Thursday, March 15, 2007


"And perhaps you take up religion bitterly
Which you laughed at in your youth,
Well not actually laughed
But it wasn't your kind of truth."

from “To be Dead”, Patrick Kavanaugh

Not quite, but what I've been reciting recently.

What I did laugh at in my youth, well not actually laughed at but dismissed:

India as a finding-oneself destination,
Rajnish ashramites seeking, in my Pune shop, Osho posters, crystals, flowy clothing and millet or whatever they mixed into things.. (I sent them to the shop next door),
the huggers who tried to hug me,
the adamant vegans,
the ommmm-ers who were earnest,
the smelly, hair-matted people,
the Friday crew of frowsy Omega seekers at the Rhinecliff train station,
people who shopped in the book/music new age section...

None of these elements were harmful to me (or the universe god forbid), but the participants, and their trappings, seemed aesthetically-off and join-y.
I resented that they’d choose such an messy, smelly crutch – cobbled from the collective trickle down of the religions of the east.

I looked for my coping mechanisms elsewhere, and have had some luck elsewhere.

But, without belief system, or a belief, it’s me and my head. Which is isolating, not always fun and often circular.

Then something knocks over your everything, your coping mechanisms crash a little, and now you're forced to seek elsewhere.

(Reluctantly, tip-toe into the vegan camp, hoping they're too stoned by the campfire to notice.)

Last year, a month before I was to turn 35, Lindsey died. And Hudson was born. And a lot of things fell apart, and had to shift.

You need underpinnings.

And all your family, and friends, and home and work and interests, won't calm and will not explain your next move.

Look elsewhere.

My cousin Ashley - wise and enlightened soul - told me that 35 begins a third cycle, passage into the 3rd chakra.

In April of 2006, I didn’t know where to put this information, though was relieved to have something that indicated a larger sphere and forces at work.

As we approach the first year anniversary of Linds' death, I've begun meditating.
I didn’t even know I needed to until – boom – I did.
I found a free place, a lovely, still and nice smelling place in mid-town.

My mantra - that I have one at all ("given" to me by Deepak Chopra), that I'm pretzeling my legs and omming with the group and seeking my own meditation CDs in the New Age section and considering silent meditation retreats - seems too far out.

A belief system is not a series of if-thens: your 35th year was a watershed and so this happened.
That would be outrageous, selfish and impossible.
Rather, it confirms that humans have faced torments since the world began. They’re horrendous.
If you’re lucky, when there torments come there may be something that introduces peace, or a new perspective.

For me, though my meditation has been very small and, except for R seeing me off every morning, wholly private, there’s still been relief in the joining. I am falling back into something ageless, there may still be a means to peace.

So far, I’ve lost no part of myself in the joining.

If there's peace to be had, or a means to meet Linds and Mom in the realm they're in, a means to incorporate them better in this one (and celebrate what them is still here), then all is well.

I will try harder, I will try not to scoff and I will walk, head held HIGH, straight to the New Age section.

C - ommmmm


Marie-Helene Carleton said...

oops - am reposting my comment to the right section...

saluting the search, and the attendant adventure, with all of the soothing-ness, upheavals and inspiration. standing on the doorstep too to send you of, kisses, mh

Traer said...

Courtney, you are ready to write seriously...the voice is there, the experience and wisdom to connect the timeless weavings of human knowing, the perception of every day moments of beauty and grace, and the lyical sounds that words make as they lightly tap against our deepest consciousness...they are all in place.