the latest collab for Just Another Collab: peace.
Peace Be With You
i've been struggling with this one. it seems as if there's very little peace in the world these days. we focus so much on the strife and discord. the Taliban, recent difficulties in Bosnia, the stalemated peace talks in Northern Ireland, hostages in the Phillipines, the rising incidence of AIDS cases in young men, schoolyard shootings, suicide bombings in the Middle East - every day brings some new and horrific headline. it feels as if we are always at odds.
wouldn't it be nice if, just once, the papers came out with a 'nothing bad happened today' issue? but it seems as if we have a fascination with conflict.
it wears me down. i feel overwhelmed, reading the news. and even though i love living in the city, the noise and hustle get to me after a while. neighbors playing guitars, sirens in the background, every single street under construction - it takes all my energy just to get through the day sometimes.
and on a personal level, there haven't been many quiet moments lately. the court case has continued to take its toll on me. i can't sleep without leaving the light on. i distrust people. i wonder if i should move, to feel safer, and that makes me angry. i shouldn't have to do that. then again, perhaps it's the pragmatic thing to do. i've lost a friend and lover from my life, at least for now. watching him tear himself apart makes it far too painful to keep in touch with him these days. work continues to be hectic (altho, certainly, it's had worse moments than this). i find myself alternately not caring about my job, and then caring too much. i kick myself for saying and doing stupid things. i panic that i've gone too far, finally said the thing that will bring my life crashing down. my friends are in their own difficult places as well.
where, in all of this, do i find my peace?
maybe sitting around all morning in my pajamas, watching Saturday morning cartoons. ;)
or maybe i need to get serious about my yoga practice again. some of the most tranquil, connected moments i've felt in the last year or so came while meditating and chanting after an hour or so of serious yoga. working hard on listening to breath, finding center, being at home in my body, seeing it as a connected flow of energies lets me get to that place where i can see myself as part of a whole. paradoxically, turning inwards in meditation provides an expansive sense of peace, one that reaches out and connects.
it comes back, in part, to what i realized earlier this year. spirituality is something i crave. it helps me feel centered. for some reason, i need to keep discovering that idea. and that's okay. as long as i keep exploring, too. part of me remembers that fairly often - apparently, the part of me that goes book shopping. ;) my recent reading list? Gnostic Gospels, a biography of Pontius Pilate, The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, lectures by the Dalai Lama, Desire of the Everlasting Hills. and while i don't often reread books (too many new ones to read), i think i'm going to go back to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Siddhartha. huh. yet another example of how much my father's daughter i am. dad rereads Zen and the Art every couple of years or so. you know, he was almost a minister. that is, until he had a little disagreement with the bishop. or at least that's how i remember the story. i should ask him about that the next time i see him. spiritual rebels, my dad and me.
even in trying to find my own peace, i'm restless. maybe i need to rethink the idea of peace. the word carries images of silence, stillness, solitude. and perhaps it's not just that. perhaps you can find peace in motion. maybe, peace is more about acceptance of self and being at home in the journey. when i am at home in the journey, i'll be able to carry that peace with me, wherever i am.