It is early morning Sunday and a Mormon Tabernacle sized choir of birds have woken me up with their enthusiasm. Some just singing a song; my regulars; however, are yelling for me to get up and put seed out. I had the nerve to forget last night, and the cardinals in particular are not having it. They have me trained, so I hopped to it and delivered the goods. All quiet now as they start a communal feast with the squirrels; I enjoys these little friends. As I draw very close to seventy two hours fever free, (have I just jinxed it?), I am feeling so very very thankful. After a few setbacks this past week, it appears I am finally going to be free of this virus. I am convinced this virus is sentient, can feel a moment of vulnerability, and pounce.
This past Monday, (about seven years ago, remember it’s all relative), I was really wallowing. A combination of sickness and family issues had me down. The wily virus had made a stand, my fever spiked, and I was frankly physically and emotionally miserable. And then, a little magic...
A text message from the Moore Dance Company...
A video, MDC members dancing for me, a gift so beautiful, I have tears in my eyes as I write. They danced all new choreography to a lyrical song aptly named "Better Days" by OneRepublic. I cannot imagine the work that went into this, choreography clear enough to translate in video so all members could learn, finding space to move, people to record, and finally the mammoth job of editing. It was all done, and done so perfectly, and arrived at just the moment I needed it most.
Life is funny; complicated, joyful and sometimes just brutally hard. As Leonard Cohen so famously wrote “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light get in”. On Monday I was broken down, and then, an enormous wave of light, this gift was given to me.
I have decided to go with the light, shining through the cracks of a tough few weeks coupled with a rough couple of years. I had this enormous feeling of letting go, a perceptible shift in my brain. This generous moment of beauty somehow gave me this sense of peace, a knowing that although some things may not be as I wish, the universe may give alternatives that are missed if we cling to what has passed. I have studied this idea for years, but Monday I felt it in a way I never have before, it was actually a knowing not a feeling. And the week passed in just this way. Tuesday still feeling ill, another special video arrived. A weekly lesson from Pema Chodron drops into my inbox on the day I started feeling light headed. Thursday brought a day of medical intervention with the kindest hospital staff imaginable, and the first fever free morning.
Another daily dharma arrives, the universe clicking on all cylinders to help me through. The tough things in my life have not changed; but I may have.
I have always been a believer in force of will. It has taken me a long long time to realize that some things are out of my control, and in fact, I am now coming to realize that very little is actually in my control. I hate this. I like the idea that if you try hard, and have a plan (God, I love a plan), everything will turn out just right. Turns out just right can take many forms. When I am busy obsessing about what is missing, I am missing what is here, shining on me in this moment.
Now, I have not undergone a personality transplant. I will still plan, make lists and continue to believe that we can all create the life we want. But, I will open myself to the possibility that what I want might not happen. In doing so I will not miss the alternatives, (not substitutes), that are shown to me. I might be able to accept new gifts given.
It could have been just a sad Monday morning; sick and feeling like my life has been a pointless waste of time; a wallow of mammoth proportions. Instead, it was day of joy. I am humbled by the simple lesson these dancers reminded me:
Life is good and soon there will be better days.