|Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada (photographer unknown)|
I have this picture of
, by my
bed (tilted sideways so I can look at it while lying down). It reminds me of
the last year I was well: 2003, and a beautiful memory of travelling through
the wilderness with Angie. We rowed out into the middle of this lake, nestled deep
in the Moraine Lake,
Canada Rocky Mountains, in a little canoe. Although
the weather, though fine, was quite different that day, this picture is still a
vivid reminder of a place which feels like a sanctuary. It's so tranquil and
still, and I can almost meditate just feeling a part of it. It's comforting. I
so need comfort right now. I so need a true refuge inside myself.
I’m feeling that even more now, because today has been SHIT, SHIT, SHIT!!! I mean twenty-four hours of absolute fuck! My heart has been breaking, but at the same time, worryingly, I can feel myself begin to numb to it, dissociating from my feelings. “Ah yes, Michael, but then it’s always about your feelings, isn’t it…”
I want to look at life and feel it the way Tara Brach does, but I can’t seem to. In her new book ‘True Refuge’, she writes of ‘loving life no matter what’, of being ‘happy for no reason’. She’s an experienced meditator, of course, and it’s only recently, as chronic pain has crept into her life, that she’s been able to do this. All the same, she’s an inspiration to me. And I know I don’t practice mindful awareness on a regular basis, so I haven’t really begun to put that inspiration into effect. Perhaps I will now, because living the rest of my life like this is not really what I want. I want to deeply, feelingly love life – the whole damn catastrophe of it all, pain or no pain! But all I seem able to do is love little bits of it.
I want to be happy for no reason.
Perhaps this passage, adapted from the deeply moving final chapter of ‘True Refuge’, will give you some idea of what I mean. If it resonates with a similar longing in your own life, my heartfelt wish is that you, both of us, all of us, will be able to find a way to love life no matter what.