Wednesday, June 14, 2006
A Million Shiny Red Pieces
Remember the Superman character who whisked me up into the atmosphere and stole my heart? Seems the Man has butterfingers and, as a result, carelessly dropped it from 40,000 feet. Turns out, hearts full of blind love don't bounce.
A little over a week after my arrival in Denver, I was dumped by email for not being spiritually evolved. Mind you, I'm no stranger to heartbreak but this was something else. Very high-tech, very New Age, very cowardly. Amidst my swings from confused heartache to white hot rage, I consider what it means to be spiritually enlightened.
I'm as simple-minded as the next drooling human but some lessons are innate. Not all universal wisdom can be gleaned from pouring over texts or meditating for hours on end. Even in my crude state as a spiritual midget, I have stumbled across these clues:
Be Nice: Harder than it looks, apparently. The photo here shows a billboard in - where else? - North Dakota that gently reminds folks to say their 'please' and 'thank-you's.'
Be Aware: This one is easy, just ask yourself: "Does everyone on the SuperShuttle want to hear about my date as I jabber on my cell to my equally vacuous roommate? Does my five-year-old kicking the back of the airline seat bother the person who is actually sitting in it? Does my high-pitched cackling not fit in with the mood at the wake?" This relates directly to Clue #1.
Be Grateful: This one takes consistency and the occasional angle-shifting. For example, though my cupid's arrow turned out to be rusty and infectious, we did not co-habitate, pro-create or take any vows. I do not need to hire a lawyer and for this, I am grateful. See? Now you try.
Be Present: At the urging of my truly enlightened friend, Heidi, and the nudging of He-Who-Wishes-He-Were-Enlightened-Ex, I have been practicing living in the present moment. Sounds simple but it poses a challenge for most of us who always have our minds churning over the past or worrying about the future. Still, I'm starting to get the hang of it. For example, upon waking Sunday morning and pondering my imminent romantic doom, I quickly discover blood in my urine and a cold sore on my lip (ah, a souvenir.) With no idea where to go or what to do, I go online to find an open emergency room. At that moment, a bird flies onto my balcony and hops up to my window. He looks in, chirps at me a few times, and flies off. This has not happened before or since and I took it as a sign that things could only get better. They didn't, of course, but it's a nice story, isn't it?
Listen: We all need practice here. Sure, we hear things but truly processing what these sounds mean? We are devolving. Our ears are constantly stuffed with technologies but there is less clarification going on. This also relates back to Clue #4. I stopped wearing my headphones on my hikes when I realized that music pulled me into the past or the future but made me ignore the present - i.e,. birds chirping, other hikers greeting me, dogs barking, trees creaking - I was missing it all! Also, when talking to people, try not to think about what you are going to say next until (eventually) they shut up. Ideally, others will try to do the same but I'm warning you, it's becoming a lost art.
Okay, that's it. That's all I know. Perhaps Ex-Man is right and I know nothing but dammit, I stand proudly by my religious ignorance. I prefer to take this path on sheer instinct, like a blind man tracking down fresh baked bread instead of just being fed a loaf that's been on the shelf for days. Not by accident, our souls are hermetically sealed in separate containers and while we may ask for directions along the way, ultimately, the journey is done alone - which is so convenient since I am now completely solo.
As for Love? Looks like it's back to the drawing board but I think good things are to come ... a little bird told me so.