“If you want to know me, look inside your heart.” – Lao Tzu
Lately, I find myself in quiet moments running invisible fingertips over the smooth and somewhat bumpy terrain of my heart. It’s not as if I’ve locked away this intimate landscape on purpose more like I’ve left the map showing me the way to get there on a dusty shelf in some long forgotten room and now that door to that room has been flung open…
…the soft, warm air of the coming Summer stirring the dust on that ancient dog-eared map, reminding me that it is possible to live both in my head and heart, in fact, it is imperative to do so because if I don’t, I’m only living a shadow-like life, a mere shade haunting it’s former earthly realm.
The opening of that door sounded like thunder, creating a buzzy energy that could not be ignored, as it lifted the edges of the map clamouring for my attention, I was left with no other choice, it was time to leave my words, to dismantle the linear walls, pick up the map and start the journey back to the beginning. There will be nettles, thorns and all kinds of flowering vines tangled around this abandoned place, the air will be scented with wet stone and rich dark soil. I’m hopeful that the map will reveal a faint path and that with each step I take, the path will become clearer; I will hear childish laughter on the air as well and have to be ready to clasp that small hand when it comes into view. For many reasons or perhaps none at all, she was left there to guard this sacred space and despite the scars my fingertips might stumble over, there will still be raw beauty to re-discover.
I took some of those steps this past weekend on a most Summer-like day, I donned my beige Kangol fedora, made up a thermos of rose tea and went for a long seawall walk to Third Beach with the memory of last year’s fairy-like drum circle music echoing in my mind. As I turned the point just as one would make their way to the stairs going up to Ferguson Point, my heart began to stir – I was met with the stunning view of English Bay, it’s cobalt blue waves undulating lazily onto the shore with one lone sailboat on the water, it’s black sails hinting at something otherworldly. As I continued walking, breathing in the briny scent of salt, I found myself walking past crowds of sunbathers, the scent of cocoa butter in the air until I reached Siwash Rock. I love this wild landmark, it reminds one of a very tiny knoll rising out of the currents hosting the odd bit of pine and grasses. At the foot of this wild spot someone had scattered several long-stemmed dark red roses, it looked like spots of bright blood floating on top of the water and lying among the rocks. My senses came alive, it became clear to me that only I can take these steps, light the candles and the incense that haunt my dreams, to carve out space for meditating and to find meaningful work to support this other work of mine, the writing down of words for others to read. Living in my head is pain-free but it’s worth feeling some pain to be truly alive and more present in this world. I can hardly wait to hold that long ago child’s hand again!
Journal Entry: December 21, 1999 – Mexico Geography
I’m writing while tucked into bed at the hotel San Francisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. It is a colonial hotel, the rooms are unheated and it’s very cool in our room. And what a nice room it is! It is a small room overlooking a courtyard – it is nicely decorated and bright. It is very quiet, which we need. Our apartment in Puerto Vallarta is right beside the Lion’s Club building where they rent part of the space for parties, etc. The music and singing is so loud, our apartment shakes from it – we had to buy ear plugs so we could fall asleep. So these two nights at the hotel San Francisco have been a blessing. The hotel provides free bottles of water, I’m sipping from one now and as I put it down on the marble-topped night table, I’m reminded of a similar night table I had in our German apartment from when we lived in the city of Iserlohn.
We had a 5 hour bus ride from P.V. to Guadalajara. The scenery was beautiful, very lush and green from Puerto Vallarta into the state of Nayarit. As we traveled back into the state of Jalisco (due to the winding roads) the landscape changed. The lushness became more desert-like reminding me of Merritt, British Columbia. We saw a lot of burros, cactus 6 feet tall or more and quite a spread of lava rock. I even saw a zebra on someone’s ranch standing out among a lot of burros on the property! The land we were observing is made for the burro. And above this land flew many eagles and hawks. I’m so glad that we have been able to see more of Mexico to add to the wonderful memories of past resort vacations to both Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan!