It has been a long time since I have written anything down. A lot of things have happened. So many things I have been unable to write them.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end,” said Seneca. No truer words, I believe, have ever been spoken. One must always leave something, someone behind when moving through life as nothing in life is permanent, or forever. Everything is finite except for one’s beliefs. They might continue to live even after the believer himself dies, but not forever. One time while at Esalen I was invited to housesit in a small cabin on a bluff one hundred fifty feet above the Pacific ocean. The setting is what many writers dream of and here I was. On the coffee table was a painting. Unfortunately I do not remember the painter’s name but the painting was of a woman in a blue dress who is whole on the right side of the painting and disappears on the left side. As she walks from right to left she leaves parts of her self behind. A foot, a leg, an arm until nothing is left. The caption under the painting reads something like wherever we go in life we leave pieces of ourself behind. That painting had a very profound impact upon my life. It was a reminder of the impact one could have on the lives of others.
“One can change up until the moment they die,” my mom used to say. At about the age I am now my mother questioned the religious beliefs she had believed and carried in her heart her entire life to this point. She transitioned from a church going Baptist to a Witness of Jehovah. Her belief in Jehovah carried her happily through the last fifteen years of her physical existence. She demonstrated a change in life and belief can occur at any time. Change is not dependent upon age. What has gone before as truth can be reinterpreted at any point during the process of self examination.
I have returned to find myself back in the place I never should have left, Loja, Ecuador, but did leave three years ago for a different adventure and to answer a calling of my name. I have always gone when and where I was needed. How many times have I left home in order to find it again? Three times I return to one place I left, San Luis Obispo, California. Maybe it was a sense of comfort that brought me back on those occasions. The familiar faces, places, the history I created and shared there, but upon my return I did not engage the history or old friends as much as I though out new friends and experiences. Perhaps like silence it was merely a resting place to gather insights before my next adventure. More true than I thought before writing those words.
I returned to Loja on the advice of my friend from Cuba, Dr. C., to move to a lower altitude. “You can still live in the mountains, just not so high up,” he told me. The difference of two thousand feet made a remarkable change in my health and life after having two heart attacks in Cuenca which were diagnosed as altitude related. Then the CoVid-19 virus came and I made all the necessary preparations for death as I am in the high risk group. I rewrote my last will and testament and reviewed it with one of my adopted families who will carry out my wishes. My isolation mates and I were in lockdown for ninety days. The isolation is over now but the city is still under restrictions, mandatory masks, social distancing, and a curfew.
During this wretched reality I sought out moments of beauty, happiness, love and joy. Because I am an introvert I find the things I seek in my immediate surroundings. The sky, the changing clouds, provide for the beauty in my introspective life. The happiness and joy comes from the potted plants on my balcony I see each morning I go out to greet the day. They greet me with smells of wonder as their arms reach out to touch me. My mountain, clear in sunlight against the bluest sky or veiled in puffs of clouds gives me a sense of my own strength and steadfastness. The ability to be who I am despite what storms may surround me. Although I am loved by many, there is an emptiness in my heart unfulfilled, not explored since Kathleen ‘s death. The possibility of my own death during this time is great but I am still alive. There are still things I will do. I am respectful of this invisible pathogen, floating in the invisible air that we all breathe. I have fear, not of death for He and I have a long connection with each other, but of being ill, unable to live my life the way I do now. This life for which I am accountable, given by an energy which I have only had glimpses. This fear of being unable to live life my own way is what I am working to get through.
Surrounded by so many deaths locally and around the world (33 million as of this writing) I remember I am here only as a witness to experience everything, to learn what there is to learn. Life is in a cold sense just reaction to stimuli and the collection of information. This learning, this information comes at a very high cost however at this time of grieving. I will someday be a statistic myself but for now I continue this life I love in a home and country I appreciate and respect.
There was a feeling of imbalance in my early life up until my mid thirties. I have invested most of my later life trying to bring balance to my existence. I am now free of external expectations from family, employment, friends and even many of those from life itself. That was an important step after so many years of imbalance and the desire to be free of those constraints. As I mentioned before, it is all just information. I learned the interconnectedness of good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness from those times. I learned to accept the complexities of my own existence. The balance of mind and body, thinking and feeling. I have no wants except for what I already have. I have enough, although I did recently purchase a small bench and two chairs to place on my balcony. I like to sit out and watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee and warm myself in the sunlight.
My adventures now are all local in my home but I still have my wondrous mind which continues to fascinate me. I am blessed with having learned so much in this time I have been allotted. The miracle of the internet has connected me with a long time friend from college. A pastor of the Unitarian faith whose devotion to her beliefs inspired me even in those days. She is an introvert like me. Perhaps that is why we found each other in college. Although many think of me as a hermit, I do have ingenious friends with whom I connect. Connections are important. I have a few from my life and many through my writings but I still remain a loner.
Death is ahead but I have life for now. That is all that matters. The world finally makes sense to me. Life in a way is blind trust. It is a thin veil and each time I transition through it I reach a crossroads. Crossroads have been important times in my life. There are transitions and larger truths to explore and like the sun and the moon, truth cannot be hidden for long. My fabulous life continues.
I am a finite physical manifestation borne of an infinite and eternal energy. I am male with a female soul. A lover of poetry and wisdom. A philosopher in search of truth. A psychologist in love with dragons. A witness to the glory and wonder of being alive. I usually do not steal the lines of others but what better source? Remember what God said to Moses: “I AM Who I AM” (Exodus 3:14). In retrospect so am I.