Sunday, June 9, 2013

Living the Tao of Goldilocks

Churchyard on 8th St. NE between Constitution and C. Oh the light of summer solstice!

If you could see my natal astrological chart, if you had studied astrology, you would understand instantly why moderation was not historically my best thing. My chart is a diagram of extremes in opposition to one another. I've got some things working in my chart to help me prevail and work with the oppositions, but there's nothing about moderation there. The picture of my innate intensity is so clear in my natal chart that once upon a time a friend had a teeshirt made for me with my natal chart and the words "It's not my fault!" above the image. Yeah.

Once upon a time in my life I pitched first this way, then that, almost always to damaging extremes. Imagine one person on a teeter totter, standing on top of the plank, running from the end on the ground to the one in the air. Imagine me barely pausing at the center, running hard up the plank until gravity brings the upper end crashing down to the ground.

It was interesting to live that way and now the memories make for some dramatic storytelling. Memories of my early adulthood also carry with them a considerable number of regrets. There's nothing wrong with that; I did the best I could. Nobody's perfect.

I've been thinking about it since the Voice in the Shower asked me why my love of mindfulness meditation has to be such a big secret.

Me: I do NOT love meditation! I have to force myself to do it each and every morning.
VinS: If you didn't love it, you would make up a story about why you don't have to meditate.

I've been thinking about it, about whether I love meditation. I can not agree with the Voice on this one. I do not love to meditate. It's a discipline, like flossing my teeth (something I also do every day). Though meditation is always interesting, it's rarely pleasurable for me. It is necessary, end of story.

If I said I loved to floss my teeth, wouldn't that make me a little weird?

Whether or not I love meditation, what I can say is that it has helped me manage my temperament of extremes in opposition. This is a good thing. Earlier in life I had more energy for the intensity. But now I'm sixty. I'm glad meditation is a central part of my practice. But do I LOVE it? I do not.

Shortly after yesterday's new moon at noon, the overcast cleared and Brother Sun emerged. After swimming around in the Gulf of Mexico for a couple of days, the baby moon brought in a beautiful, clear, early summer afternoon. I spent it with a beloved dear one, walking around, taking pictures, ending up at the Matchbox bar and an art opening. It was a sweet afternoon of moderation, considering I could have decided to go down to the Mall for either Pride celebrations: joyousness, partying, color, laughter, or to see the Million Bone Project: a grim art installation meant to increase consciousness about the price of genocide.

This city is so crazy. Both of those events were taking place in DC simultaneously. Good lord. Is it any wonder people go mad when they come here to help govern this country?

Pride was too much of one thing, Genocide too much of another. Instead of either extreme, I stayed on the Hill, spent quality hang-out time with someone I love beyond all reason, but rarely see. It wasn't too hot or too cold, too big or too small. Yesterday I was living the tao of Goldilocks. Here, here!


Gary said...

Of course this title grabbed my attention. What is that voice in the shower? From where does it spring? I always have such great ideas in the shower. I am able to figure things out and have clear visions of things that have me stumped otherwise. I thought that was just me but I've heard this from others as well.

BTW, I love beyond all reason.


Reya Mellicker said...

Your great ideas in the shower? That's the Voice. It is available to all.

Love you beyond all reason, dear.

Steve Reed said...

I am with you on the meditation thing. Even when I was far more active in my Zen practice than I am now, I found it hard to settle into a regular meditation practice. I haven't meditated at all in a year or so. I'm not sure I miss it!

But the VinS is correct in that SOMETHING keeps you going back -- maybe not love so much as discipline, as you said, and yet there's love IN discipline, isn't there? If you didn't care enough you wouldn't make yourself do it.

JMH said...

That's great light. It makes me want to, I don't know, BURST!

Rebecca Clayton said...

I've been told that love is more what you do than what you feel. And really, how else can you love your neighbor, when your neighbor is really, really unlovable?

"Love is patient, love is endures all things." I think you're showing patience with your practice. Just a thought.