In the evening, a breeze moved the leaves. Though cooler, I still slept on top of the covers on the bed, until about four when I pulled a light blanket over me. Sandwiched between, I felt like leavened bread, and thought about two things, limbic brain and gravity.
First, I wondered what it is to be a snake; life is simple. But then we mammals added a layer that nurtures and cultivates emotion which connects us to the living vitality and adaptability of relationship.
Feeling that, I gave thanks that I could appreciate the blanket, comforter, bed, and then I thought of this play with gravity that orchestrates my day. I can notice, or not, but when I do, my life, my living, is enhanced.
In a Sensory Awareness workshop recently, a woman made a discovery for herself. She lifted a chair into the air and felt joy. Something about the weight lifted her cells, lips, heart, and eyes and laughter ensued and her feet and legs moved up and down in a dance with the floor. She was in play with her relationship with gravity.
We play with the weight of gravity all day. I lift my coffee cup, feel the movement of my arm touch my heart. The coffee swirls down my throat. Because of a friend’s accident, I know that I have two vocal cords. Together, they allow me to swallow. I can’t swallow without the two of them working together. Relationship. What a gift!
This morning on the 59th day of my brother’s passing, I feel peace and gratitude, trust. Perhaps yesterday I needed to sink into the gravity of his passing.
Today I feel a bounce-back response.
In Writer’s Almanac, I read about Leo Tolstoy, the author of Anna Karenina in 1877 and War and Peace in 1869. When he was 52 years old, though he had everything, wealth, respect, honors, fame, a loving wife, and ten children, he felt so empty, he contemplated suicide.
One day he took a walk in the woods and “found God”. He wrote: “At the thought of God, happy waves of life welled up inside me. Everything came alive, took on meaning. The moment I thought I knew God, I lived. But the moment I forgot him, the moment I stopped believing, I also stopped living.”
He used the word God, a loaded word for some these days, but I do see for myself that when I pause and feel all that’s going on in me and around me, when I feel relationship and exchange, I feel oneness, a place beyond words, and there, in that, my brother’s passing is simple; it is.
The difference between blood and chlorophyll, the green blood of plants, is one atom. Though the structure is the same, in hemoglobin the center atom is iron and in chlorophyll, the central atom is magnesium. Plants and animals exist together; we need each other. Perhaps the same is true of life and death.