Urban Dictionary Definition of Lost and Found:
"Where one loses their mind and finds freedom."
It would be more than fair as well as accurate to say, that yes, I have lost my mind and in doing so found freedom. Yes. I think that perhaps I could have dropped my mind somewhere along the freeway, driving to my late partner's chemo-therapy sessions. It would be so easy to neglect it on the rides from our home in the East Bay to the Veteran's Administration in San Francisco. Or- maybe it was when I scattered his ashes under the Golden Gate Bridge on the private boat that transported us, escorted by the friendly dolphins. Maybe it fell over board when I threw my lei into the great Pacific and I hadn't noticed because I was too emotional. I could have possibly left it behind when I sold our home and forgot where I stashed it away for safe keeping. Yes. That is a possibility. Regardless, some kind Soul turned it in and I have reclaimed it.
I have been fortunate to find my freedom in the process of reclaiming my mind at my local Lost and Found. Sure I could continue to discuss, intellectualize and dissect how difficult it has been and how challenging and painful life can be at times, but I would be missing my chance at fully engaging and basking in the glory of this feeling. Remember, nothing lasts forever. Allow me to be a reminder. I am moving on. I am gonna "keep on truckin'." The past Luvs and losses will always be my compass, as I now continue my way on my own personal pilgrimage, my own" El Camino de Santiago." There will be new friends, new faces, new luvs, new adventures, new places- new memories. All the dearly departed, guides, angels, beautiful Souls and my loved ones, want nothing more for me. They told me so...
As I continue to grow, evolve and adjust to my" elder wisdom," I have become more aware of the importance of stretching, pushing limits and making changes, which are ALWAYS uncomfortable. Especially in our later years. Flexibility is the key, in more ways than one.
With all that being said, you will notice changes in format, frequency, length of Blogs and perhaps a change in platform or website all together. I will be incorporating more of my own artwork, links to music, poetry and other artistic expressions that speak to me as well- because I can. This is me being authentic and true to my Soul. This is MY New Freedom!
My focus may become more on living my life going forward, than Death and Dying and looking back. Ultimately, I will be weaving the two together, as it should be. We can't have Yin without Yang. This is the balance and beauty of this Life that we are given. I have had more and I have had less in my Life, materially speaking, but never have I felt so Spiritually wealthy.
I have always found the importance of speaking the unspeakable and questioning the unquestionable. It is just my nature. I embrace, cherish and celebrate my imperfections and mistakes- my humanity. I lay them all before you, spread out like a vendor displays his treasures at the Alameda Flea Market.
We all need to make sense of our lives before our time is up. Most people wait until the end. One of the most important things that I have learned from working with Hospice patients, the dying, Buddhism, Meditation, Mentors and Teachers along the way, is to always walk hand and hand with Death, not run from it. Befriend it. Sorry for the wake up call but your day WILL come. Just a gentle reminder. Don't try to resolve all of your life issues in your last moments and before your last breath. Start now. Don't wait to try to make sense of all that you do not understand in your Life. Take it at face value. Accept it. Don't judge it. We don't always have to know WHY?
When I was a young boy, in elementary school, I used to lay in my bed at night listening to the sound of my younger brother snoring in a deep state of rem sleep. I would watch in twitch and blink. It was very comforting and reassuring somehow. I think that I also listened to make sure he was still breathing, as the thought of losing him was too difficult for me to bare. Another comfort that I would sometimes hear was what sounded to me like a mouse's voice whispering in my ear. It was inaudible but I enjoyed hearing "him" even though I was not sure what "he" was saying. I just accepted "him", "his" friendship and "his' foreign language that "he" spoke to me. I listened carefully, intently and made no comments. I would often fall asleep midway during "his" soliloquy. As best I can remember it went on for a few years. I didn't question the experience, as "he" was more friend than foe. (think Topo Gigio) I wasn't afraid and I also didn't know that this was unusual. I was a painfully shy young boy and was raised in a family where we didn't share things, good, bad but especially ugly....
Eventually my "mouse friend" disappeared, never to return again. This was not the only visual and audible experience that I had as a young boy. There were several others, which I will address at another time. Don't ever think for just one moment that anything in Life is random.
Flash forward forty plus years and I find myself at a Dying Consciously workshop in Joshua Tree California, being conducted by the Four Winds Society. I had lost my partner less than a year earlier and it was part of my quest for something, after he had transitioned. Truth? As part of our Workshop, we learned how to shut down the Chakra System in the body at the moment of Death and send the Soul out through the top or crown of the head. This would separate Body and Soul, freeing the Soul to transition to a higher consciousness. We were also all required to go through the process ourselves, including our own mock funeral. Everyone was assigned a role by the "deceased" and instructed on how the role should be played i.e., husband, wife, significant other, mother, father, brother, sister etc.etc.etc. We tapped into some profound emotions and much healing was done on so many levels for all involved. When it was my turn "to die" for the allotted 30 seconds, before I was returned to my earthly body, I had the incredibly moving experience of meeting my partner in the ethers. We had just enough time to ask each other without words if we were "doing ok." We confirmed, exchanged Luv and were returned to our appropriate places.. It may have been the dry California desert, but that day there were many new temporary rivers flowing through the dry sands.
There was a beautiful closing ceremony after the three long days of emotional upheaval. We were asked to bring a small gift that we were to give to our Shamanic instructor at some point. The room was dark, candle lit, serene, quiet, holy, except for some rattling and chanting. When my turn came, I had to lay down face up on a mat on the dusty, wooden floor and a woman that I didn't know who was not our instructor, but was introduced to us, was there to help out. I liked her immediately. She felt familiar to me and had a stately and graceful presence. She had a kind loving, casual, natural beauty about her. She did a ritual and I presented her with my small gift. She accepted it graciously and continued with the Blessings. At this point, she was kneeling on the floor next to me. She bent down slowly to whisper something or say a prayer in my ear, and as she did the tears started flowing. I instantly recognized that "mouse language" that she spoke and her voice. It was the same one that used to whisper to me when I was a young boy. A river of tears flowed out of my stormy blue eyes, down my beard covered cheek onto the wooden plank floor and out the door creating tributaries and rivers nourishing all the desert life and animals on its journey back to the Great Mother...
Don't wait to try to make sense of all that you do not understand in your Life. Take it at face value. Accept it. Don't judge it. We don't always have to know-WHY or HOW?