Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beware of Sea Logs - May Cause Death

I'm the kind of person who needs to know the shape of things. The rough outlines at least so I know where we are, where we might be for awhile so I can really lean into it. I am happiest in deep waters. Lets talk about what matters most to us. What keeps us up at night, and gets us out of bed in the morning. The hairy edge of what we think we know about the nature of things, the nurture of things and how we deal with it all. 

A dear old friend and I met yesterday, played in the surf for a little bit, what's up with the kids stuff, then swam out past the breakers and dove down deep. What to make of eerie encounters with people from your past. Fatalism, karma, free will and choice. Laughing at our own 'arrogance' at celebrating being more 'awake' than so many people we encounter, and wishing for salvation from ourselves. Ahhh, to live without judgment. What would THAT be like?

It was a surprise when she asked me what I believed, with a genuine curiosity that pulled us right down face to face with the blowfish and sea grass. When last we took the time to really talk, twenty years ago in college, she was becoming 'born again' - a terrifying concept not to be touched with a twenty nine and a half foot pole as I ran as far and fast from anything resembling organized religion as I possibly could. I wasn't surprised at her question, her curiosity, but how eagerly and easily we explored the deep together, despite the different labels we wear on the surface. Surprised to find that this smart, caring, funny woman I cherish doesn't have much opportunity to have these kinds of conversations. 

I can't breathe without it. Deep conversation is my religion. It is what I believe makes non-judgment possible. Makes living without fear possible. I have spent a good deal of time creating the space and inviting people into these conversations. Those who show up are nourished, feel wonderful, replenished, invigorated. Wouldn't it be great if more people, more often, ventured to the deep end of the ocean? 

I think part of what keeps people away is the sea logs. I was confused and amused (in my ignorance) at the warning in a tourist brochure on vacation to the Washington coast this summer - "Beware of Sea Logs - May Cause Death". Apparently tree sized logs somehow get loose in the ocean and kill people. That's the bitch of the deep. You never really know what fearsome, unimaginable thing might pop up and whack you on the head. But here's the thing. You are way more likely to get killed by a sea log spending all of your time frolicking knee deep in the frothy waves, always looking the other way.

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