“Much of our dissatisfaction with life will disappear,
and many simple joys will emerge, if we can learn to be present with things just as they are.”
(Jan Chozen Bays, 2014, p. 8)
Let me begin by stating unequivocally that I am in no way dissatisfied with life. As I sit drinking my morning coffee, a little weak but just fine, a grackle is singing it’s strange song and a man is singing along to morning music in a very sweet, if not beautiful, voice.
It is easy to smile and laugh at this scene. I can imagine the man with eyes closed, singing along to his favorite lines. The music here is not my favorite. I was thinking the other day that anywhere I were to live in the world, it would be important to like the music. I suppose I could simply make my own. I already dance to my own tune, as they say. But there is something simple and endearing about hearing a person sing from their soul. It does not matter how beautiful or awful their voice. What matters is that they sing at all.
For me, patience and acceptance are two of the most difficult traits. I like things to be a certain way, as if a clean floor is my way of demonstrating some small iota of control in an otherwise unpredictable life.
But just like I cannot control the length of time I see a Jaeger flying by a panga boat on Kino Bay, I have very little that I control in my daily existence, save how I choose to respond to life’s salsa moves. I can try to do the running man or I can try to learn to salsa.
With dancing, as with singing, I firmly believe that it makes no difference how well you do the moves. What is important is that you try. For me, there is such great joy in letting go and allowing myself to just feel and respond.
I am finding that it is similar with life. It makes no difference how much control you have, how nice your clothing is, or if you have a shiny, new car and big house. What is important is that you live. If you were to talk with David Byrne, he might suggest something similar.
“What is that beautiful house? Where does that highway go to? That’s not my beautiful house. That’s not my beautiful car.”
And your days go by.
And my days go by.
I will be a year older in July.
I seem to grow more sensitive with each passing year. There is more pain in seeing tragedy and deeper gratitude and love for the beauty beside it.
Perhaps, the love is felt that much for acutely when it come at such a cost. Here, the beauty is literally on top of the tragedy. It is all mixed together. Bony dogs lying in the street, just barely alive with red, raw skin on their legs. Boys walking the streets with slingshots, cocked and ready.
Women walking by with babes in strollers, smiling broadly at my timid smile and shy wave.
Collared doves coo and then screech. Their calls echo the tiny maelstrom building inside of me.
My heart is filled with so many emotions I feel I might drown. It is all part of this world. Much of it, I wish I did not know, but it is there in front of me, breathing in and out just the same. And it will be here long after I have gone.
I, too, am part of this world. My beauty and tragedy all wrapped up in one small being. I am so very alive. I should take the time to recognize this life more often.
Thank you for the reminder, Mexico.