I may be signing off for a while, but I’ve called it quits before and know better than to declare, “I’m done.” Instead, let’s call it closing in the name of opening. Let’s call it “close,” defined as:
- (v.) to bring to an end;
- (n.) based on a strong uniting feeling of respect, honor, or love;
- (adj.) being in or having proximity in space or time.
Besides, It’s not the absence I’m after but presence, the very thing I’m always thinking is somewhere else, something I need to get to, arrive at, step into, aspire to. Go after. I often fool myself into thinking that this elusive thing called “presence” calls for vast and often unattainable stretches of silence, space, settling down, sitting, focus, clarity, etc. when really its only requirement is to take the needle off the records that spin endless circles in my head. Stop the tapes! Stop the madness!
A friend sent me a few quotes the other day from a documentary she was watching. This one is referring to climbers on Mt. Everest who have sherpas lay out their sleeping bags with chocolate mints on the the pillows every night:
If you compromise the process, you’re an asshole when you arrived and you’re an asshole when you leave.
The thing is, I don’t want to be an asshole at the beginning and I don’t want to be an asshole at the end. I don’t want to hurt people I love as a result of those aforementioned records playing round and round, all scratchy and dated. I don’t want to compromise the journey by expecting it to be easy, or by running back down the mountain when it’s not. Despite being a Capricorn mountain goat through and through, I don’t want to get so fixated on the summit that I isolate myself from the other travelers on this trail.
Nu? What do I want then? Simply put, to accept myself for who I am, right now. Not who I was, some child self, not who I’ll be, some future self, but this person here. This woman. This adult. This mama. This writer. This container of truth and beauty and questions and fears and metaphors that come tumbling out like cheerios from a child’s pocket. This one who is so often too serious (take out the “too” and acceptance begins), this one who sometimes looks for the detour or the shortcut, wants the chocolate mint on her pillow, gets caught in a sticky web of perfectionism, struggles to picture the future and maybe, just maybe, could stand to lighten up by letting the future arrive right on schedule, as Maezen reminds us it always does.
If you see me these days, stop and say hello if I don’t get to it first. Maybe I can offer you a chocolate mint, maybe you can offer me an encouraging lyric. Maybe I can open my heart to show you what’s really in it. Maybe I can just be myself and you can just be yourself and we can all practice accepting that closer to fine is close enough.