Been feeling a bit scattered this week. Bits of myself all over the place. That is actually the norm, but the sensation is emphasized because at Opus I was hyperfocused. Now the lens has drawn back, and there is (perhaps too) much in my line of sight.

I realized today, as I was doing my Morning Pages (see book, the Artist's Way), that one of the reasons I love traveling is because when on the road I have fewer options. I have less stuff. There is less unmanageable stimuli. Traveling is a clarifying experience. All the unnecessary things take their appropriate place at the bottom of the stack. I don't have to struggle so much to stay on the siratul mustaqim*.

So I am looking forward to Guatemala. I am looking forward to being outside of my comfort zone, to being where I'm at, and accepting that - because my Spanish is far from fluent - I can only understand some things. I won't be able to do everything or know everything. I won't be able to express every thought that pops into my head. I will have to be very keen on what's going on around me, and my consciousness will be pulled further and further out of my own self.

My mantra for the day comes from the famous prayer usually attributed to San Francisco de Assisi (emphasis is my own).

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life

*the sirat ul mustaqim is an islamic expression that refers to the "righteous path" or the way of God. It also refers to the bridge in the afterlife that people will cross to get to heaven. For those who disbelieved, the bridge will shrink to the width of a thread, and those people will fall into the pits of hell. But for those who believed and did good deeds, the bridge will be wide, and they will fly over in the blink of an eye. I have used the expression here to refer to the path that is most right for me, the path that leads me to my sense of god, the path that crosses over all those things I find wasteful and destructive.



December 2013



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