Saturday, January 21, 2017

post-truth or starry-night...

Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.
                                                                                                                            ~ e.e. cummings

On Christmas night I go for a walk. It is a Good King Wenceslas night, "'the snow lay round about deep and crisp and even...." Having rained earlier, the road is icy. Usually, I look up to see the constellations and the vast spacious kindness that holds this earth in place. However, tonight, I look down. The black ice under my boots is slippery but the ice crystals seem alive and sparkling much like this sky of stars. Beginning to play, keeping arms outstretched for balance, I start slip-sliding through the twinkling magic beneath my feet.  Sometimes losing my balance, then righting myself again. I am walking on stars.

Then I turn the corner and spot my house. "Stars" are exploding over the front of it. I published my first book several weeks ago called, Moments That Blink Back. On the cover is a star-filled night. I like the cover. So my oldest daughter bought a lawn light for the season that shines "stars" on our house which looks a little like fire-works.

Waiting to board the plane for Tucson four days later, I look at the floor and there are star-shapes in the tile. I jumped up, slide and pretend, again. On the shuttle at Philly, catching the next flight to Phoenix from another terminal, someone points out the star shapes on the bus's floor.

Later, reflecting at 32000 ft on the various star experiences a voice seems to say,  "Wake up Augusta, have you got it yet?" No, not really is my inner reply.  Then I remember, before Christmas I had asked a friend who can see beyond the ordinary, what Tucson would be like for me this winter. "Oh, she says, " I see a star with a long, long tail." And, this universe does, indeed, have its own way of talking. Maybe I am getting it.

Odd, I should find myself "walking on stars," even playfully, as my mind has been heavy this season with world news. As E.E. Cummings observed decades ago, seas seem to be catching fire and stars feel like they are walking backward. Democracies in various parts of the world are struggling. I sit in one as I write. Two new words have apparently emerged for the year 2016 -- one I forget and the other word is "post-truth". Human rights are threatened, climate change is denied in spite of overwhelming scientific proof and much of Aleppo and its people lie in rubble. Thus, in spite of this abundant life I live, my heaviness.

As I have mentioned before, years ago, my old friend cautioned me when I was weighted with concern about a young man I was working with. "Your heaviness of feeling and thought add to his heaviness -- it weights his spirit, his very being." Now decades later, scientists inform us that our thought has power to affect and change people and events around us. Realities are created by what we think. Thoughts release chemicals that change our mood and our perspective. I need to remember my negative thoughts in a "post-truth" era are caught like a bad virus.

I must also remember we are nothing but energy, in other words, we are 99% stardust. And at essence,  one consciousness attempting to manifest itself in this wonderful, beauty-filled world we are gifted to live in. I am looking out my window and here are two yellow finches having their breakfast with three on a near branch waiting. We all can manifest beauty, essence and a love-consciousness that does not depend on what is happening in the world, as does this mesquite tree and these birds that sing in it.

Now I have a paradoxical choice, post-truth or starry-night. I have a choice to follow the wisdom of my ancient friend who encouraged me to, Go outdoors and see beyond what there is to see, feel beyond what you feel, think beyond what you think. Go deeper, go Now, go Presence and go to that place that never changes -- go to your largest, beloved Self. See stars, play, slide on the black, tricky, icy. Keep your balance. Presence has no form, no name, no thought, no opinion and no post-truth.