I am I am

All the things I had ever heard, and read, and all those hours of practice, suddenly fell into place. It was so stupidly, blindingly simple that I could not believe it. I saw that there were no hidden meanings, that everything was just the way that it is, and that I was already all right…I realized I was not my emotions or thoughts. I was not my ideas, my intellect, my perceptions, my beliefs…I was simply the space, the creator, the source of all that stuff. I experienced Self as Self in a direct, unmediated way. I didn’t just experience Self; I became Self. Suddenly I held all the information, the content, in my life in a new way, from a new mode, a new context…I am I am.                                     Werner Erhard

Everything that shows up in life is living.

It’s just the way that it is. Everything else is storytelling.

I am working on internalizing the concept that I am not my emotions, my thoughts, my ideas, my intellect, my perceptions, my beliefs. That I am only the space where all that stuff occurs, without meaning. That I am already all right. All right with the world, and with myself.

A lot has shown up in my life this year. The dissolution of my marriage. Moving from my house and living in temporary lodging. Downsizing. Losing my dog. My son being diagnosed with lymphoma. Planning to move across the country. Hand surgery. Accepting the finality of the woman I married no longer loving me. Being alone.

Obviously of all these occurrences, my son’s cancer is the most concerning. My dislocation is minor, and temporary. He appears to be responding well to treatment; time will tell. Still, this shifts the earth in an unanticipated and unwanted way. Nothing that’s happened this year has been “wanted.”

Last night I dreamed of my wife, and our dog Bebe, for the first time since moving out. In my dream we met unplanned on the street. At first Bebe didn’t recognize me but then suddenly he did and was overjoyed with doggie emotion, leaping onto my chest, licking my face. My wife was just there, a bystander. I didn’t want to talk to her.

I don’t want to talk to her. I don’t want to see her. Let her live her life alone away from me. She has been the cause in the matter, inflicted the damage, no doubt saving me from the tranquillized obviousness of our passionless, sexless marriage. I don’t need her to remind me. I dread accidently seeing her.

But then, this too is only my internal state: sulky emotions, bittersweet regrets, fears and anxieties. (She always told me I was an anxious man.)

Nicolas Kristof in the New York Times today wrote about loneliness:

Loneliness increases inflammation, heart disease, dementia and death rates, researchers say — but it also simply makes us heartsick and leaves us inhabiting an Edvard Munch canvas.

Heartsick. Yes, that’s what I’ve experienced this year. I’ve recovered from a far worse case before, and will again. Friends help; my sons help.

I don’t fear living on my own, though enjoy the companionship of living together with someone. I enjoyed living with my wife, even when she was not for me, not really with me. She was with me only a very short time.

I want to be reunited with my books, my things, the stuff that makes my daily life mine. I am grateful for where I’m living now, but I’m housed, and yet homeless. My mail will be screwed up for a year.

I am I am. I am the man I am. I can’t be another. Aging scares me, as it should. I see too many people dying. Adam’s chemo nurse told me the cheery news that at our age, a third of the people we know will die before we do. Likely of cancer.

Still, I strive for selfhood. To experience Self as Self. And not all these emotions. All this storytelling.

I’m tired of the story.


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