Sunday, February 19, 2012
THE ART OF BEING IN THE MOMENT
Okay exactly what does that mean? The art of being in the moment. I have been struggling, strangling, hanging upside down, inside out, beat up, and feeling all disheveled. A friend of mine says to 'stop thinking, just be." Any instructions beyond that elude me. Number one I am not good at not thinking...and I am not at all sure that I know how to 'just be'. Is she saying I need to have memory lapses? Am I supposed to reinvent myself time and time again? I need a handbook or the Dummies Guide to Being in the Moment.
When your world seems turned upside down aren't you supposed to do something to correct the balance. I am a fixer, a peacemaker. If the ball falls off the seal's nose, isn't there someone there to pick it up and replace it?
Does stopping thinking mean you can forget? Not for this gal. But I am trying. So far...well so far not much success.
Another friend of the same philosophy says to "let the world take you by surprise." Well it seems to do that without my wanting it to. Sometimes I don't want to be surprised, especially when surprises include pain and grief and loud voices, yelling profanities at me for no apparent reason.
Another friend suggests I 'forget what I want and enjoy what I get.' Okay that one I get. But what if what you get isn't enjoyable?
Seems like today I am consumed and confused with questions. Rational thinking is muddled and foggy. The sun is shining and the air crisp and cool. I spent the morning with a friend and her Labrador retriever visiting at the VA Hospital here in San Antonio. We laughed, and I watched my friend as she experienced the art of joy! This Sunday morning we both got a prize for just showing up. I had not wanted to go and almost called and said I wasn't going to make it. Melancholy, or perhaps depression and grief, had taken hold of me and wouldn't let go. But I forced myself to get dressed and 'get up offa that thing' and go!
And in so doing, I found that the strangest thing happened. I understood that you don't have to be happy, in fact you can be in tears, and you can still experience something that is a small inducement, or enticement if you will, to being glad you are alive.
A Vietnam vet's day was made so much brighter just by this precious lab, Athena's visit to him. He talked of dogs he had had and what joy they had brought to him. Precious memories bringing him joy. A female warrior, partly paralyzed, managed to improve each minute that we were there to the surprise of all the staff and physician present. She lifted her arm slightly and reached toward Athena's back and began to pet her and then held a brush and quietly brushed her coat. Miracles had happened. And as they did, I suddenly realized the Art of Being in the Moment...just being.
Perplexed yes. Still in great personal pain yes. But I undersood.
Sometimes you can get caught up by the miraculous. Sometimes the miraculous is a moment unfolding right in front of you. Veronique Vienne says, "Beware. Feeling blue is never an excuse for passing on a chance to feel joy."
On this beautiful Sunday morning, I believe I finally undersood.