May 27, 2012.
It is 10:oo p.m. on a Sunday night.
I can smell clouds closer to the earth than they should be: it will probably rain soon.
I hear thunder too and I want it to find the rhythm of my heart which beats without any permission from my mind that ‘knows’ everything.
Writing on a Sunday night always feels like my head falling in the lap of Stillness. Writing on a Sunday morning always feels like being tossed up in the sky into Stillness. Either way when we come into Stillness we are like children. We need to grow into Real.
New York City’s “If you see something, say something” reminder plastered all over subways and buses to protect us against terrorism ought to simply say, “Please see something. Anything.” Most people look like drones afraid to look at one another. As if one’s gaze will bring out the humanity in another to the extent it will crush his or her perception of reality. I stare at everything. At purses, shoes, chipped toe nails, hollow lines underneath the eyes representing fatigue from nights that just blend into days regardless of the annual income, the fake hair, the real designer shoes, the sweat of a lifetime for the American dream that seems like a nightmare.
New York, New York did I make you up or did you make me?
I read a post earlier this week about how the web is the end of serendipity and there were many references offered as ‘proof’. A few hours later I read an article about how if you think there is no serendipity on the web you are not doing it right followed by one big example and a few miniature ones.
Serendipity means a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it. Moreover, the word was also officially voted as one of the hardest words to translate.
I have often considered myself a magnet for serendipity. Everything comes like a pleasant surprise wrapped especially for me. The Universe wants to spoil us with gifts if we can get out of our own way. Sometimes the timing of events doesn’t feel so pleasant so we don’t consider them serendipitous enough. Regardless, whether or not any are “good” or “useful” can’t be determined till much, much later sometimes.
The other week I ended up talking to an old man on the bus which led me to attend an “octogenarian” party. He knew a man who had invited him to this woman’s 80th birthday party. Everyone there somehow knew this woman and had brought someone else and no one knew each other. It was a pleasant surprise for me to participate in a stranger’s birthday in her pre-war apartment (and it looked like it had seen a different time, desperate for any renovation!). I met all sorts of people and a only a few had interesting stories. Most of the octogenarians had been in litigation for 25 years to stay in their apartments and not get kicked out by “very mean and money hungry” landlords. Most did not have families or any close ones. I noted information that I found useful: did I really want to be a “prisoner of my rent for the rest of my life” as one 85 year old woman put it? I didn’t discard information that I didn’t find useful then.
In my wild imagination I was hoping to meet a magical, special woman or man who was going to offer me something I didn’t know or I hadn’t come across yet. In reality I just ate shrimp salad and felt too tired to stay for the cake. I noted that most of the people in this particular group had lived a life so self-absorbed that they had no adventurous stories to offer, not even others’ stories given the depth of their interactions. I decided I want to have lots of stories to tell if I live to 90 and hopefully all so good that no one will believe me. Stories come from living. Some people tell other people’s stories and some people tell their own and then there are those living life on the wavelength of Courage and they get to tell both.
If you are always looking for meaning, you will be disappointed. I find it humbling to know that I don’t always understand. And perhaps that is serendipity: you just don’t understand but you are aware of some alignment bigger than your own doing.
I only know this with certainty when it comes to serendipity: in order to experience serendipity you need to be present in the now without attachment to any prescribed agenda.
Well, it is finally night upon another layer of night and Sunday closes her eyes on stillness.
No matter how dark, we always know what’s real in Stillness.