Vacation has been very, very over. What has now started is life. If you’re living in the United States, that would be a dull downturn of things, back to the day to day dullness of chasing paycheck after paycheck and bitching about it at night. Not so with me. My life is about letting paychecks happen however they happen while I spend time enjoying my life. I don’t make a lot of money, not even a living wage. I also don’t work full time, which puts me behind financially, a fact that I finally quit let bother me. It doesn’t matter! None of it matters! What matters is my life, right here, right now. Baby, we’re going on a ride!
I bike the beautiful country side of Ithaca after work. Sometimes I stop to take photos of the tall trees, the trails, the rivers, the bridges and lakes. When I’m riding I feel like I’m on a mini-vacation, so far away from the “reality” of life…and then I realize, this is reality. This is it. It is all so beautiful, how can I ask for anything more? What is so beautiful about my bike rides is the fact that I am at total peace, and there are no tugs and pulls of ego and need, and there is no one who comes in my mind to judge me, or into my experience to rob my joy.
The only thing that comes in and dampers my day is the question I ask myself–how can I just live my life happily if there are so many people suffering? This has been my dilemma and pattern. If there is someone sitting in the mud, then I will sit in the mud with them and won’t move until they are ready to move. Recently I have been coming to realize that that way of living is totally useless! My family needs me to be happy, dammit! I think I have suffered enough and rescued enough people, now it’s time to move on–without guilt, please.
Bike rides continue. My dilemma becomes less intense. Then one day it happens, I shift completely and just don’t answer my phone all day! I’m done! I am so done. I spend the entire day devouring books about art and photography, and it’s another form of bliss. I love these people who do this work! Their lives fascinate me, and in the whirlwind of art, love, fantasy and adventure, I realize that my own life fascinates me. What an adventure to be on! Take it, good, bad, ugly difficult & blissful!
So my pendulum swings from sitting in the mud to being totally about myself, my life, my art, etc. And the sad thing is is that if I’m not fighting I feel like I’m letting so many people down. I need to be there helping them; their pain is my pain. But there is one thing that keeps coming to my mind–You cannot help them if you see them as helpless. They are just as strong and powerful as you are, and seeing them as victims only reinforces their victim-ness. You can empower them by changing the way you *see* them. When I re-awaken to that idea, I feel like somehow I am helping to liberate them and in the process I am liberated myself.
My new liberated self will be enjoying my friends who are beginning to arrive from abroad, and I so can’t wait to see them! We have so many good meals to cook and eat together, wine to drink and stories to tell! I also have more parties to throw and more paintings to do. Writing poetry, reading poetry, learning more French and singing are not falling through the cracks, either.
What a fun way to live. Can I wish this on everybody?