I grind coffee in the dark while my family sleeps. This is my routine.
In this ritual with splashing water and spoons, I sift the inner recesses for inspiration. If the Archives are chronicles of the everyday, what does the muse have for this morning?
All is well. There is half and half in the refrigerator, this summer’s mango harvest is stacked in the freezer. Life is stocked. But this morning draws a blank.
Until that ever-so-quiet whisper. Read the Jan Frazier…
Gifted to me two months ago, and still yet to be read, the ebook “Opening the Door – Jan Frazier Teachings on Awakening” was finally unearthed from my neglected email inbox last night.
Following a lead this morning – what the heck – I open the PDF and find it randomly positioned to page 16. What follows are some excerpts from the chapter “Where is the Beloved?”.
The words are a cosmic wink, with the joke all on me. I get it, because I just don’t yet get it.
I’m waiting for that deep, full-knowing belly laugh. But until then, maybe I’ll just try softening. Rest my head.
“Put your head down, and don’t fall asleep. Just lie with your eyes closed and see if you can feel what it would feel like to have nothing weighing on you, to know that you would never again have to strain at anything, or worry, or wonder if you’ll ever be happy. See if you can feel what relief there would be if you knew, absolutely knew, that the rest of your life would be effortless. That all was radically well, and would be, even though bad things would keep happening. That somehow, for the rest of forever, you would be soft and peaceful and laughing inside, no matter what hand you were dealt. Feel it, feel it. You owe this to yourself. If you never let yourself sink into the deliciousness of what seems so impossible, how will longing ever get a chance to start up?
This is not a fairy tale. This possible thing is as real as a tree, as real as politics, as the roots that hold the tree to the ground, as real as the newspaper and its stories…What do I need to do to get this across? It is as real as gravity, as the orbits of the planets, as lightning, as photosynthesis, as grime in a bathtub, as a car accident, real as the crown of a bloody baby’s head pressing against its mother’s tearing flesh.
The truth is, it is more real than these things, and yet it is hardly seen, hardly felt, let alone directly known.
It is emptiness. It is nothing, but it is everything, it is all, and these are just words. What good are they? Will they make a bridge across which feet can walk? Will they make a trapdoor through which a body can drop? A soft place for a head to sink to?
How maddening it is for one to know this, to know it is there, it is real, and yet it cannot be found. How I want to lay my coat over every mud puddle, lace my fingers into a stirrup to hoist a tired foot over the wall, how I want to operate on every pair of eyes to make them finally see, to see what is right in front of them, of us all, everywhere and always. How I want to put my hands on every single head and gently turn it, direct the attention toward this, this and nothing but this. There is nothing else to look for, nothing else to care about, nothing else to believe in…
It is not so awfully hard. Truly. Once you know this, you will marvel that you ever could have supposed it was otherwise.
Life is short.”