Each time our earth rolls toward the sun one more time and I rise to greet the day, I know this is one more chance to re-set, to ground my soul in silence before the soles of my feet hit the floor or sand running. Knowing, though, is no match for doing. It is so easy, far too easy, for me to vault into the middle of some duty or ten and never let up until sleep claims my brain and body again. Then I rise to do it all over, so weary sometimes I can barely breathe, determinedly measuring the value of my days by how many things I can tick off yesterday’s To Do List. Drawing a line through or clicking ‘delete’ on a completed task delights me. Always has, for as long as I can remember. I enjoy it so much that, if I do something I’ve forgotten to add to the list, I write it down just so I can cross it off and watch it go. My lists are my doppelgängers, the documentary twins and triplets of my being here: I feed and attend to and caress them: I measure me by their tick marks and ebbing, lining tides. This is no evil, nor uncommon to any of us who work for a living, and yet of late it gives me regular pause.
Taking time for spiritual practice heads up all my lists anymore, preceded only by “Wake with the sun or sooner.” I don’t check those two off, as each is a recurring task. Wake up, get up, pause for steady, quiet reflection. Searching for spirit and truths by which I can navigate while on the run. The longer I live, however, the more certain I become that the run—as a all-day or all-night pace—is ill-conceived, not conducive to my well-being. So now I am working on extending my morning pauses through my days and nights, and I work fairly hard now to just stop. Often. Literally. Unscheduled and undirected and unfocused and even un-searching. Just stop. And there I stand: watching the now come to pass.
In these moments, with life still breaking bad and good and howling feverish all around and 900 Important Struggles and Lists vying for my attention and heart, I sense a deeper me than I usually do. A me that is unassailed no matter what. A me that is far wider of spirit than the me that runs around making and crossing off my lists. A me that is utterly connected to every last being now or ever on this planet and beyond. I used to sense this me and then hurry off again, uneasy about all the fraying edges I could see and not about to tackle those I couldn’t. The unknown was by definition beyond me, and running helped to keep it there. Running and my blessed, constantly repopulating lists. No more.
Now I tarry with the me of the unknown, savoring the feel of eternity bone-deep and loving, knowing, wondering, inhabiting the world from within. Watching the now come to pass.