Feeling Connected

A thought that was also a feeling just arrived, unbidden, which immediately felt at home in my mind:

Sometimes a particular activity—which like all my activities arises in the stream of anticipated actions through which I organize my day and define myself—feels part of a larger stream of thoughts and feelings that are all connected to each other.

If that feeling of connection is true, does that mean that the linear sequence, into which I stack the activities of each day, are not really the gestures of isolation of a lonely actor on an otherwise empty stage? Could those seemingly separate engagements–that seem like birds on a wire, lifting off one by one from left to right–really be a flock lifting in unison and self-awareness, in response to a burst of wind or to an inner manifestation of the beating heart of life?

It’s a pleasant surprise and a happy realization this morning to notice that my next contemplated activity is already, even before I move in its direction, reaching out into a wider space in which a community of thoughts and feelings, of memories and intentions, not to mention all the inner and outer stirrings of evolving hope, are already present.

The particular activity that I am anticipating is to continue a chapter I started yesterday, in which a young man who has just watched his mother leave his life forever is being driven north on Highway One, along the California coast, and has just said something unappreciative about his mother. Then the driver, who also knew his mother, abruptly pulls off on a narrow strip of gravel at the edge of the highway; and in the silence that follows, the young man starts to express what he really feels . . .

Before I move onto checking out where this scene wants to go, I’ll just say that the prospect of exploring where a young fictional character might go next in his life, evokes memories of my own life as a young person who is trying to negotiate a path in a world not yet understood—in some ways quite the opposite, that is deeply misunderstood.

Working on a fictional surrogate for the present state of our world, in which I among many keep trying to find a place of comfort, is just one of the ways I keep searching for a community of times, activities and understanding, in which the path of a lonely traveler on the wind-swept cliffs of this life can pause and feel connected within and without.

Another is that today I prepared a small square of dirt in which tomorrow I will plant corn seeds, the first of “3 sisters” (corn, beans, squash), which I have read are not only three complementary ingredients on a dinner plate but, while in the ground, accommodate and protect one another from harm. This feels so much like what allows life to feel like a harmonious whole, leaving room for whatever arises in the stream of time, for whatever takes root and branches out into the fields of space, each intertwining and interacting with its natural companions, like sisters, or brothers, who do not crowd each other out of the way but nurture one another’s journeys in the natural kinship of a greater family.

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