Sublime to the ridiculous can indicate a rather full day and so it was of me yesterday.
Spent the morning doing health care, accupuncture etc, then cleaned up house for some out of town visitors and had a nice few hours chatting and walking to a nearby restaurant for a light lunch. I was looking forward to having a light dinner with a good friend who is going through a lot of personal and internal life transitions and the plan was to go to a 12 step meeting afterward and generally just have a reasonable evening of sharing about life and going to a familiar setting with other folks in recovery.
After a nice companionable dinner with great conversation including my own surprised story of a small connection that was forming with a new friend at some distance that I had met at a recent retreat. Then on to the meeting.
When I got there I was immediately disoriented and felt completely out of place, these are meetings I’ve been going to in various places for over 39 years in sobriety. Almost the same period of time I’ve been a fairly serious student and practitioner of Buddhism, mostly Soto Zen. So, I’ve always been comfortable in either of those settings.
The disorientation I experienced was very strong, and kept me almost immobile and still in a meeting where I’m usually very comfortable, outgoing and mixing in. During the activities of the meeting, a speaker, raffle, Sobriety chips given for anniversaries etc; I began to feel more and more at distance and dis-ease. Totally separated and apart.
Very strong current of emptiness, loneliness, sorrow and deepening sense that I was not now, and had never been, connected to anyone, anywhere, in any fashion. That there was no meaning or purpose to anything. People were coming up to me and being their regular selves and I could not talk to anyone, about anything.
I was casting myself out and rejecting ordinary interactions by not being able to respond kindly or appropriately to their gestures and greeting and such. Completely lost and not understanding or being able to offer anything except incomprehension and inability or a desire to communicate, about anything.
During those few minutes, my friend who has a great heart and is full of compassion, was trying to help me but realized there was something quite off and I was unwilling/unable to express anything except fear, contempt, confusion and incomprehension. So she worriedly watched me cross the street to my car and I drove off.
When I got home I was a real mess. Regret, remorse, shame, confusion and vast incomprehension swirled about me and in me. I finally saw what the word ‘Tempest’ means as a mental state.
My friend called me shortly after I got home and helped me get through the last phase of my ‘experience’ by listening and talking with me in a caring way, that allowed me let things settle down and eventually to get some sort of sleep and rest.
This morning of course abounds with regret, remorse and shame because of my behaviors and also not really knowing at all, what is going on with me and within me. I have had some cognitive decline recently and now need to address it at a variety of levels and see what’s up and what’s down.
There’s a good chance that what is ‘going on’ has a spiritual aspect to it because recent retreat experience and some other indicators show me that something is moving, and/or asking for help within me.
Sometimes we show our hearts
Allow the world to see us, and
Sometimes we show our fears, and
Want the world to hear us. Some
Times we just are who and what
We Are at that moment, and there
Is a glimpse at the Heart of the
Opportunity in our Humanity, by
Observing the Kindness of Others
Raining down and swirling about