Perhaps, if we can find grace in our own mortality, we can find courage in our day-to-day expression of Life.
One of the great benefits of ‘retirement’ is a redistribution of time. Same number of hours in a day – different allocation of how I embrace them.
So often, I would be frustrated by the many, many books, articles, videos, podcasts, etc. that I never got around to reading/watching/listening to. Now, I have abundant time to embrace them all, losing myself in hours of discovery of the myriad things I know so little about and voraciously hunger to digest. Things of the mind, the body and the soul. Things of the Universe, of science and spirituality. Explorations of ancient worlds and the increasingly-prevalent evidence of their existence and their legacy. Stories and myths once thought of as fiction now considered history.
Things that question not only the content of things but the very process through which these things are legitimized. Like our educational system, for example… choosing to see beyond the content of a curriculum (any curriculum!) and shining a bright light on the process of that system, itself. In the examination lives the courage to recognize what it may well be: a system of inter-generational inculcation for the preferred and necessary status quo.
In our heads-down, shoulder-to-the-wheel, day-to-day grind, we are often exhausted by the expedient and left devoid of the resources required to be curious; to question; to be sufficiently daring to entertain the possibility that we are truly and completely ignorant of the larger context within which we live. Yes, our day-to-day (thinking locally) requirements for food, shelter, tribe must be met AND without a recognition of the larger context (thinking globally) within which it is all unfolding – without at least a curiosity if not a recognition that what we know is like a single snowflake in the great blizzard of our existence – we are profoundly ignorant of a life lived from the much greater potential of what we are. I once thought that we all carried a great and innate hunger… a great desire to know this and explore this; to know ourselves beyond the limitations of what we had been handed as an undeniable truth. I now know that not to be so.
In the great gift of the luxury of time, I am now free to wander. Now more than ever, what I read/watch/listen to is not driven from necessity and practical application but from the desire to press the edges of my own certainty about all things. As Mark Twain has said: ““It’s not what you don’t know that kills you, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” I am free to seek out those others for whom this journey has moved beyond a curiosity to the undeniable call to engage; the call that emerges from an inner Self and relentlessly propels in undeniable and inexcusable ways. That, has become my Tribe. Those who know the drive to seek without the need to find. The drive to consider ‘what else/how else/who else’ without the need to protect the historical or current version of them all. The willingness to defy convention without the need to apologize or seek forgiveness from the status quo. Such is the series of moments within which I now, unfold.
Climate change is but one of the many threads of our potential undoing. But climate change is the one that is most evident to us – given our cultural conditioning – in its rapid and intense bearing down on our constructed reality. Past the point of no return for sustaining that which has been, we are being invited…. being propelled and compelled!… to raise our thinking to much higher orders that we might see ourselves differently and, from there, choose to create differently.
There are no shortcuts in this game of our own awakening and evolving. It really is one breath at a time and that, like the quality of our lives, is something that only we can do for ourselves.