Field Notes From the Edge

The Interior of Saint Mary’s in Fredericksburg, Texas. Gothic architecture harmonizes with the pure, unadulterated light of the noonday sun flooding in from stained-glass windows creates a sacred space in a sea of uncertainty.

It’s unclear from whence today’s insights originate but their source isn’t entirely unknown to me. I am not an orthodox Christian (though I was raised as a fundamentalist). I am now and have long been a truth seeker, like a climber in the rarified air of the Himalayas. Determined to reach the heights of truth and aware that ascension requires all. The path to liberation includes the abdication of old, unexamined views that once made sense and provided a false sense of safety. This is not a journey for the faint of heart. It is a life-long pursuit with many hills, valleys and mountain top experiences.

In some ways ( if I am viewing life through a lens of past experiences) I’m a weary traveler. In others (when I am free of the past and allowing life to be new) I’m an innocent who hasn’t known the love of a good man or a marriage but longs to drink of that cup, if it’s the real deal. This is big in my heart but it goes largely unexpressed. Study on lesser known teachings of Jesus, observations of negative ego-mind and working with clients in various stages of cognitive decline also contribute to the swirl of today’s interior views.

The Pipe Organ in the Choir Loft of Saint Mary’s Church in Fredericksburg. Architecture, Light and Sound Conspire To Lift the Mind Out of the Ordinary World.

You didn’t really think this post was going to be a superficial foray did you? If so, read no further because the plot only thickens….

After a sleepless night last night, I rose at 4:00 a.m. to feed a cantankerous kitty and to meditate. Early morning is the very best time. Arrival at this edgy, inner space is no accident. I’m increasingly aware of my own inner dialogue which feeds me negative messages in automatic robotic fashion. My job is to monitor my own thinking/feeling processes and kick the b.s. out as soon as it is detected.

Today I took one of my care clients for a drive to Fredericksburg. It was a beautiful day. As we moved down the highway, talking our way to our destination, we were struck by the majestic, shapeshifting clouds in the seemingly endless sky. Yes, there was magic in it. Both of us kept saying over and over throughout the day how beautiful it was, rapturous even. And it was. Looking back, I wish I’d taken a picture.

She was having a particularly difficult day. Bouts of confusion and trouble finding purchase on any thought. She made heroic efforts to share what was going on inside her mind but today was just too hard. She was tired of trying and most attempts to communicate surrendered

Emma and Ollie’s in Fredericksburg. A charming eatery not far from Saint Mary’s and Main Street downtown.

We could still enjoy our time together. We visited Saint Mary’s and had a yummy lunch at Emma & Ollie’s. My cognitively impaired friend is so sweet and patient. She is a lesson in love to me and I would give anything to help her. And yet I know she suffers great sorrow over losses in her life and fear over her own declining mental condition. In midst of all that, I witnessed my own deeply negative self-talk going on in the background and saw how that old familiar voice cripples me.

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, til he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.

William Blake (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell)

And that is where I leave you this fine evening. Perched precariously on the edge of inquiry, discovery, joy and pain. There is no better place to me than the edge.

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