October 22, 2014

What Makes Life Meaningful?

Fifteen years ago, today, I died (see previous posts My Story Begins, My Re-BirthdayThe Night I Died: The Whole Story, Part 1 and The Night I Died, the Whole Story, Part 2). There are people who don’t understand why I would mark this day, let alone celebrate it, but March 8th forever changed my course. My old ways died and the new has been being birthed ever since. The process of becoming has certainly not been a straight line for me—I moved from Seattle to southern Utah, from Utah to the mountains of northern New Mexico, from a life in business to that of an artist, from unconsciousness to consciousness and back again, the old, fighting for its life, the new struggling in its birth.

I call this living down to the bone, living skinless. It is primal and real. Every single time I feel certainty another old layer sloughs off exposing new tissue that is raw. But this is why I lived–for this exactly: to experience the physicality of emotion—to feel pain and joy through my heart and breathe love into my lungs, to take life in through the pores of my skin, to be its essence.

I taste everything up here in this thin mountain air—my solitude that sometimes aches, the brimming of joy when I laugh out loud and the dogs dance, the acceptance of loss, knowing there’s nothing new in that, nothing to blame, no one at fault.

This is where I belong and I came here by way of dying one March night fifteen years ago. I don’t think it could have happened any other way. And that red-tailed hawk yesterday, diving in front of my windshield, arcing across the plane of my vision, reminds me that I am home, on this land, in this heart, of this body. My spirit rejoices for one more minute of tasting juniper on my lips and the cry of that hawk piercing the ice blue heavens.

Death delivered me from a living death and brought me fully alive. As Thoreau said, “I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear… I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” This is what March offers.

My dog barks outside, a coyote sings in reply–they take up a chorus. Morning wraps itself around me, the sun rises in my eyes; I am silent. Thank you, Spirit, for letting me have another day.

Love to you all,
Jeane


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