Monday, August 15, 2011

The Echo & The Witness

The other day, I was watching the dvd: Mitch Albom's: 5 People You Meet In Heaven - (Albom is known for his book, Tuesdays with Morrie, ) the lead character was remembering  from his rather distant past when he was in elementary school and had to do a book report - the chosen topic - The Echo, its nature, etc.

This topic of "echo" was mentioned a little prominently - it was clear that we watchers of the film were supposed to pay attention - nothing should be taken for granted - everything in the movie was meant to feed your understanding of why the character's life turned out the way it did and the life choices he made seemed to create the perception he had of himself and the total sum of his life - on the surface, of course. But as we all know, or hope, at least, in heaven, things balance themselves out differently then they do in the thickness of Earth.

The boy's mother, in keeping him focused on his report while she herself continued to do motherly things around him, asked him to define the word, "echo".  The young boy said that an echo is the absence of any obstruction of sound, allowing the sound to travel without being absorbed by anything, that like a mirror looking into itself, the echo unabated, continues to repeat itself.

For whatever reasons, initially, that seemed very interesting to me; then later, important to remember, though without clarity why that should be so.  However, now I know why:  speaking in terms of the personal, for this is what this blog is all about, I think I am surmising that my life is 1 big, seemingly long echo.  My vibration, yes, maybe, that is a clearer description of the energy of my presence here/now, my vibration's sound, my voice, moves along a flat line, barely anything thing in its path to cause it to vibrate differently or ripple.  My voice, hollow in its own cavernous existence, just keeps resounding itself, at least IT exists to itself!  It knows its presence, claiming, "but, I am here, here I am, damn it!"  Yet, with no one else to respond and say, "so true, I see you, I hear you, I acknowledge you",  the sound keeps traveling, repeating itself, ad nauseum - alone, though space.

A few years ago, armed with the remote and while impatiently flipping through the stations, I stumbled upon a sitcom already in progress, something I rarely deliberately watch or watch in full.  I really can't even recall who was speaking to whom, man to child, woman to man... it didn't matter - I sat mesmerized by what I was hearing - you know, on a blue moon or so, if you are really lucky, you can actually catch the most wonderful things said on some these TV shows!

In any case, character1 said something like this to character2: '"you know, the wonderful thing about marriage (or being in relationship) is that there is at least 1 person you know to witness your life, witness you."  They went on to explain it further, what is means to be witnessed - through thick and thin, over time watching, noticing, being present for your transitions and shifts - someone else to claim that you were present, that you existed, here, besides your self.  This witnessing is far more important than a mere photo - it is a living, felt knowing of an existence, the gift of which is framed by the heart of those touched.

I am paraphrasing, and rather badly, but it went something like that.

Sometimes, I feel like maybe I am only a photograph to some - my voice cries a hollow sound - sometimes like a weekend I just had or the weekend before and the countless ones I've been having lately, all I get back is the echo of that cry.  It is very lonely without that obstruction to absorb my sound, my vibration, to return something, in kind.  It is lonely without my witness.  I think, this is what any of us wants.  As big and overly full this planet is, it is amazing how alone and singular so many of us are.

Opening of The Heart~

The lead character the that Mitch Albom movie mentioned in the 1st paragraph, in reviewing his life, eventually discovered what he actually experienced and accomplished, while alive.  He assumed he did very little, his hopes and dreams dashed, he mattered to no one, was only loved by just a few notable people  he cared for the most, in his life, but nothing and no one more, or so he thought.  He never had children, which later figured prominently throughout this life. So, of course, at the end of the movie, you understood how anything he felt he did not achieve, the things he was unaware he did, both good and bad, everything was accounted for and evened out. His lived life, he later came to realized, really mattered, in the Scheme of Life itself - while he lived, he made up for the things misappropriated - all this he learned about in his transitional stage before being released to his heaven - thus the raison etre of the movie.

So, I guess I can talk about my loneliness until I am blue in the face, but the real and ultimate question I have to ask myself is: am I not as alone or lonely as I feel, or if I am as lonely as I am, what am I being compelled to do (am I doing it?),  and who are the witnesses I have in place right now with whom I can share this experience with, open my heart to, deeper, to fill in all the soft spaces of our lives, absorbing vacant sound?

Who do you have to witness your presence?  Who is or has been your co-cartographer?  What vacancies or hollows have you been able to fill in, in your life?

Tell me your story~

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is The World Really What You Make of It?

Do you ever feel a map is waiting to be acknowledged?
Not just created, as if maybe it already exists and you are just waking up in the middle of your life to the fact that you have probably been walking a path that was pre-set a very indeterminate long time ago - maybe a time ago?

Bilbo Baggins finds a ring, keeps his "precious" safe, hidden for what would be a lifetime, then carelessly or semi-unconsciously allows the ring to surface and through a series of unfortunate events, uproots the course of Middle Earth.  Or did he?

Maybe what was going to happen was always going to happen - it needn't have been Bilbo, it could have been found by the next generation of a later middle-aged Frodo desirous of following in the footsteps of his much revered, curious and cartography-creating uncle.

