Homeless

“Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake.”

This video is getting repeated plays from me right now. I feel like I’m standing on the precipice of homelessness—excited, confused, curious and delighted. I’m in touch with a romantic ideal, ready to be the drifting, wandering gypsy monk that I know I already am.

All the ways of starting this post feel inadequate to contain the fire and electricity I’m feeling right now. This is more than a blog to me. I have no idea what sort of journey I’m about to embark on, but I want to set hearts on fire. I want to shatter my fears and become magnetic, radiant, ecstatic. I want to let go and see who I really am beneath the need to control.

Isn’t it funny when we realize that our attempts to be a good person are born from a fear of being who we really are? I’m finding that the most insidious form of control is trying to control myself. What am I trying to control and who is trying? And why?

This is an existential experiment masquerading as a blog. This is an inward journey masquerading as an outward adventure. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be part of it. Who are we kidding, you are part of it! You are part of me, I am part of you, and we are all together…

My head is certainly in the clouds, so we’ll have to see if my feet can touch the ground.

Here’s a picture of my dad embarking, once again, on the journey of life. This picture brings a few things to mind for me.

One is a John Cage quote: “You don’t go into the woods looking for something; you go to see what’s there.” At least, I think that’s a John Cage quote. It’s something I’m coming back to, again and again. I always find myself looking for something, looking for something. And yet, as soon as I just see what’s there, and appreciate it for what it is, I feel much happier. I get back in touch with my dreams.

The other thing that comes to mind is a statement by Carl Jung, that children live out the dreams their parents set aside. What a great joke nature has played on us. Parents are programmed to believe that since they made all their mistakes already, their children won’t have to go through the pain of making them again. And children are programmed to make all the mistakes their parents were able to avoid. We really can’t avoid hurting one another, but at least we can try to grow from the process…

You know, I’d love to be like St. Francis, and have the birds flock to me and talk softly to the squirrels and deer and porcupines. St. Francis has a beautiful quote that comes back to me time and time again. He said: “In everything you do, preach the gospel. When necessary, use words.”

I think cows are incredible creatures. I’m not surprised that they’re considered holy in India. These particular cows became a lot more interested in me when I started feeding them bread. They were shy at first, but they came close enough to eat the bread right from my hand. They eject their tongue and pull in the bread in an incredible spiral vortex tongue motion. I was worried that they might chomp off my hand, but they have masterful control over those tongues. What a great discovery!

Cows are said to represent the cosmic mother, because they have such an abundance of milk that can sustain more than their own families. Unfortunately, for the most part we don’t really respect cows. We take their milk and when we’re done with them, we send them to factories to be butchered. I’m sure they’re not happy about it, but they’re not about to stoop to our level. They’re just going to keep extending an invitation to this silly human race to learn how to relax and take it easy. They make it look pretty effortless, don’t they?

Just in case you were wondering where on Earth there are such beautiful cows, I am now in sunny Belgium! Here’s a picture of the house my grandparents used to live in. I spent some good times there as a child, it always felt like a castle to me. Now that the new owners have grown hedges all over the place, I’m convinced that there’s some serious Alice in Wonderland magic going on in there. How wonderfully geometrical!

I’m in Belgium to visit my family. With the exception of my mom, dad, and brother, the whole family lives in Belgium. We’re very close even though we don’t see each other very often. Being with the family is pleasant but inevitably turbulent. These are the people I spent my childhood with, and that’s when I developed all my less-than-charming traits. Who better to bring them to the surface and force me to confront them?

Every place on our beautiful planet has some distinguishing charm. Antartica has penguins, Egypt has the pyramids, Iceland has Bjork… and Belgium has its forests. Belgium is mostly known for its chocolate, beer, and waffles, and for good reason. Belgium is littered with cozy cafes where you can drink and feast to your heart’s delight, whiling away the time in the blissful company of good friends. Belgium has quaint towns with medieval churches, cobblestone streets, gargoyles, statues of naked people, it even has its own little Venice.

And yet, I don’t think there’s anything quite as magical in Belgium as its forests. Because it rains all the time, they’re incredibly green. They feel like they’re filled with gnomes.

Let’s bring this post full circle, shall we? There is something glorious about homelessness, because really, we’re all homeless. Our planet is homeless, drifting through the Universe aimlessly. Even this body is not a home, just a shifting mass of sub-atomic particles without clearly defined boundaries.

Our old survival instincts have driven us to create a world of borders, countries, races, creeds, and homes with white picket fences. I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with that, but ultimately, it’s a big lie. Or a big joke, if you’d rather look at it that way. We’re all just visitors here, on a journey with no clear beginning or end.

It is our homelessness that makes us a global family. The whole human story is one of searching for a home. May we all recognize our common quest beneath the irrelevant details which separate us. May this insight become the balm of understanding and acceptance.

One last quote comes to mind. “You can never speak up too often for the love of all things” – Paul Fleischman.

May our voices find strength in faith, and clarity in wisdom!

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