Coming up out of a fiction phase, nothing looks right. Everything’s a little blurry. The air smells different, like sea salt and rust. I forgot what I sound like. Perhaps it’s a good thing Void tagged me back to the reality of blogging, not that fiction’s not part of that reality. It is. All of it, even blog tag memes, can be part of the mission, to grow up and out, knowledge- and wisdom-wise, the one and only area of growth in which I pray to become fatter, faster. Still, I resist the tag.
It’s not that tags, with their cocktail party effect, don’t have enough nutrients to promote growth. It’s that most I’ve seen are milk and a baloney sandwich in two minutes and I want a Singh and Tofu Pad Thai in two hours. I’d rather not slit my brain open and bleed “me” all over this site. I’d rather breathe easy, notice what’s going on in the world around me and see if I have anything useful to say about it. And in that slow-cooking process you begin to see who “me” is if you stir the pot long enough.
But Void has invited me to this introspection party and I like the guy. Certainly, and especially in his Silver Jubilee year, he deserves the honor of an RSVP and the tag has enough complex carbs and iron to speed recovery after a small blood-letting. The tag, “Changes (thanks to the significant other),” started with Amit as a short list of things. When it got to Gauri she expanded the positive changes internalized due to a significant other to “any one person who has influenced you.”
I’ve got to mess with it some more, expand it further to include any number of influential significant others. Relationships are like stints with gurus. I’ve learned something that has contributed to my up and out growth from every person I’ve met, some more than others. Here are the mores…
Perspective rules – The pilot gave me a beautiful, leather-bound book full of thick, blank pages and asked me to sit down at the end of each day and write in this book just one thing I was thankful for. At first I had to wince and squirm and shake the day upside down just to get one good thing to fall out. Soon I’d become conditioned to look for the good things throughout the day, and the lesson was learned that life is all about perspective.
Ramesh rocks – The guitar guru caught me during a particularly open phase of life. Career burnout was setting in and I was surmising there was more to life than status, money, clothes, cars and dead-end men. Standardized religion had helped me a great deal, but the Eastern spiritual teachings the guru introduced me to instantly put me on a rocket ship to understanding and saved my day. Without Osho, Eckhart Tolle, Gangaji, and Ramesh Balsekar, who goes back to Ramana Maharshi, I might still be thinking the negative tapes that played in my head are who I am and that’s all there is.
There’s good pain – I learned the rejuvenating power of telling the simple truth. I had no idea how much stuff I thought and how radically I censored it, no idea the amount of mind tricks and games I played until the guitar guru demanded the simple truth. After more wincing and squirming, I found telling the truth to be one of the most freeing things I’d ever experienced. The more truth I spilled out, the freer and lighter I got. The lighter I got, the easier it was to move through life. All that truth-telling wasn’t without pain of course. The truth hurts sharp and passes fast so the sun can come out, but a lie is mental murder in blunt-edged, slow motion.
Wayne Dyer was right – I’m OK. I had the half-a-person disease, was always looking for someone who held the cards I didn’t have available to play. The guitar guru would have none of that sort of unhealthy dependency and planted a seed that sprouted into the knowing that it’s not merely tolerable to be alone, but actually enjoyable and even preferable during some periods of life. This was another thing not without pain. I had to accept that I was born alone and I’ll die alone, whether I’m in a relationship or not, so I might as well make friends with myself since I’m my mainstay.
It’s all art – Whether it’s human relations, personal growth, painting, writing, living in general, it seems it’s all art, taking something and turning it into something else, an expression of depth of meaning, if not beauty, to humanity. A friend of the world is working me around all this and pushing me to dig deeper inside to pull out something of value to humanity, to feel it, know it, live it, write about it. These concepts are rewiring my circuitry and have already radically, positively changed how and what I write.
I owe these life gurus big. So I hope what I gave was of comparable value to them and I hope what I’m giving now is or becomes that and more.
If anyone feels like picking up this “Changes (thanks to the significant other)” tag, go for it. Amit wasn’t sure this tag would even leave the starting gate, so I think he’d be impressed that it’s gotten this far. As for me, my blog tag meme days are over unless there comes along one that’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Karen Eiffel snagged from
Karen Eiffel on desk from