When Beethoven composed Moonlight Sonata, when Bach conceived of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, or Rachmaninoff brought to life any of his concerti - was it just creative genius or could it be that everything was already there: the combination and order of notes, their lengths, speed and strengths, their softness, even the silences in-between - all of it?  Were these sublime works of art just pulled down, let's say, from the heavens, already shaped and formed, pre-created, just waiting for the most right ear that could not only hear them, but transcribe them - albeit through the unique filter of those musicians - for the rest of us to enjoy?

Is it that "filter" that allows us to imagine our fate is in each our own hands, that, the world is, indeed, what we make of it?

Was there ever a time you felt you were not quite living a life free, of choice, that you seem to be marking a path moving in a direction or at a speed or in a way you could not control, or a trajectory you could not change?  And so, like riding a wild horse with no reins for control, you held on as tight as possible, determined to, at least, keep upright, you stayed on that seemingly, though unseen, pre-set road.

Where were you dropped off at the end of it, and, were you able to get back on solid ground/right footing, taking back the ownership of the map of your life, again?

Tell me your story...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Somewhere I Have Never Traveled... by e.e. cummings

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

Nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands  
Poetry... always trying to describe the unknowable.
This gorgeous poem so quietly, yet so richly illustrates 
the quality of the felt experience of the most powerful 
emotion and state of being one could have the
fortune to be in - LOVE.
In first in reading this poem, I thought it was about 
the communion of a couple, the intimate, most minute
moments of the awakening to the shared experience 
of love.
Then, I read it again and again.  It began to 
dawn on me that I was reading something 
Rumi would have written...
Rumi reincarnated as e.e. cummings?!!
Could this be a poem about one's connection on the most 
subtle level with the Highest Within and not just about human 
sexual intimacy?!  I wonder...
A relationship so brilliant, yet so under the surface of things, 
that in order to meet it at its level, we must get into the smallest
and deepest part of ourselves to be able to feel some shade
of its Light. Maybe our human intimate communion, beautiful  
and grand as it is, is just the microcosm of a more omnipotent
connection, as macro. Maybe this is what was being 
verbalized so descriptively by e.e. cummings?
Kind of like Van Gogh, striving with the materials available at 
the time, to reinterpret what he saw: a wheat field or a starry
night, yet, because, in the end: mere pigments, or in the poet's 
case, mere words go only so far in reaching the true texture, 
luminosity, breathability of being in and with The Creator.
I have been fortunate in my life to have had a few of these 
most holy of experiences - the men shall remain nameless, 
but my deep gratitude to what was born out of our organic 
tendernesses, the beautiful shared memories we created
together will always, always be treasured.
However, these experiences are often fleeting,
and like sand, will simply slip through your fingers - your 
awareness must always be at the ready, your inner video 
camera defaulted to "on"!
So, the question is: 
Who has served with you in your attainment of the richness of 
What was a shared experience you've had with another that has
brought you to your knees exclaiming, as Blanche did in 
Streetcar Named Desire, "There is a God!"?
Or how different was the world around you, 
after a profound shift was created out of a
coming together?  
Did your map change: were the colors more brilliant, people 
nicer, did you find yourself walking on clouds?
How has moving deeper into our evolving and quantum nature 
transformed your every-day surface-life experiences?
Tell me your story~

Saturday, July 2, 2011

TIME & Finding Your Way Back

Sister Dearest...

Last week, 3 years ago, my world... my vision of life became very different.

All auspicious moments can change the trajectory of a life, but there is something about death - a death of a sister, for example... that kind of a loss can change even the things you are not aware of: you check your watch or your cell for the time and then... time...

Time is no longer the same - minutes, seconds stretch out into interminable leaded weights of existence.  Each moment prods along - you can practically sit on them - take a bathroom break, check your credit, paint your nails and then return to whatever you were doing only to find that 1/2 a minute had passed! Each moment so heavy, so solitary.  Time becomes almost visceral - something to wade through it.

But let me clarify, this is not that romantic, must-remember-every-moment kind of time - this is the I-must-break-it-down-to-be-able-to-handle-the-onslaught-of-the-most-terrifying-things-in-a-single-moment sort of slowing down of time.  These memories, you never ever forget.  The wonderful little book: Einstein's Dreams, by Alan Lightman, does a phenomenal job at illustrating different versions of time - the slower-than-molasses version I am talking about is described perfectly, there.

Jacquie 5 months prior (and other sister, Joan)
My youngest sister, Jacquie's breast cancer had returned, however it had metastasized into her lungs, amongst other areas of her body.  Jacquie went through the Great Change 3 years ago, last week, June 22nd, at 9:15 in the morning - it was a Sunday.  It was a beautiful, beautiful morning.

