Monday, January 11, 2016

Not The Destination, But The Journey: New Pathways, a Wild World, and Still on The Road To Find Out

The first thing I did when I woke up yesterday was hike the retreat center's premises where I took advantage of a stunning landscape. I found a Zen garden, and did the meditative maze where I walked contemplatively about my life. I meandered from point A to point B thinking about Syracuse to Louisville to Syracuse to Fairfield, the National Writing Project, and the incredible story I've been fortunate enough to live. When I got to the end of the maze, there was a pile of rocks. I thought, "Nope, this isn't the end...this is simply an illusion of the chaos that appears to be the end" and I convinced myself to turn around and return to the beginning.

A new beginning. A new pathway.

I needed to get back to my room, though, because a student from the class of 2000 (who now lives in Austin) was coming to see me. Interestingly, her newborn daughter's name is Zen and I thought, "Wow, I'm going to see an incredible girl from an incredible class from an incredible period of my life - it can't get any more Zen than that."

Much went through my head when she arrived. Yet, because Travaasa has a policy against children on their premises, she had to go (even if a child's name is Zen and this child is asleep - anyone under the age of 16 is not allowed on the premises). It was all good. We had a good bonding session and both understood. We both know the journey is silly at times and we are Brownies....we ebb and flow with the energy of the universe.

While Chandra and Zen left, I put together clips taken earlier that morning hiking the premises. I was working on this when my roommate, Mark, from Wisconsin arrived and at the same time a student from Fairfield University, Chris, texted to say he came to visit me at the resort (we made arrangements through Facebook. He is also settled in Austin). As I finished the editing, I introduced myself to Mark, and greeted Chris. This all happened at the same time I got a call from Chitunga telling me he was in a car accident on I-95 in Connecticut. His car was totaled, but he was okay. Then the phone went dead. I thought it was a joke, but he called back. It was real, and he needed "to go" because he "had to talk to the police." I repeated what I just heard on the phone and Chris said, "Maybe we should go outside for a walk. This is pretty intense."

So we walked. I told Chris about the Zen Garden. We returned to the maze and, together, we walked the pathway and I told him about Chitunga, his entrance into my life a couple of years ago, the parenting, and the call that just occurred. As strange as it may sound, Chris simply said, "This is the place you're supposed to be to process it. You have to find comfort in that."

Somehow I didn't feel comforted at all. But he was right. This day was right. He helped me to find my center again.

I feel somewhat trapped as these new pathways unfold. I'm in Texas and Chitunga is back in Connecticut without his car, but safe, even if he is alone. I spent my day on new pathways with Zen at my side - although it was a criminal act at the resort. What I am taking away, however, is that family trumps work. He is okay - shaken - but this shall pass.

There will be a day when it makes more sense, or maybe not. For now the only thing that matters is the kid was not harmed. Today, a piece of Brown School and a part of my Fairfield life joined me in Texas as I participated with the National Writing Project. From the onset, I was destined to be in a contemplative place.

But Chitunga's call put everything into greater perspective. 

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