Fly, be free

My husband has a saying that I love. He used to say it when we would be driving in the car in Arizona or traveling somewhere out west. If I opened the window to put out a little spec of dust or one of my long curls, he would say,


Fly! Be free.


I so desperately want to embody this expression, but it is so challenging.


I spent a lot of time the other day (in between taking cold showers because it’s a million degrees here….a million for Belgium, that is), writing about Alaska. I didn’t share it because I do not feel the need to burden you with yet another Alaska broken record piece of writing.


The gist was that I have gotten to what my husband calls a “breaking point” in the struggle to sell my house. This is the point where one finally relinquishes the illusion that they have any control or say in the matter and lets go.


Essentially, it is getting to the point where you just don’t care anymore.


What tipped the scale for me? Learning that my hunch was true that my house wasn’t selling because of difficult people I have dealt with in connection to the house. A friend who has also been trying to sell her house told me she had been talking with someone about selling houses, and my house had come up in the conversation. This person had said that people just steer clear of my house because they had heard that I was “difficult and that my house was a lemon.”


This pretty much pushed me over the edge, but instead of having a complete, anxiety-induced meltdown, I just gave up.


Was I angry? Yes.


Did I think about posting on my Gustavus Facebook post that I promised I was a nice person despite rumors? Also yes.


I realized that there really was nothing I could do but hope that someone from out of town finds the beauty in the house and recognizes it as the sanctuary that it is. I also decided it was time to hire a realtor.


I don’t believe in regretting decisions I have made. I think we make the best decision we can at any moment with the information that we have. I will admit that I wish I hadn’t bought the house, but at the same time it seemed like a dream come true at the time, and the house provided a haven for me during a very difficult period in my life.


The way I feel about Alaska is expressed quite well in the song Caledonia, which was recommended to me by a friend who requested that I play it at my one gig in Belgium:


I have moved and I’ve kept on moving, proved the points that I needed proving
Lost the friends that I needed losing, found others on the way

~ Dougie MacLean


Every day, I talk with my husband about my frustration about feeling completely out of control and like I am being attacked. Just this morning, I noticed that yet another of my followup comments on my house listing in the Gustavus Buy/Sell/Trade group had been deleted by admin. They will typically delete anything contentious, but all I had written was that I would be happy to share appraisal and water test results with anyone interested in learning more about the house and that the house had passed the requirements for a VA loan in the fall 2017. Didn’t seem contentious to me, and it was completely true.


I don’t know how to disconnect from it. I feel it here (I placed my hands on my low bell). I just feel so frustrated.


You just need to find a way to not care. You need to change your perspective. That’s the miracle.


But it feels like a personal attack.


It’s not a personal attack. It’s samsara.


What is samsara?


It’s fear. It’s the opposite of Nirvana. It’s this world we live in.


We keep thinking it’s an external objective thing that needs to happen, like we are waiting for the people in Gustavus to stop saying things like that. But that’s not it.


What is it?


It’s how we think of it. It’s realizing, letting them go. You don’t control the universe. You dance with it. It’s like the Tibetan sand painting monks, who, someone comes by and kicks their sand painting they spent 10 thousand hours working on. It’s not being upset. It’s thinking, oh, things have changed.


There, that’s your enlightenment talk for the day, he said before heading out the door to the grocery store.

So, now it’s my turn to try to dance. I will follow the advice of my husband, therapists, monks, and Buddhists. I will go into the forest with my dog and walk in the cool shade of the enormous beech trees. I will try my best to feel my feet firmly connected to the earth. I will take deep inhalations through my nose, breathing in my intention, and I will exhale everything that I wish to expel through my mouth.


Before I leave you, I will also share a habit I have been embracing that embodies the positive rather than negative elements of the human experience.


When I am out and about, I try to make eye contact and smile and greet every person I pass. There is magic in the moment a person realizes I am smiling at them. To see them let down their guard and smile in return fills my heart with love. There is really nothing like it. I strongly recommend that you try it.


At first, it was more challenging than I thought it would to smile at strangers, especially because so many people walk around looking quite intimidating and unfriendly. They literally turn into a different person when they smile. Magic.


Sometimes, it takes a few attempts to convince a person to smile. This morning, I took Atticus for his constitution around our neighborhood in Boitsfort, and the young woman I smiled at did not return my gaze or greeting until the second time. I watched a young man leave his house and go to unlock his door.


Bonjour, I called. When he saw me, I smiled. He looked at me and then returned the smile. It was pretty sweet.


Magic. Nirvana.

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