Monday, March 28, 2011

Osho #30: Emptiness

On first thought, emptiness conjures thoughts of being without. My cup runneth over can't really happen if your cup is empty. The gas tank is empty, fill it. The bank account approaches zero, next paycheck replenishes it. "I'm feeling empty inside" isn't typically stated as a positive way to feel. Ahhh, but why not?

I challenge that emptiness is to be sought, valued, and guarded. An empty room may seem stark and cold to some, but isn't it really anything you want it to be? It's open for you to create. It doesn't have to be filled with furniture to be useful. An empty room offers space, possibility, openess. Maybe it's left exactly as is... it's a place to walk into and feel completely uninhibited, most decidedly NOT surrounded by all the crap that typically would fill it. Maybe it's a yoga studio. Maybe it's where cartwheels are perfected. Maybe it's a spot for a trampoline. Or, maybe it does become a more *normal* room. Regardless, emptiness opens the doors to all sorts of possibilities. YOU decide what goes in there.

Why can't a full life mean a life with a lot of emptiness? A life with a lot of freedom, filled with things that touch us & have meaning vs. *things* that simply fill a space. Think about music. Music doesn't pick up its bags and move on in, filling up emptiness; rather it flows into & through us as waves and sure as hell makes itself known. It can enter as sound and simply stay in the ear to be heard if we offer no open paths, bouncing back from whence it came. But if we allow some emptiness, it will find these open pathways and be heard, yes, but also felt, resonating into our awareness. Sometimes it scrapes the walls & causes pain, tears, anger. Other times it glides gently through offering love, joy, contentment. Either way, it leaves our open paths intact, whispering an entry into our memory, then leaving us with the most intoxicating emptiness to be explored over and over and over again.

Monday, March 14, 2011

He was right about the onion

I don't remember the date, though it was sometime last May during the period of hell. I don't recall the neurologist's name, but I do remember his demeanor, that he also once had a bad cycling accident, that he was an older man, that he was very blunt & to the point yet also underlying that was much warmth, and that he was a natural teacher as we stared at my brain's MRI and he told me all about what he was (and thankfully, wasn't) seeing. And most specifically, I remember his comparison of my recovery to an onion.

I was told to be prepared. That recovering from a skull fracture was interesting stuff that could take a year, maybe even two, before I'd likely feel *normal* again. And I recall thinking, "Whaaaa????? Come on..." Now granted, I was in the midst of some bad stuff when I saw him and knew I wasn't flying through recovery as I'd originally been the first couple weeks, but I also didn't think a year or more was reasonable.

And yet here I sit almost 11 months later & know EXACTLY, and WITHOUT A DOUBT what this wise man was telling me. He said to consider this recovery like an onion in regards to the brain. That a few weeks from when we met I'd look back and realize I felt way more back into the real world. Then a few weeks from that I'd look back and think, "Ohhh...NOW I feel good compared to then" and so on. This constant realization and feeling that OK NOW I've stepped back into normal life would hit me suddenly and cause me to reflect back and realize that it truly is like an onion. There are many layers & closer to the center is the real me and my clarity. And these layers will slowly get peeled away, periodically. And to be prepared to keep feeling more *back* as the year progressed. But also to not be surprised nor frustrated if it took even longer than that.

I SO get what he means. I've been incredibly checked out of life. I finally feel I've stepped back in only within the last week, but with that said I'm now questioning what I'll think a couple more months from now. It's weird b/c in December I felt I was back in. Then I went out again.

I re-read a journal entry from last June to see where I was at mentally. June 14, 2010, a week shy of 2 months post-accident and what I was writing about is something I did in May the day my parents went home the 1st time & 2 days before I was about to stop taking the anti-seizure meds. I recall this day. Holy hell.

"...and on that night I ripped all my previous journal entries out and threw them away b/c after reading them I realized #1 so many of them seemed ridiculous & inconsequential & no longer the truth, and #2 the thought that if this were to be my end, I'd not want someone to come across the useless crap I'd written while taking care of my belongings. What a strange thought to have: I may die. What has to happen in our brains, to our psyche, to our will for us to concede and allow death to become a valid possibility?"

First, I'm sad I discarded those pages. #1 is BS - so maybe I didn't feel the same later, etc but it's how I felt and what I thought *at that moment* in time so it IS valid. And then that whole feeling of death. Sheesh. Not something I want to go back to so excuse me while I softly rest my hand on my heart to feel it beating as I often did during my recovery. To feel my heart beating at night and in the morning was nothing but a simple check that meant I was truly still alive in some form. I feel I've moved through, or am still moving through, a bit of a transitional period. Of figuring out a lot of stuff. Of a new awakening, awareness, and reality. It's surreal. Some scary $hit can go on in the noggin. It's also odd how any time I think of my accident, the thoughts go to my clavicle, the surgery, my plate, etc. But really... while that sucked too... the skull fracture is what gave me these feelings of death. The oozing of stuff out my ear, stuff dripping down my throat at night. And that horrible, horrible pain I felt even while highly medicated that made me think this is what Munch's Scream is all about and this is the start of schizophrenia. Ah, the brain. My little onion.

I've been out of sorts, continuing along, but struggling - in waves.. sometimes fine, other times less than fine, but really still ok as compared to even just a couple months prior. I am thankful for my life and have much goodness in it. Been having a really difficult time focusing & throwing myself into things like I used to though. I don't think it's that I don't care... it's something I'm unable to explain. I'm in major want of having someone's arms wrapped around me and just being supported & maybe that's one of the keys --> to feel that acceptance and support even if he/she doesn't fully understand all this. It's like I'm peeling an onion layer and handing it to someone who looks back and asks, "What is THAT? What do you want me to do with it?" And all I can do is blankly stare and say I don't know. I thought maybe you'd know. It seems like it was once useful, but maybe it's not so do we toss it? turn it into compost? play catch with it? does it even matter?