So, wow! I have been wandering around for 6 months now, and I thought it would be a good time to notice, ponder, breathe and see what there might be to say about anything.
(But let’s not get our hopes up.)
I wasn’t planning this year to be significant, life-changing or inspiring. My mission was simply to give my kids some space, to give myself some freedom, and see what happened. What has happened so far has been fun and interesting, and (who knows) maybe even significant, though I’m not expecting the significance to come clear to me any time soon. And just like in the Book of the Dead (from whence the idea of “bardo” originally came) – I’ve encountered monsters along the way as well. Some of them are as cheerful and friendly as Elmo (he’s a monster, right?) and some of them are impressively hideous if I do say so myself.
This limbo-esque in-between bardo place has put my ‘self’ up against a pretty blank backdrop. My many fabulous adventures create an exciting and colorful frame, but within that frame is an empty (boring?) canvas and a little naked “me” starkly upon it. Lots of times this feels tender, quiet and peaceful. Sometimes it’s excruciating. It’s very often bewildering in a way that I can’t characterize as feeling either good or bad.
Maybe it feels like being in a coma or having a near-death experience, although I have no idea what those things feel like. In some ways my life now seems less real and in other ways it’s more real. (Than what? Than “real life?” Than what I’ve come to think of as “real life?” I really don’t know.) I feel confused almost all the time, but I’ve been discovering that being confused isn’t so bad after all, and I’m getting kind of used to it.
One thing I do know: in the midst of bewilderment and confusion, nakedness and monsters, I have been touched again and again by the friendliness of the people I bump into along the way. Far-flung relatives. Podcast listeners. Friends, and friends of friends. Strangers. Everywhere I go and with everyone I meet, I have been humbled and amazed to be the recipient of so much acceptance, generosity, curiosity and love. As far as I know, there isn’t much that can be done about the monsters of bardo, but they not nearly as troublesome when I’m floating in a sea of humanity that contains such a real huge lot of goodness.