Larry and I were chatting as we made our way along the seaside of Santa Cruz.
(For all you Texans and landlocked friends reading this we will now observe a moment of silence for the appropriate degree of envy to set in.)
I was telling him of how I had begun to view the experience of packing up my belongings, setting forth on this journey, and trying to settle into the processing and preparation I wanted to achieve in order to begin to map out the next phase of my days.
Together we came up with a series of words that seems like a worthwhile reflection tool set.
Romance -- Initially I was caught up in the romantic idea of writing, traveling, and volunteering. You know what I mean . . . the tendency to focus on the sights I would see and the people I would meet rather than the fact that I had to have a new tire for the car and 12 hour days of driving meant you just want a hot bath and a bed, not fodder for a inspirational post on a blog! (You are somewhat inspired, right?)
Reality -- You may love your lover for all he/she is worth but, fact is, he/she snores, smells like a bad pair of wet sneakers after exertion of any kind or any number of fill-in-the-blank reality checks. I have posted previously about the tension I feel with living the dream and facing the reality that other folks who I love dearly are realizing their own dreams without my being in the near vacinity. For someone as connected to family and friends as I am, that's not the easiest of ideas to digest. I'm enjoying my cake and eating it with delight, but I can't help but wonder what the cookie I can't quite get to tastes like either. Don't hear this as a complaint . . . it's simply reality.
Reliving/Reinterpreting -- I've often said, "It's all about the story." Larry takes it one step further and acknowledges that for him the biggest pleasure is the retelling and reinterpreting his life by the experience. He's not as moment-focused as I am. He relishes what he's going to get out of whatever is happening now so he can be an even better in the later.
As we played with the ideas, he offered up one more for all you philosophical types to enjoy. He spoke of consolation and desolation. As he experiences life, he feels consoled by his Creator in various moments where he's absolutely sure of the conneciton. But there are times, empty spaces he calls them, where God appears to be absent. In those times of desolation, Larry is convinced that God exists as well and he's trying to lean into those times and discover new truths about himself.
Hearing him, I crossed my fingers that my friend wasn't into the whole suffering movement that many spiritual pilgrims embrace. He assured me that he enjoyed pleasure too much to take up pain as a pasttime. But what he has found in a rather catholic train of thought, he said, is that he indeed is in a place to learn more about himself when he's almost convinced he's without comfort. A runner, he compared it to having to lean into the wind and take on the resistance in order to gain strength and excel.
Just thought I'd share . . . don't know what I'm going to do with this tidbit of conversation but definitely wanted to share.