My "bigfoot" air freshener swings back and forth dangling from my rearview mirror as I drive around. There he is going to the store bouncing up and down or going to visit my mom just flying through Pinkham Notch holding high on the faster and longer corners. He also frantically swings around as I try to get to an accident or some horrible thing so I can get a good enough picture for the paper. I never know what's ahead, it could be a fatality. If so, I can't know who it is lying dead in a car or at the bottom of Cathedral ledge either. I do know it's my job to get a good enough picture. My boss calls them award winners.
It happened the other night. A giant wind descended on the valley. Bigfoot was going nuts that night. I swerved around fallen branches in the driving rain trying to get to the worst of the scenes. The ones discernible on the scratchy police and rescue scanner. I could hear the language of a fatal on Kearsarge Street. So that's where bigfoot finally came to a rest. I got a good enough picture.
It turns out it was Missy. She grew up not far down the same street in Berlin. Missy was my older sister's friend. It was shocking. It suddenly made real again my relationship with the world.
It reminded me that times like that show my greed clearly. Just careening around the downed branches, my heart was pounding and my imagination going all over the place. I need a picture. We need an award winner, get out of my way! My practice is to notice these times and really get to know myself in them. Not to judge or to suppress it. But instead try to be curious about it. Where in my body can I feel it? Just allow and watch and listen. It's super hard at these times to remember.
Mujo really encourages us to totally open to those parts of us. This may be the most greedy thing I do often. I try not to trample people when Bernie Sanders comes to town, but, I need a good picture. This time it was Missy and it woke me up more to it. It's a constant awareness and it takes a lot of courage to face the things we don't really like or tend to judge as bad in ourselves. It's nice to remember that it's also human courage that helps us face it.
There are also times when I can do the same thing without the heart pounding and the tailgating. Life becomes harmony again. It's effortless. The pictures take themselves. It's giving photos instead of taking them. All of a sudden I don't need a good enough picture for the front page. I'm free. It is profound and it is beautiful. Everything and everyone are free to do exactly what they are doing. That's when the photographs come alive. Even the sad hard to look at ones are alive and somehow beautiful.
This is practice too. Some might say it is the result or the "goal" of practice but that is a big mistake. Life brings us up and down.
Practice is vowing to face ourselves and the world. Mujo says it's not training to make ourselves into a better version. It's more growing the ability to be exactly what we are in this moment. Our True Authentic Selves as Mujo says. Sometimes this moment contains horrible things like my own greed or a tragic fallen tree.
This Life is continuous bright and beautiful.
Here it is.
Vic felt like laying in the mud yesterday. Maybe a lotus will bloom?