Monday, May 3, 2010

Tying Up My Camel

The more I wrestle with this, the more I find it to be a complex, Gordian set of fears, not just one or two that I can deal with quickly, detangle and move on. I keep finding the smaller fears that make up the big, scary looking fearwad and am dealing with them as I find them.

Somehow, I expected this to go faster. Silly me.

In the midst of my wrestling, I got to do a couple neat things this weekend. I had the pleasure of attending a lovely wedding and help a friend with moving stuff. All I really wanted to do was stay home in a corner sucking my metaphoric thumb and twitching, but I’ve learned that the best way to get out of my own crap is to do something for others. So I got up, dressed up and showed up.

After the lovely wedding, we headed for Inge’s. That’s the friend we were helping with moving. She’s amazing. She’s got more time in volunteering, community activism and social justice than I’ve been alive. She has health challenges, and this really neat wandering eye. She’s leaving her home of 18 years to move to the east coast, to live closer to her other kids and grandkids

She’s 75.


Isn't she delightful? So curious! So mischievous! So vibrant! She’s built a life here, and is giving it all up to do something else. Can you imagine? At that age? Packing it all in to go do something totally new and different? Hell, I’m having a hard time imagining it for myself and I’m only 45!

But she’s doing it. Her house sold at a good price (for this market) before it ever even got listed and she had 2 buyers standing by. Once she made the decision, she says, things just started falling into place. She’s very sad—grieving, even—for the life here that is ending. But she’s all sparkly and excited about the new life that’s about to begin. There was a book about love and dying on one of the boxes in the living room, which she enthusiastically recommended to me, saying, “Grieving comes from love, you know. We must risk the pain of loss to really love all the way down.”

I have at least two choices, here. I can look at her as a model, a way of helping me to comport myself in a similar fashion. Or, I can discount her entirely by drawing on specifics, like our lives are different, she doesn’t have the same issues I do, it’s easy for her, blah blah blah. That kinda crap. I have decided that, like her, I am not a victim of my chaotic existence but that I am an adventurer off to see what this next bit of my life is going to look like. I can make either option come true, depending on which one I choose to believe.

If Inge can do it, then I bloody well can, too.

This fine model may not help me find and detangle another fear; that’s my work in progress. But it does something equally valuable: it shows me that theses fearwads can be dealt with, and that there’s hope. Vast, boundless amounts of hope and the deep, fervent faith that if this is really what I’m supposed to be doing, doors I can’t even see yet will open to me right when I need them. That’s not to say that I’m operating under the assumption that I can sit on my ass and if the Universe wants me to go somewhere or do something that a magic carpet will arrive to whisk me off to my fate or destiny; it's up to me to take the steps that move me in my desired direction. It means that I’m abiding by a Muslim truth: Trust God and tie up your camel.


  1. I'm humbled to witness this phase of your journey. Is that our paradox? The whole time I've been unfolding, you have too.

    "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

  2. I do love me some Anais Nin. :) And it's no paradox; it's simultaneously arising co-evolution. :)


Go ahead. Say something.