Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Life is As Much A Mystery As Anything

Maybe you can see the words on the wrapping in the picture here. They are simply line after line printed with the words thank-you. Today was a really weird day for me but one that I feel strangely thankful for.

In the morning as I sat in meditation I became aware of how I run my energy when I feel uncomfortable. I want to get out there and do stuff, make things happen. I want to declutter and pack and send emails. I had this picture of myself like Edvard Munsch's "Scream" kind of running off in a thousand directions all at once trying to make things right.

I could hear myself telling the story that after I got my studio cleaned I'd feel better. And then I realized the fallacy of that story. No, after I clean the studio, there will be one more thing to do before I can feel settled, and one more thing. The little self is like that. So I could see where the work lay. It was in finding the peace amidst the chaos or just being with that uncomfortable physical sense of rush and hurry that manifests itself in these situations, where the body speeds up, tenses up.

Later in the afternoon there were some loud knocks on the front door. It was a woman I had come to know through my mother, one of the few people who ever had true spiritual conversations with my mother. She lives in a camper van, moving from street to street each night, sometimes parking at the Walmart lot. She is in her 60's and has a slightly blind dog. She is a deeply spiritual woman, and unusual. She came because, she said, something told her to come see me. She and I have also had a few deeply spiritual discussions in the past. Today we talked a while about my mother and then she told me her story. Her van, her home, had been in an accident on New Year's Eve and no longer ran. She had it towed to a street and was now living there, waiting for a small insurance settlement to be concluded. Her dilemma revolved around needing some off street parking, some place to live, some more money from the insurance company although she did not actually say this in so many words. I put the pieces together as the afternoon progressed. She simply said she had got the feeling that she should come and see me and that somehow I might play a piece in the puzzle.

And so there I was in the middle of my own personal chaos of needing to find somewhere to live, of paring down and packing up 12 years of stuff and , knowing in my heart I could not invite this very intense human being to enter into my space and stay with me, and yet wishing I could do this. I have come from this less than authentic place before in my life and am sadly wiser for it. To offer generosity that does not come from the heart is a true recipe for disaster. And to her credit she knew this and could articulate it. I wavered back and forth between my own feelings of "why can't I be more generous" and the feeling that there was a way for me to help her that would present itself, something that would work for us both. Her openness and non attachment allowed me the space to do this. Her way of being in the world made it possible for me to not beat myself up for feeling ungenerous.

She needed to get back to her dog and so I offered her a ride which she accepted. I offered food which she declined but she asked to stop at the grocery store. She declined my offer to buy her groceries. We arrived back at her van where my heart strings were so tugged to see her living circumstances. As we chatted about how I might help, her insurance adjuster arrived to visit her. It seems she had touched him too and he had managed to offer a little more money than originally put forward. As we chatted with him we found she could have some more time. (As soon as she signs the releases papers and she takes the cheque they will take her vehicle away from her. It is considered a write off) Maybe one of the things she needed me to do was be there when the adjuster came. Who knows.

So as I left she reminded me that any help had to come with the right intention. When I got home my partner too felt humbled that he had been worrying about our situation of having a month and a half to find new housing and with adequate funds. Here was a woman who wasn't quite sure when I pulled round the corner if her truck with her precious dog in it would still be there.

So she has reminded me to look deeply inside for my leads on what to do next. She lived on Salt Spring for 8 years and could tell us all kinds of things about it, the most important being to listen to our hearts when we choose were to live. So I followed up one lead on a place she might go tonight. And I have a couple of others in mind for tomorrow. I feel strongly that I want to play some role in helping her sort things out.

I am reminded that every day is an adventure. And it feels like there is a reason that this person has appeared here and now. Life is as much a mystery as it is anything. This morning I woke up from a dream in which I had found a home. Maybe I have.


  1. This is soooo beautiful Carole! I am moved, touched by it! Listening to your own heart. Seeing how things unfolded. Being there in your own way. This is such a powerful sharing - in a goose bump kind of way! Thank you, thank you! C

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