King City Wandering

Image credit: Dorothea Lange. (1936) “Bum blockade.” photograph, public domain.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 – 8:07 am – Last Homely House

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Looks like a bright and sunny day ahead. Another press of coffee this morning. It’s the best way to wake up and write.

From Richard Rohr—a photograph by Dorothea Lange.

King City! I’ve wandered through there countless time traveling on 101—that “hard road to travel” as John Fahey titled it. Never had the sort of problem as expressed in this image though. Reminds me of the time I picked up a hitchhiker in Santa Maria. Only time I ever did that. I should write that out sometime. A strange experience. I remember it vividly, as I do most things.

We are all wanderers looking for love. Our journey starts with people, and that’s how we find the love of God. Even as I sit here in my homely house, in a fresh state of mind, with resources, warmth, food, and possibilities, I’m still wandering through my own experience. My own life. My own story. I’m grateful for all of it. There have been very rough times. But through it all I’ve always had—and have—hope and the knowledge that the higher power is looking out for me.

Occasionally when I reflect on moments of the past they not only seem like personal experiences but become representations of the larger human journey that we all make. Yesterday while talking with JS we discussed that fact, though we used different words. A life without reflection and contemplation is a half-lived life. It’s not for me to judge people who are incapable of that self-awareness—meaning the bigger Self that is the God-part within us trying to reveal itself—loving us the entire time.

You can’t get out of your own way without reflection and consideration. You can’t be authentic without looking inward and finding the Source. I think that’s the utter stark truth. All the struggles that we have in life, especially the ones we have with other people, can’t be understood in their entirety and scope without knowing and loving ourselves.

This last year I have watched it play out in my own country—the only time I can recall in my life when all of us were in crisis at the same time. Existential crisis at that! Staring at the possibility of catching a life-threatening disease and having to stop everything that we considered normal in order to protect ourselves. In doing so we had to face the possibility that “normal” was anything but normal.

I already knew that from my own understanding. Loss does that. It shakes you up. You deal with it, or you don’t. What we’ve seen in our fellow humans is that fact playing out in the midst of a planetary event with unmeasurable psychic effects and countless variations of response and non-response from every one of us. Our fantasies of comfort and security were revealed. Some of us saw that. Many did not. And though the light is at the end of the tunnel I wonder if we have learned that “business as usual” is not sustainable.

I learned that fact seven years ago when my wife passed away unexpectedly. It’s taken that long for it to sink in. I surrendered to it and it redeemed me. Maybe that would have happened anyway. This last year was not as bad for me as it was for others. I didn’t get sick. I didn’t lose anyone to the virus. (My old pal Lou Pierotti passed, but not from complications of Covid.) In fact, this entire experience gave me the opportunity to set my roots deep into the Pacific Northwest. Bloom where you are planted.

Yesterday I was able to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. March 29. Not so much a sense of relief as that of freedom. (Those two things are not the same.) I am reminded that the higher power is always there and that I need to surrender to it. Over and over again. And then again, as I wander down my own highway looking for a ride.

John Fahey 07 101 Is a Hard Road to Travel

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