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Been trying my best to approach, embrace and integrate the very real lessons of life that illness, decay, and death teach: how to be grateful, how to be graceful, how to be compassionate, how to be clear, how to maintain center- center cannot be maintained because it changes within every moment. In life, sickness, death and birth one may think their center is one place until it gets knocked off center, then that becomes center. Questioning what is actually important, and feeling the answers being screamed back silently through reflection.
What is center? Center is not a single place that you return to but is always shifting and changing. What center was yesterday, days ago, weeks ago, a month ago, a year ago, 100 hundred years ago is not what center is now. People say return to center. What is center? I’ve heard a wise person say, “The center of the universe is the ego”. What happens when center is so far from ego? Then center becomes a place so far from ego that it pushes you to a new edge, a boundary and eventually beyond.
360 degrees of possibility is what I have worked with in life for a while now, in tasks, in action and reaction. For a while it was the immediate space around my body that I explored but right now my exploration (that has been thrust onto me) is 3000 miles away- with my Mom. Sometimes this keeps going beyond into a realm I cannot fathom and have never been to, that I can recall; into an infinite universe beyond comprehension.
I witnessed, supported, held the spirit of my partner’s Mother separate from her body, for 9 days, although it felt like a timeless journey: her body returned to toddler, baby, infant, and then fetus and then rebirth - spirit. The vulnerability and helplessness that enveloped her, there are no words in my vocabulary to describe this, but it was felt and experienced- we (the family) were bathing in a shower of a battle of life and death. It was the most extraordinary and real and excruciating, beautiful transformation that I have ever empathetically and sensorial experienced. In a way, it was actually for 5 years that I witnessed this- a brief glimpse, from the time she was diagnosed with cancer in March of 2013 and forward to her death/rebirth on Dec 8, 2017. During that time starting in 2013 and continuing now beyond her death, I saw and continue to see my own partners’ center shift and change- doing my best to support this. At times I did and do better than other times. At times I completely failed and fail to hold this honor as witness, at other times I was and am reliable.
The words: what am I doing? enter my thoughts often, as I am moving through my own life. I rarely, if ever, have an answer. The most frequent answer that comes, if at all is – I am doing my best. Sometimes I know my best is not my best, that I can do better, but in the moments, the life in me always is doing its best, even if I know I am capable of doing better. It’s when the death in me starts to have more control that I actually am failing.
Sometimes the ‘what’ becomes a ‘how’? What are you doing becomes how are you doing it. So I actually skip over ‘the what’ in reply to my own question.
Birth, life, decay and death are around us constantly within nature, within cities, within ourselves from day to day and throughout a lifetime. But to witness this in a human is a different level. Not saying it is more or less important, but it deeply and profoundly touched, thrust, and shook me to consider my own mortality in this realm on Earth. To be touched is to touch. To touch is to be touched.
What is important?