Uncharted

“This path has one very distinct characteristic: it is not prefabricated. It doesn’t already exist. The path that we’re talking about is the moment-by-moment evolution of our experience, the moment-by-moment evolution of the world of phenomena, the moment-by-moment evolution of our thoughts and emotions.

The path is not Route 66, destination Los Angeles. It’s not as if we can take out a map and figure that this year we might make it to Gallup, New Mexico, and maybe by next year, we’ll be in L.A. The path is uncharted. It comes into existence moment by moment and at the same time drops away behind us. It’s like riding a train sitting backward. We can’t see where we’re headed, only where we’ve been.

This is a very encouraging teaching, because it says that the source of wisdom is whatever is going to happen to us today. The source of wisdom is whatever is happening to us right at this very instant…”

~Pema Chodron, “The Pocket Pema Chodron”

 

At this very instant I can hear my ten-year old son breathing deeply as he slumbers. The refrigerator hums. My throat is sore because I caught the cold my son had last week. I have not slept well. It is 5:14am and I am typing words on a screen to a blog that holds hundreds of days of words, images, moment-by-moments.

As of late, I skirt around the public declarations of my living. I don’t know what has changed. Is it that the world is now inundated with ‘selfies’ and status updates and I just don’t care to add one more announcement about what I had for breakfast? Perhaps my foray into the realm of AYSO soccer has deadened my artistic spark, relegating me to hone all reserves toward practices, games, shin guard shopping, and late-night homework catch up.

For four years I have been graced with the cyber space to share chronicles of my everyday, seeking to find the profound in the mundane through this blog. From a broken washing machine to a broken heart, I’ve had both, and written about them. And both came through to work again. And I’ve written about that process, too.

But those breakdowns and repairs, the ordinary moments, they are in the past. As Pema suggests, they’ve dropped away behind me. Dissolved. Now, I do not see where I am heading, and the moment that is here with me is filled with a lingering question.

In a time when everyone is telling everybody their daily life details, what snippets of mine are actually contributing something meaningful to the world?

As I’ve been uncertain, I have been silent.

 

photo courtesy of Mike Linksvayer
photo courtesy of Mike Linksvayer

 

This morning, I lean on Pema Chodron’s reminder. That the source of wisdom is whatever is happening to us in this very instant (does that include the roosters that are unabashedly crowing their prowess to the pre-dawn air, right now, in the distant dark?).

If Pema is on to something, well then we all have a window. One that can open to more than the number of Likes received by Followers and Friends.

Right here, right now, wherever we are, whatever is happening, is a doorway to the Infinite. A crying baby, an itch on the arm, a flower in a vase, thirteen emails that need replies. Any of these may awaken us to the moment in which they are existing. These details contain the here and now. They may lead us to the source.

Am I getting this right?

We’ll see. The source of wisdom is whatever is going to happen to us today.

For now, that’s me waking up Jeb so he can get ready for school, with the rising sun shedding just enough light that I can flip off the kitchen switch.

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