Four years ago, I wrote a Signpost, and then stepped away from my public journaling for a moment. My website is being re-born, so it seems seemly to send you a signpost while standing on a bridge between that time and this.
The idea of a good bridge is to take us from one familiar place to another, crossing a place of difference – a chasm, a piece of chaos that changed us, birth, death, loss, some piece of beauty that awakened us in some way – arriving finally on the other side, changed, yet still within the continuum of the familiar.
When we're out walking, our path comes to a bridge place. The "connectors" are so important. The entry connector might be a step up, a step down, a smooth ramp on the same level taking us onto the bridge itself. If we are to continue on our path, we must cross that bridge and cross to the other side via the exit connector. Or, we could climb down into the chasm below and cross whatever that experience holds, climbing up the other side and onto familiar ground. That often is what is required, but not always. What a wonder, therefore, is The Bridge!
Two years have passed and a great deal of water beneath this Bridge. Some of you may recall that I had been laboring over some ideas for a possible book. I have them, these "chapters", but that effort has been not so much tabled as drawered. I think about the things I might write, things I might tell you, and thinking a great deal about the nature of memory. It's a slippery thing, like water, and I can't quite get a grip on this liquid stuff. Truth is, I reckon no one really can because of its watery nature. Sometimes, I open the memory drawer, and the memories hold still, like a pool between rocks, then it moves and it's just a drawer full of water. It may only matter to me. So, I'm letting it rest until I know something more. Meanwhile, I am making fresh memories.
I am 66 years old. That manifests in surprising ways. Stiffness or rigidity in my physical body has entailed tending it in yogic ways, and walking through the stiffness, pushing myself to run stairs and make my heart beat furiously in my chest. Rigidity of Soul entails work moment-by-moment, often pulling out the rug of life – that place where we are comfortable – for myself, by myself so that I may practice gratitude toward the hard things, those master teachers of the Soul that always show up, no matter what we may want. It's really hard and beautiful work, and not, I think, unlike the making of a song, which entails the making of Soul, thereby turning it into a compassionate act. It involves letting go and practicing Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity. And I mean, practicing constantly! I don't know if practicing makes perfect. I know it makes more practice. This I know.
Although, I'm not always on the Road, the Road is still and always there. And on or off the physical road, still I traverse, I sing. This new work that has taken me these two years since last we spoke, is full of the lessons learned on this Road. It's called pray,tell. That title says it, and perhaps it's all we can do is just that: pray, and tell.
And so, my friends, I shall keep moving forward, toward the other side. In the meantime, I am about to be back out on the Road, where I hope to see you. I am so grateful for your companionship on this Journey.