Sunday, March 7, 2010

Walking On Ice With the Dalai Lama & A Pee Wee Hockey Team

I don't live here anymore. In fact I don't live anywhere right now. I have read about "ground-lessness" but I had the first hand, slightly uncomfortable experience of it on moving day. As I drove to deliver my belongings to the garage where they will be stored for the month of March I realized, I don't live where I used to. I don't live where I will in the future. I have no idea whether I will like my future home and my previous home is no longer an option. There is no turning back. Openness stretches in front of me.

I have spent a lot of time getting ready for this move, thinking about it, planning it, working for it but now it is right here, right now. But there is a different quality to it when you are in the middle of it. You are no longer playing at it, imagining, hoping for it, or grumbling about why it isn't happening as you'd planned. You are it. It came as a tangy taste of having no ground beneath me, the bitter sweetness of true unknowing. An interesting sensation that required just breathing and not backing away from it. It is our state all the time, anyway, we just don't realize it. Mostly we trick ourselves into our feelings of control and security. We prefer them to the quivering state of groundlessness.

And it was all fine. I sensed the slight feeling of chaos and being unsettled as I went about the following weeks activities. I don't usually live in people's basements. I don't usually have no address, no phone. I don't usually have an abbreviated set of belongings stored in wicker baskets and a small travel bag. Who am I, anyway?

As I completed each errand and loose ends got tightened up I felt a little lighter, a sense of closure was moving toward me. I was ready to leave the lovely home we'd lived in for the last 12 years. I was ready to declutter and move on to a new part of my life. And each task, each appointment moved me further away from the past and launched me into my future. I am ready to be the agent of my own impermanence, to move into the shifting landscape of change.

Our daughter has been getting alot of mileage out of telling her friends that her parents are gypsies, and sending me text messages asking me when the caravan pulls out of town? And so today, all the campfires extinguished, the laundry lines taken down, the wine bottles drained, the garbage bagged and disposed of, the caravan folded its awning and wound its way across the Strait of Georgia and over a snowy mountain summit or two. Dinner this evening, came out of a crock pot in a little motel room in Clearwater, BC. The late night is producing a cool rain that may turn to snow overnight but the room is warm and cozy. We are thinking about an ice walk in Maligne Canyon tommorrow and Larry King is talking to a re-run of the Dalai Lama on the TV. The Pee Wee Hockey team sharing the motel with us is strangely quiet right now. Hopefully they will wake up early, make a lot of noise so we can curse them and get on the road early. Who knows what will happen, really.


  1. it is hard to make a move--- I have heard it is stressful to leave comfort and knowledge and what is.. and move to the unknown and what might be..
    but you will get there and you will settle down and make a new life

  2. Wherever it goes,
    The snail is at home when it dies.
    There is no world outside the kesa.

    The O-kesa is the monastic's robe. Despite the ominous tone of the poem, I always feel comforted that as long as I carry my practice with me, I'm home. Of course, there are the realities of comfort found in my favourite cup, duvet, and view out my window...

    Wishing you safe travels and some joyful snailing!


  3. O my, what a neat assortment of boxes in your picture. May you be happy on your travels.

    Just finished writing my blog post and went to yours to see what's happening with you. And look: another coincidence. My text today is the last of the Buddha's Five Remembrances:

    "My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."

  4. I have been away from bloglandia lately so I am catching up to what's going on in your life. Wow! So you're moving.

    I know how you feel in this post. I was at that same crossroads when preparing to leave Japan.

    Good luck with the days to come.