13 November 2012

Finding Freedom: Every Breath

Life is Change.

I know this.

Yesterday on the phone with Daddy, I reminded him "The only constant is change." He said, "Um hum," in a tone that said "We're entering dangerous waters conversationally." He didn't want to make that journey with me.

My father is 77 years old. He's had "health issues" for several years -- I can't say exactly how many because we were not talking to each other for several decades. He was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes sometime before I left CA in 2004. His health had declined to a mostly-homebound existence when I visited him in June this year.

Yesterday, his voice was strong, full of vigorous commitment. He's walked to the end of the block without his walker several times in the last two weeks. He visited the physical therapist yesterday and they're beginning a new physical therapy regimen:  twice a week at the rehab center and daily exercises at home. He wants to be walker-free.

He thanks me, at least in part, for the improvement in his health Something I said about how mental and spiritual and physical health are interconnected and synonymous.

I'm a little surprised. After years of estrangement, we don't know each other very well. He is religious and fearful. He resists change:  grumbles a handful of favorite complaints about how much better life used to be. He clings to painful, guilt-laden memories of his divorce from my mother (45 years ago) and the decades he suffered, cut off from "you kids."

These painful memories are cherished, familiar stories for him.

He's hearing me. He's entertaining the possibility of a new story. New stories.

With me.



The rhythm of my life these days is vastly different from the rhythm of my life two months ago.

I've noticed some recurring anxiety twitches in the backof my mind. Sometimes I even feel it physically, in my body:  tightness in the neck and lower back; or a sudden extreme thirst.

There's nothing wrong;  the rhythm of life has changed.

Every now and then I stop short. I look at my life and I am amazed
and I think I freak out for a moment. Just one intense wide as the universe shudder in the body kind of "Wow! How did I get it HERE?"

It feels like I've lost the thread, dropped the rein. Like I'm not in control.


And then

I breathe into the monster's face. I breathe into the knot in my neck. I breathe into the milling throng of thoughts that "OCCUPY ALEX's MIND".

Breath. Air moving. Exchange. Rhythm.

This is the Rhythm of Life.The main rhythm, ya know? The only rhythm...

Breathe. Dance with Life on the wings of breath.

Let go.