April 15th, 2008
Cruising in the car, at times I find my mind turning to negative themes. I’ll be obsessing on age, loneliness, disabilities, the usual stream of negative consciousness. I’ve noticed that my visual sense narrows at such times, focused on a distant vanishing point; some ever-receding place to which I am hastening. A place to which, if I could ever arrive, my troubles might finally be resolved.
The inner voice reiterates the history of hurts, argues its position, and steels itself for a debate which can never happen. Or it snarls at a flawed world, disparaging the hopelessness of it all, and the injustice that good and sensible people like myself should suffer within it. The vanishing point of peace never draws any closer.
The lesson of “Let it go…” :
If I shush the nattering voice in my head with the words, “Let it go…“, for a brief moment my eyes will unlock from the horizon.
The voice will resume with , “But wait! You need to consider…” “Let it go…” The world expands a bit; there’s a grand bird flying over head.
The voice: “I’m the one needs listening to…” “Let it go…” A tree cloaked in grand pastels suddenly appears at the roadside, gliding past with our movement.
“Tell me that I’m right! I am!…” “Let it go…” Clouds in cobalt and gray cling like lace to the willow buds in the branches of the tree as it sweeps past.
The voice falls silent, and suddenly the great egg of the visual world envelops me, light and color, form and substance, and the names of things and their quality become less and less important relative to the all encompassing fact of their BEING.
My neck loosens, and I can scan the world left and right; I can tilt my head and let the movement of my gaze range about me; the car’s rush forward is no longer a static matter of getting there. I am swerving in a straight line, and it feels pleasant and light.
Suddenly, I am here, in a moment, in THIS moment, and the passing voices of all my sundry discontents are silenced by the elements of the real world around me. It was there all along, but unseen by the fool striving and driving along.
No one ever passed through a door of perception without leaving their baggage behind. Such doors are generally turnstiles, and you won’t make it to the other side with your carry-ons anyway. More likely you’ll be hurled back the way you came, with all your laundry flying higgeldy-piggeldy.
“There is nothing you can see which is not a flower. There is nothing you can think which is not the Moon…” -Basho