& to sicken i’ this dree place

Life is confusing. I was going to wait to share my feelings, wait for things to be less disturbed, but it hasn’t been happening. Life continues to confuse me. I put a step in front of the other, and make my way around the sharp rocks. I don’t stumble, I don’t put out my hand to averse affect. I do not feel a falseness to the path, but I am lost.

Life seems to be smaller, somehow. I have a social life, and a busy one. It isn’t a joyless life. But nevertheless I am somewhat diminished, particularly with regards to human contact. It isn’t just my imagination, as I have a special type of journal that reveals my activities, contracts, and experiences from previous years.

As of the last year, or so: I am receiving fewer requests for paid work. I receive requests often enough – but few actual pieces are commissioned and completed to mutual satisfaction, as most who ask are not serious about the whole business. I have at least, learned to spend my time well on this record. I am receiving fewer comments on my online writings – in all the places I write (there are many, and many you here are not aware of). Fewer donations through my blog, and a damn sight fewer emails. I reach out, but the reciprocal is rare. 

You can imagine how wonderful it is when someone asks after me, or writes me!

It is wonderful to be alive, but it is easy to suddenly experience isolation. It is the oddest experience, and not entirely comfortable. I know it is temporary, but nevertheless I stumble.

Sometimes I think people mistake my Buddhist practice as one of self-sufficiency. Buddhism and self-sufficiency don’t go together at all, of course. (and yet they do!) 

I have fear. I used to think I had mastered fear; now I know I never will. Today while reading North & South (listening to it, rather – via podcast/audiobook), and contemplating Bessy Higgins’ plight, I was suddenly overcome with concern for my daughter. Her lungs aren’t well and people really do get very ill from this sort of thing. We haven’t sorted it all out, and it’s all new to me, and not comfortable whatsoever. There isn’t really much that can be done to help me feel more comfortable – there is no remedy, nothing I can buy or work I can do.

The whole business makes it quite an effort to complete my requisite tasks, to care for myself and others, and to keep up the effort. It is like speaking into a well, a vast and dark space. Waiting for an echo and none returns. Am I to shout? To grow more bold? Or to look into the deep dark and feel the fear, wash over me like the damp creep, the gloaming, the mysteries that are never known but rather chased away by sunlight and bits of flame and the day’s distraction.

The sun outside is a pleasant companion; it warms my house and in the morning I go through a routine, opening as many windows as I can easily,

and keeping curtains closed such that we remain cool.

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