“But now that I am in love

with a place that doesn’t care

how I look and if I am happy,

happy is how I look and that’s all.”

– from Fleur Adcock, “Weathering”

Now that I am living from a place I call my Core of Peace, I see that it’s the very simple things that have arrived in my life that bring me all I need to stay connected to that sense of peace. Simple things like the feeling of a warm, furry cat. Things like full-bellied, out-loud, no-holds-barred laughter. Things like a scoop of ice cream enjoyed while sitting in the two best orange Adirondack chairs in the world. Things like the pure flavors of a good piece of meat prepared lovingly and unfussily.

These were things I had long ago written off as the childish or plebeian pleasures of someone I tried hard to “outgrow”. I thought that as my sophisticated pedigree accumulated items on its list, that my tastes and bodily sensations of joy should transform and complicate accordingly.

I piled on lots of experiences, tried on many different looks, climbed many different ladders. When I got to the top of each one, I was confused by the feeling that this vantage point didn’t change my basic desire to love who I was becoming in the process. Finally I just got tired of all the climbing and decided to take a good hard look at where all those ladders were coming from. I wanted to work, to be in motion, to make an impact, but I had a deep sensation that I could choose where to expend my energy and how to replenish it.

What I’ve been doing the last year or so is letting go. Letting things drop all the way down and go away. What started out as an excruciatingly painful experience has made space for something new to arrive. The “something” has crept in, gradually, without my grasping for it, or planning for it, or even knowing how it would happen. The “something” cannot be photographed, or videotaped, shared on social media platforms, or reported on the telephone. The “something” is a feeling inside me that I am coming back to the simple fullness of life, and it is not a symptom of the various crumbs on the trail that I am leaving in cyberspace. This “something” – this feeling – arrives in very small doses yet feels as nourishing as any big thrill or accomplishment I’ve gone after. This “something” is like a relationship with myself and a beginning to trust who I’ve always been at my essence. Instead of testing that part of myself all the time, I allow that essence to lead with my intention, my actions, and my ways of thinking about the events in my reality.

It’s not hard now. It’s more like a wide-eyed wonderment.

And now I finally feel some understanding of these words by the poet Derek Walcott:

“The time will come

When, with elation,

You will greet yourself arriving

At your own door,in your own mirror,

And each will smile at the other’s welcome,

And say, sit here, Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored

For another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,

Peel your image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.”

– “Love After Love”