An Astounding Lucid Confusion.
“Label me and define me and you’ll starve yourself of yourself. Nail me down in a box with cold words and that box will be your coffin. For I don’t know who I am, I’m an astounding lucid confusion.” ~ Rumi
The wind swayed the tree branches, sending shivers through the leaves. The clouds lazily drifted by and the neighborhood’s comings and goings moved forward, busy with the sounds of occasional voices and motorized means of work or transportation. As I observed the world passing outside my window, the whole of everything turned toward me and whispered: “You are this…”
Something deep inside protested: “No. I want to be what I want to be…” and as I turned away, an uneasy resistance wrapped around my legs, weighing my steps.
Months later, while driving home from work, having just encountered death in all its finality, sorrows and elations, the scenery around me exploded with reverence, revealing its secrets. The trees and foliage glowed from within, indivisible from their own sacred such-ness. The pavement became something unknown, a wonder unto itself: “How had we created such a thing?”
Cars sped by, each one passing me at exactly the right moment with precision and synchronicity so perfect that my mind was stunned silent and playful laughter erupted from my belly.
The sky, the clouds, and the mountains: all of this beauty existing and extending out in its own autonomy, completely exempt from, and beyond my little comprehension. Again, the world turned toward me and whispered: “You are this…”
Again: “No. I want to be what I want to be…”
Months later, a storm came. Nearly daily migraines so fierce that they affected my vision, speech, equilibrium, and left me shaking and frail. For almost a full month, I was engulfed in pain and fatigue, with no discernible medical cause. Some days I was so exhausted that I moved as though in a hazy dream-state, only capable of performing the most necessary and rudimentary of tasks.
When I ceased my objections, stillness rose from within, offering guidance and comfort. Toward the end of this month, as I sat looking out the window, the wind rustled the densely green-leafed tree branches and, once again, the world turned toward me and whispered: “You are this…”
Something deep inside let go: “Alright. Okay. I am that… I will be what I am.”
Stillness crept into the space left open by surrender.
This is the day I started to recover.
Some days I see with new eyes the possibility of a different way of being — a way of moving in the world without resistance and suffering, in partnership with what is. Some days, stillness is my guide, leading me down the gentle middle way where decisions are not made but followed, life is allowed to unfold as it will, and my own confusions are met with compassion and understanding.
I get to be me, but the idea of me has changed. The idea of me is something unknown, revealing itself only in this instant. The idea of me holds the possibility of wonder found in the most ordinary of moments: a sip of tea, a quiet drive, a short walk across the sticky kitchen floor.
All-is-well is found right here, in the simplest of things.
The idea of me gets to be what it is, right here and right now. Sometimes I am confusion, and I get to be me confused. Sometimes I am sadness, and I get to be me crying. Sometimes I think I know something, and I get to be me opinionated. Sometimes I am elation, and I get to be me in love.
What am I?
I couldn’t possibly know, but I am beginning to understand that within the unknown are all possibilities made possible.