule-book explains, "Now, this, my friend, is extraordinary! Take note."
What is going on when we look away or when we stop paying attention to ourselves and to those right at our elbow? I know good and well we've all had parts of our lives that have thrown us for a loop---so much so that we knocked ourselves out asking, "How did I not see that coming? What was I doing? How long had that been going on?" Every single one of us can tell a story, "I have a friend whose....child, wife, mother, brother...." and then use words like addicted, adultery, bankrupt, arrested, left, cheated, died. Where were we? Were we not looking? Were we not wanting to see...not able to see?
Being around Taylor for me is sort of "Zen" whatever that is. For you Yoga types, does that mean being totally in the present moment? Being in that moment that holds promise and richness and fullness---and is, in truth, the only moment we have. Is that what Zen is? How come it is that we mostly end up being so disappointed in that moment? What would that moment need...who would we need to be to see something...magical? Every time. Every moment----Oh Lord, I know I'm going overboard now. Ok, let's start with six minutes a day of magic. Can you handle that?
In studying Taylor's life, in being his mama and protector and the "pitcher" in our ball games, I get to glimpse magic a lot. If I sit still and just notice, I am able to see a human being who loves himself for who he is. I take mental notes and see that Taylor wakes up without prejudice, without worry and without holding any kind of hatred in his heart. All slates are clean every day. And, of course, there's that love thing. It's just there. Ready when you are. Is that mystical, magical, sacred, and rare? If the videographer from Nova time-lapsed Taylor's life, what would show up is just bigger, more expansive, fluorescent and transcendent love. Right before our eyes--but only if we're still will we see.
What about you? Are you paying attention to the magic in your life? Can you stand it if I use the words divine and holy? What happens in you and in your day that is holy/whole? Will you cower and go numb if we talk about living in amazement? When I look at Taylor--and see what others do not see, I hear these words from Mary Oliver:
"So every day
So every day
I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth
of the ideas of God,
one of which was you."

Substitute your name for you.
I'll do it too.
Now pay attention.