I haven’t been sleeping well. Though I suspect few of us are these days. This weekend several of the local lakes were declared to be “safe”, then on Sunday two men fell through the ice of two different lakes. On the other side of the country, an environmental activist fell through and died.
I know that “liminal” has become one of those overused words, but the truth is these liminal spaces are dangerous. The in-betweens and the uncertainties and this continual sense of being on the edge.
Flight, freeze, fight, faint or f#%&. But before that, the suspense, the suspension of our own unconscious flow. Heightened awareness is exhausting.
Even with the yaktrax this morning, the asphalt is dangerous. There’s a light dusting of snow over the ice. The small plow pushes snow into the street and spreads sand on the sidewalk. Leonard and I walk on the other opposite sidewalk as we all go about our business. I want to run this morning, but don’t dare. I’m too unstable, too tired. I won’t be able to catch myself and find my balance if I slip.
A time-out would be nice. Is nice, when I allow myself this. Last week my youngest son visited and told me there is another possibility to the “Flight, freeze…” scenario: submit. Startled and frightened dogs sometimes do it. It’s not the same as playing dead. There’s no deception involved. It’s a matter of softening.
We are so sure that surrender is a bad thing. I’ve been thinking that there is a reason so many religions demand it. We need a time-out from our own will. A reality-check in the midst of all the prophets. Surrender to, acknowledge this moment and its omnipotence. And the next.
I move carefully from Warrior 1 to Warrior 2 and anticipate the pain in my left shoulder. I move consciously into Humble Warrior.
For no apparent reason my practice has taken several steps back. I’m trying to concentrate on ease of motion, rather than range of motion. To return to the beginning and find first a small space of release and flow, before trying to widen the arcs of my reach. It seems like an appropriate metaphor right now for everything in my life, perhaps.
After the flow sequence, I settle on the cushion and breathe. I visualize rough seas calming into a mirror-like surface.
There was a time I loved the teacups at amusement parks. Swing-sets and carousels. But just after my first son was born, I found I’d changed. Something in my body had changed and a spin in a teacup left me feeling hungover the rest of the day. Anxious, nauseated.
There’s something to be said for the carefree way children move through the world, thrilling at shadows, dwelling on twisted dreams. Playacting the bright ones. Through the magic of performance, they have real emotional experiences that are safely controlled, and parallel to what they know and accept as the real world that is outside of their control. Most children are fully aware of the difference.
I think we grow into our delusions unnaturally: Fake it ’til you make it.
I think we have a tendency to cultivate an unconscious faith in the world’s appearance. We move away from wisdom. We cling to our concepts of what we want the world to be. We tear ourselves apart trying to hold onto what we perceive to be the center while everything moves in the directions they move – as it all does – as it all will.
There’s something to be said for submitting while the world moves around us.
To choose to be care-free again? Playful instead of willful?
Humble Warriors, all.