You understand the "I" is not you, the ego, who is adjusting the shifts in time - there is no control here.  The body's intelligence system is its own instrument for encompassing the most incomprehensible on the quantum level.  It adjusts the speed of life to allow you time to be wholly present.  However, I think it has slowed me down in so phenomenal a way, I am hard pressed to return to normal capability - I simply can't keep up and frankly, there is nothing to keep up with.  There is no place worth being in any hurry that has any true currency or value in it - not anymore.   My grounding shifted, is still shifting.  Things, people whirl around me - so much importance, time is money, running late, running scared, got to show up, this to do, that to do, so much to do, sorry, can't stop...

So, I am quiet, still, and lost at the same time. If I don't know where I am going, I stand still and wait.  It is a nothing place... I've been here a long time.

There are times, moments, really, I can keep up for a bit - but never for too long.  Everyone seems to know what they are doing, where they are going or, at least, know they need to be going somewhere. That loss, my sister's death kicked me off my road - still mapless, I am finding my way by what best works in a medium like water, well, more like jello, mud, really - sound.  Like the blind, I both judge and define my space through the reflection (versus deflection) of sound.  I talk and listen to see who responds. No response, no ability to define - my terrain monochromatic, what forms are there may be hard to distinguish, much like a desert or the stark bleakness of the Antarctic.  So, everything comes at me in bits with lots of nothing in-between.  Time moves almost imperceptibly, or so it feels.

When someone, some thing responds, when coordinating vibration shows up, sound is reflected back and like sonar, I can begin to map my nearly colorless surroundings. Suddenly, there are forms I can "see" or rather feel - suddenly, I am not alone.  Here's walking with a purpose or, at least, walking in a direction, but now with a primer to continue, with some assurance.  THIS is something!

The beginning of my 1st post is a quote I took from a little known or, little remembered TV show called Millennium (late 1990's).  I seem to keep referring to the beginning of that quote: "We Are Meant To be Here..."  - it is perfect in that it always seems to find relevance in my interior questions made public.  So, if the quote is true and we are meant to be here, now, how have you been able to find your way back?  What natural instincts or tools, or other support systems do you have at your disposal to help you when you are in the "thick of things"?  What special event in your life has triggered the calling of this tool into its power?

What is your story?

Friday, June 24, 2011

"To Sleep, Perchance to Dream..."

How many thinkers and writers, before and after Shakespeare, (as in the quote above, from Hamlet - III, i, 65-68)  have written about dreams and dreaming and the sometimes surreal whole life experiences that can occur when our bodies are at total rest?  Upon waking up, are we any different because of the dream or the hope the dream could bring?

In the Universe of the Quantum, our waking life isn't just it.  We are material and subtle energy.  How do we know our dreams aren't just mind-movies?

Have you ever felt that in waking up, the who you always imagined you were, no longer is?  What happened in the midst of sleep that would forever change your perception of not only your self, but Life as you have always known it?

You walk around during the day certain something is wrong - your feet don't quite feel right, you feel like you are trying out your new skin, but in our Newtonian world of the empirical, how could that possibly be?  You look in the mirror and know that what you are seeing is your face, but your reflection... something is not quite right, but you can't see it, only sense it.

Darned if you could ever remember and even if you could at this point, would it matter?!  Today, THIS day, this is who you are.

The issue is, whatever path you were on, the you today is different enough to, in all probability, take you off that path, pulling you onto another.  Maybe, you are no longer certain of the veracity (or even the ownership) of your choices.

Along those lines, have you ever felt you were "beside yourself" when you made a decision that impacted the direction of a particular area of your life?  Or have you had a dream or some other awareness that moved you into creating a new map of your worldview?

If it is true, that "We Are Meant To Be Here", as I quoted in my 1st posting, then the person who we are today, is exactly the right person to be here, now - so what markings on your map will be created based on the acceptance of this new perspective of self?  What has already shifted in your life because of this new worldview?

Tell me your story...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"We Are Meant To Be Here...

"We step from one piece of holy ground to the next under stars that ask,
       "imagine, for one second, you can drop in on a past life -
        what would you find yourself doing there?  What would charm you,
        make you proud?",
and the question of what to do in THIS life becomes so simple it's terrifying.  Just to do the thing that would charm you, make you say the answers thrill you.     
Do THAT, and you're ALIVE!"                                 (quote from TV show: Millennium, 1999, Season 2)

                                                           ~WELCOME ~

We know our interior terrains far exceed anything we could ever imagine.  We take note of the most notable which often propels us to move in some particular and new direction.  In that unfamiliar territory, we attempt to draw out the boundaries of our newly known world.  This new Earth is where we can be our own Columbus or our own Shape-Shifter claiming and re-claiming who we are at every moment - eyes wide open to the explorations underfoot, always discovering we walk on a never ending path into the next story of our lives.

Our stories are universal - sure, we may all have differing and extenuating circumstances, but the archetypal self connects deeply and on multiple levels - it is on those levels, that quantum part of us, where our universal truths reside.  Here, on QuantumCartography, through our shared experiences of our interior maps we are constantly redefining, we will be reminded of how boundless we are, though unfinished, and yet, how self-regenerating and Beautiful our Humanity is.

WHO are you, today?

WHAT is a phenomenal experience that has reshaped your map?

What EPIPHANY called you to traversed into an "undiscovered country" of your life?