Wheeling Along

I imagine that I am being woven by life, for life, of life. I wish I could sail along with the flow of what I’m feeling this morning, half-way through my first cup of coffee, poised on the threshold of the new day which welcomes me each morning. This is my daily chance to ponder a little, do the dishes, read a bit, do some physical exercises, and right now I’m starting a possible blog that I’ve left until the weekend, even though I know that the process works best if I give myself a few days to jot down a page or two–to let an idea feel welcomed—hoping that thoughts jump on board as I try to express appreciation for this strange state of being alive. I imagine a tree might feel something similar, putting out branches, leaves and blossoms, glad if it adds some company for the passing traveler.

I seem to have recruited my earlier wondering into an enumeration of the steps involved in composition. It seems mind can’t help itself: always heading for the specific in the midst of what cannot be specified. But part of me still feels that sense of being present in a way that stretches across the stream of time. My first thought was not about any particular activity such as writing a blog, washing the dishes, or studying a text for the class on prayer that begins in a few hours. I was simply wondering about the entire sweep of my life; while tarrying for a moment amidst the onrushing stream of thoughts, noticing how strange it is to be a nexus of awareness as it notices itself in the midst of it all.

There must be more than this lifetime, with its situations and memories and dreams. Otherwise, how is it that I can experience this wheel of energetic propensities spinning around wherever I look?

It’s not my intention to pronounce some statement about the way things work, the nature of eternity, or the composition of cosmic vastness. I’m just trying to capture a hint of my feeling about myself, my world, and my sense that all my attempts to understand are bound to be incomplete; since I’m always looking out a particular window, at a particular time of day, in a particular mood.

I doubt that I really have any concepts, theories or remembered experiences that can help me understand why things pop into my head moment-to-moment, as my pen runs across the page; but I don’t want to stop, even to refill my coffee cup, because it feels good to acknowledge that I don’t know what I’m doing but glad that I’m able to do it.

I’ve read that, of all the animals, only human beings are aware that we are poised between past and future, and therefore between birth and death. I seem to be engaged in that awareness now, as I sit here wondering how I come to be bobbing along in time.

An open span of time keeps running through my awareness, as another morning rises up before me; birds are waking up, I’ve started the third page on my yellow pad, and an inch of coffee in my red mug is waiting for me to pause. But I don’t dare pause until I reach a natural point in the stream of my reflection. On this third page it occurs to me that the dawn light and the birds singing outside are messengers of an inconceivable vastness. in which the lives of countless beings and the creative weavings of cosmic space are lapping against the shores for all of us who are looking and wondering why we’re here.

What a wonderful thing to be in a mind that is curious, if only for a moment, about itself and its own nature? About where it may be bound and whether it is on a journey at all?

Am I just a stopping point for an eddying whirl of energy, which briefly takes on shapes like a dust devil or a funnel cloud, before it relaxes once more into the winds and waves of a surrounding world, dissolving back into a greater realm of Nature, which may or may not be on a journey of its own?

Meanwhile, I continue to go toward the familiar, as a river runs along its banks, filling every nook and inlet in the streambed for as long as rain falls upon the surrounding land.

One comment to “Wheeling Along”
  1. Michael,
    I love your composition… time is evident in the unfolding story, the count of the cups of coffee pinpointing or marking off moments, as does the count of pages on your yellow writing pad… marking time as your experience seems to flow or unfold in the current continuum. For me, just a wonder-filled telling of human presence… the allowing and acceptance of change. Grateful to be alive…

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