Day 343 - Out of Order...
So I woke up to a text message from my friend to go hiking at 7 am, at 7 am. I never sleep past 6! Ever! So today has been a scramble. Have I mentioned that I do not do well scrambled?
It was a lovely hike and it has been a good day, but not writing until 6 pm leaves me feeling out of sorts and a bit jumbled. Like the alignment of my day is off and I am out of order. Once upon a time I would have freaked out about this. I would have been a mess and then just said fuck the whole routine and aimed for a lesser goal, while wholly abandoning my current regime.
But today, I just rolled with it. Allowed the day to flow from one thing to the next without resisting it or trying to control it. Guess what? I was given everything I needed to do the day. I was not lacking ever and I had an enjoyable, if not hard, day.
This is huge growth for a perfectionistic control freak. Rolling with anything is not something I have ever been good at. Not my skill set. But today, I just allowed what was to be, to be. And I did so with only a mild dis-ease all day.
I like routine and structure because it provides me a sense of safety. Not actual safety but a feeling that despite how much the world and living is not within my control or purview, I am still able to embrace the moments and live my life, living best, one moment after the other.
I showed up for all of my commitments today. Which may seem like, “Yay! You are doing a decent job at being a grown up!” But once upon a time, I was not able to show up for much of anything, especially when things got out of hand and order...
Today, I went to sit with my friend who is dying. It was painful. I see his failing and it hurts my heart. I love this man. He is good, and kind and loving and sweet. We have shared an all too brief friendship which was born out of unusual circumstances that bridged the several decade gaps in our age. We are souls on the path and like all souls on the path, we knew it when we met. There was this connection and love that was just there from the very beginning.
So I sat in his bedroom with him and his girlfriend and I just bathed in the love. His home is warm and inviting and in every single nook, there is a sign of the divine. He is just this person who brings light and life wherever he goes, even dying.
We talked as he faded in and out of consciousness. Me, desperate to soak up just a few more moments of his presence. Dreading and fearing the darkness the world will be without his brilliant shining light. While I was there, it was good. Fun. Relaxing. We laughed. We discussed. He looked into my eyes when I said goodbye and I know he saw me to my core. Because I saw him in the same manner. The resignation and despair in a soul not even close to being done with living.
I made it all the way to my car before I broke down. I sobbed shoulder shaking sobs of grief at the thought of this world without him. I felt lost and adrift and suddenly wondering how life would still be life without him in it?
But then I marveled at the person I have come to know. The man who united so many people. Friends who became family. A loving ring of people who all shared the same amazing feeling: love. Love of him, and for each other. He was the unifying force of love for all of us on the path. His home the center of music, laughter and light. Through my tears, I felt cleansed in some way that I could not identify. Being completely devastated by my pending loss yet at the same time a better human being for knowing him.
I left feeling immensely grateful to him and for him. That I got to spend the time with him that I did. That I was honored enough to be close to him and his path. I am better because of my relationship with this man.
I decided that I was grateful to be out of order. That it seemed to fit with dying. That life is not orderly and perfect and linear. It is messy, complicated and full of obstacles and struggles. I made the commitment to go back tomorrow and just sit with him as he leaves us. I feel like I can give him strength to move toward the light, that I can witness his life by being present for his death. Hold his hand. Just sit and take in whatever lessons his death is going to bring me and those of us who love him.
I am ok with the out of order today but I would be lying if I didn’t crave the order that I will reinstate tomorrow. I need the routine and the structure to feel moored to my life and my reality. I can only touch in with the impermanence for so long before I feel pulled back to my routine and order. It is like I feel like if I stay too long in the fleeting shadows of life, that I will disappear forever...just like him.
Fuck I am going to miss him! But just for today he is still here and I am still here and I can love him and honor him and sit with him and be present to assist him in anyway that I can. Life is preciously fucked up and he has taught me to soak it all in: the dysfunction, the dharma, the light, the pain, the darkness, the joy, the laughter, the music and the orneriness of being irascible and complicated.
Order is great but so is living the very messy, convoluted life that appears just outside your comfort zone. Today, I was honored to sit with him as his grip on this world slips away. I sat witness to his pain as well as his many gifts. I loved the whole man, not because of what he gave me or who he was. I love him just because I do.
And that is what I learned today in my out of order day: that loving what is right in front of you is the most important thing you can do with each precious fleeting moment of life. The persons, the feelings, the pain, the completely fucked up version of yourself in all of it. We are all on the path...together, out of order, out of our minds and it is fucking beautiful.
Angkor Wat - "Impermanance" by Alan Kozlowski.