Sitting Within the Winds of Change

These last six months I allowed myself to swirl within the currents of change, believing I could harness these winds or at the very least touch them. Such suffering is the stuff of storms, the perfect one always a possibility the longer one remains in flux.

It is within the eye of the storm–stillness surrounded by gale force winds–where suffering ceases. Rarely, do we reach the calm by choice. Usually, some moment grabs us so fiercely we are forced to sit down and look at what is actually occurring.

My suffering stopped when I realized I could no longer walk as I always have. I was in an airport, two thousand miles from home, when I had to look at me as I really am.

Winds of Change 0214

To my mind, I have had a slight limp for a while—over a year, actually—it meant I walk more slowly but nothing more. Frankly, I no longer noticed my limp but it was significant enough that airport security “expedited” me in more than one airport. I took no notice.

It was on my flight home I realized I would not be able to walk the airport. Wheelchair assistance was a necessity. Twice I had to walk the short distance between plane and terminal to get to a wheelchair. Those steps were the most doubtful I have ever taken.

I am finally losing my mobility was my only thought as fourteen years of medical conversations regarding degenerative disease replayed in an infinite loop. As my mind plotted the possibilities, the perfect storm seemed upon me.

 Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished

(Lao Tzu)

I am still sitting within the eye of this storm, in pain, but no longer suffering. I suffered in immersing myself into one “what if” scenario after another, sinking into dramas that may never occur.

Not Yet Spring 0214

Pain is a guarantee that we are alive; it is a sensation sure and pure. To sit within its purity is to detach from its fury, to allow its torrents to rage and overflow without being swept up in suffering.

Leave your front door and back door open. Allow your thoughts to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea

(Shrunyu Suzuki)

We cannot avoid pain, we can only face it. If we do anything less, we suffer as we avoid reality in favor of living in fear fantasies.

I am able to walk, able to go to the grocery store and even to my beloved Waverly to sit and see rather than walk round park and pond. I am able to drive a standard shift car. I limp but I walk.

Nothing has changed and everything has changed. My world is smaller and larger for to sit within the heart of change is to watch within the calm as scenarios rage without ever knowing the light of reality.

It is when we ignore the moment at hand for what might come next that we are least aware and most stuck. We are trying to touch the wind when all we need to do is sit down within the storm’s calm and let it rage.