It’s been almost three weeks in the desert now.
I could make a report of my findings.
Not the kind where it was loud and then it gets quiet for a minute and then it gets loud again and you forget, that moment of silence slips by you. This is a kind of sustained silence that you notice at first, then you forget, not because it gets loud anywhere, but because it doesn’t get loud. Then it sort of sneaks up on you, landing in your body first and then slowly blooming in you and reaching your conscious mind last, like slipping into a warm bath and your head is the last part to get in.
The silence has a quality to it that I can only compare to some meditative experiences I’ve had from time to time. A luminous, spacious, present, timeless, perfect quality. I believe that it is working in my body, opening doors long closed on a cellular level, rebalancing the out-of-wack elements in my blood and bile and humours, purging what’s foul and dank and putrid.
The earth quality is very strong, very forward. It is like standing in the palm of a vast hand to me. The earth energy lifts into my through my feet and joins me to it so I am just like the billion rocks littering the desert floor- not a separate thing. I think that’s the thing here, there’s no way to maintain your physical or psychic boundaries in this space- you are too tiny and the powers are here in such an unimpeded way- your paltry skin is no match for it, it flows through totally. The earth, the firey sun, the limitless wind, the spacious, empty, vivid sky. And water the hidden element whose traces are everywhere in the eroded mountains and alluvial fans and arroyos and washes and cuts.
Practice in this place is effortless and continual. You can’t stop being present, so post-meditation feels the same as meditation, or very nearly so.
We had a big dust-up that really threw us for a loop for a week- a big scare and drama that I won’t go into the details of but it was ugly and it was the kind of thing that could have totally derailed our whole plan and it is going to have all kinds of echoes and reverberations for some time to come, but the nut of it is that we very nearly got drawn back into resuming our old lives in a way, very nearly took the hook- did take the hook, actually, for a few days, before we spit it out and decided we’d stay the course here, no matter the cost.
It’s like that whole escape velocity thing I wrote about earlier- the same thing that doesn’t want you to follow your dreams doesn’t stop testing you just because you took the leap. It didn’t in our case, anyway. We made our escape, we got the taste of this new life, and then a really big test, a huge one, appeared. It looked like every monster that ever blocks the path- hydra headed, dangerous, vivid, real, roaring and scary.
I don’t know exactly that it was this place that gave us the strength to say no to the monster, to stand our ground and to pay whatever price we’ll have to pay for that act, but it feels that way to me. Maybe it’s just as simple as having that taste of freedom was all I needed to make up my own mind, but it feels like I got some help.
I like to believe that so I will.
So, we’re in the big silence and wildness, but we’re raw and shell-shocked and kind of terrified still. But we’ve girded our loins and set our course and there’s an undeniable power in that, I believe. You don’t get to know the outcome of your big decisions like that, if you were right or wrong, or if there is even such a thing. You put your money down and then you go forward. To doom or glory. I think you have to have that mindset, really. You can’t be faint-hearted or the path will remain blocked by the monsters that exist to do just that.
And we blinked, man. We got scared and we turned back, we thought we had to. We were going to lose our dream because we thought we had to give it up to do this other thing.
But something stopped us, too. I guess that blocking force has an opening force in opposition to it.
And now we’re on the other side of it, for better or worse, and it feels like for better. I know in my heart that I’m following my bliss, and I’m finally at a place in my life where I’m willing to face anything in order to keep doing that.
It’s just like getting on the path to me- the difference between the two states of “in alignment” and “not in alignment” is so great and visceral and clear and vivid that I know immediately- this is for me, and I must do this, and if I do not do this I will die.
Not to be all grandiose about it. But that’s how I feel. How we both feel.
So you’ll continue to see our dispatches from the wilds, although they may be infrequent and ever stranger.
We aim to go and not stop till we’ve got where it is we need to be. Whatever that looks like and whenever that gets here.
I hope that you have all you need to keep you whole and happy and safe, and that you are loved, and that you love like the world is ending.
Even if it never does.