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Fóidín Mearaí

"Sod of confusion"...yep, I am off to an interesting start in 2024.  

Loosely translated this means crazy earth.  But in Irish culture and usage, it is a phrase meant to communicate losing one’s way.  It is about being on a path, and then due to craziness, confusion or some other distraction, losing one’s way in this life.  

It can be literal, like you literally lose your path due to choices you made while distracted, insane or consumed by your own thoughts.  Or it can be more metaphorical...

I love the phrase because it allows for there to be a connection between earth (the literal path) and our emotional states.  And how we can be walking the walk, and still, despite faithfulness and intention, become lost to ourselves and others.

And I thought it would be nice to start off 2024 with this idea that despite our faithfulness to our path, it is easy, and not uncommon, to allow the descent of madness, calamity, circumstance and missteps to cause us to lose sight of the road ahead.  We know where we want to go, but momentarily, we lose our way and that causes us to become way more lost than we intended.  It isn’t that we stray so far from our intended path, it is just that a moment comes and because we are distracted, we lose our way.

And fuck if I can’t relate to that.  I have become so lost in my life at times that it has become almost commonplace.  And I have come to accept that these moments provide me opportunities to reflect, regroup and realign myself.  Always with universal will, as my will has proven faulty and incredibly painful.

In May of the coming year, I will return to Ireland after an almost 30 year hiatus.  And so I love this phrase as a good omen for my future.  It has been important to me to return to this land for years.  I was supposed to go in 2020 but that didn’t happen.  The whole purpose of the entire trip is to become lost, have no plans and just allow the story of life to lead me onto the next location.  I will have no plans, I will have no reservations.  I will have a car and time.  And that is the entire path, to rid myself of the hustle and bustle.  To untether myself to timetables and schedules and routines and to allow myself to tread on the sod of confusion as a means back to myself.

I did this drunk in 1989.  I will do it sober in 2024.  No plans, no agenda, the only path I will follow is the one that is laid before me moment to moment.  Committed and dedicated to the losing my way so that I may become more clear about the path I tread moving forward.

I think this is also a good metaphor for 2024.  How often in this life have I been so sure of where I am headed, only to find that I was never meant to arrive at my targeted destination at all.  It is good to make plans.  It is good to set intentions, but life is unpredictable and I find that I am happiest when I am in the day, walking whatever path presents itself in the moment.

I find myself not being able to ever really lose my way...the way appears each day as I wake and begin.  It is often not the path that I intend, or sometimes the one that I even want, but I do my best to be faithful to it nonetheless.

My life does not look the way I thought it would at 54.  And I am so grateful.  This life I have today is amazing and wonderful and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing.  I am content being single.  I am happy with my own company.  I love my family, my kids, my friends and pets.  I love my work and being of service.  I am grateful to be sober and to have this life I have right now, nothing missing, nothing needing to be added.

So as I rise on this first day of this new year, I find myself awash in gratitude for this time, this life and this path.  And while I KNOW my craziness will lead me astray, I enter this year with this complete belief in the inherent GPS and guidance that lives deep within my soul.  I cannot be lost, so long as I remain faithful.  Faithful to the path of being of service to others and to doing my best to live a life that provides for me, by walking a path of showing up for others.  In my life, in my work, in my relationships, in love, in everything.

I have tread the sod of confusion for so long...and now it appears that the long walk is the best gift.  My path has many offshoots and switchbacks.  But it always returns to me God and to myself.  And that journey is all about love.  Again.  Still.

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