I posted on Facebook recently that I think I may operate with the same brand of crazy as did John Lennon. A little spot in my heart mourns our loss due to his assassination. But he was a man who really and truly believed in peace. A great quote- "A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream we dream together is reality." He was talking, as ever, about peace. And, quite obviously, John understood about consensus reality. (Yes, here she goes again.) Because it's true. If we all just decided there should be peace, we would just work towards it, the government would be irrelevant. We simply wouldn't pick up their guns and we would work for everyone, not ourselves. But, thing is, we're so far from that now. I'm not sure how to live the life Lennon recommended. He said to do everything for peace. That every action or word we share should be in the name of peace. I think that's true but I don't live it. I believe in it, with all my heart. But I'm just one little human out here living and I get downright frustrated sometimes. The point, I think, is that I keep coming back to peace. I know it's right because it feels right. But what does my life look like?
I had a strange experience last weekend that, at that time, seemed such a great metaphor for my life. I'd found a can of vegetarian baked beans in the pantry and decided that would make a fine lunch. I went to my cupboard and got out my electric can opener, only then remembering that the last time I'd used it, it wasn't working properly. But I tried. I'm not sure what was wrong, but it would either cut or turn the can. Not both at the same time. So I fussed with it for a while and made some progress- some cuts along the inner rim, but the can was not open. Then I decided the electrical opener wasn't opening so I got out my handy-dandy manual version- forgetting that it was also jammed. Since my hands aren't strong enough to turn the key, (jammed good), I opened and closed the contraption on the edge of the can, piercing away, till it was cut free from its lid. Of course, I then had to use a fork to work and pry the lid out of the can to get to the beans.
In the time it took to open this can, I probably could have opened, heated, and eaten the beans if things had gone smoothly. I couldn't help but think to myself: "Ya know, in other peoples' lives, this is not such a hassle. People open cans all the time. They take the can to the opener, push that little button and TADA! they have beans. But not me. Nope. I spend 10 minutes just working to get to those yummy legumes." What does this say about my life? I often feel like I have to work so hard to get so little- like I can't understand how some things seem to come so easily to some people. I often feel as though there is entirely too much struggle in my life, like something should just come easily. On the other hand, I already admitted that I knew the can opener wasn't working properly. Why did I put it back in the cupboard at all? Why haven't I replaced it? I've surely had ten dollars to spare at some time in the past few months. Maybe just barely, but still. So maybe I actually make my life harder than it has to be in some ways. Maybe there are simple things I could do for myself that would make my days move a bit more smoothly.
Then another thing happened and I thought, let this be a metaphor for my life. I like this better. Before I moved last February, I packed a necklace that is very important to me. For Winter Solstice and Christmas, one of my best friends commissioned her husband, (another dear friend of mine), to carve baskets out of peach pits and make necklaces for myself and our two other friends. This is an unique and beautiful gift. It's something I would have liked if I'd seen it in a store but you won't, my friend made this for me. Obviously this is an important item. So, I vividly remember taking the necklace down from where it hung in my bathroom and putting it in something where I was sure it would be safe and get to the new house safely.
I moved and I unpacked bathroom and bedroom stuff. I found my jewelry but not that necklace. I started to wonder- hadn't I opened every box? But I KNEW. For SURE. Beyond a SHADOW of a DOUBT that it was somewhere. After all, I packed it special, right? Some time last January.
At the beginning of the week I was cleaning my bedside table where I have a big basket of journals and writing. Inside that is a small Japanese vase, (about the size of a soup can. or a bean can), that holds pens. I use pens from this vase almost every day. I took it out of the basket and looked inside, yep. There was my necklace! And the Goddess book mark I'd made myself years ago that always dis- and re-appears. I couldn't believe it!
But I could. Because this is my life. And maybe this metaphor makes sense too. What's important to me is closer than I think. I protect what's dear to me, even if I'm not sure how. The little pieces of what really matters are close to me, in my days and in my dreams. So maybe that nugget of peace I want to live is fuller than I give it credit for. Maybe I already decided to devote my life to peace, and put it inside in a really safe place. Maybe I can even admit that I should trust myself and do that. Maybe, in the screaming crazy tumult that is life here on Earth, I'm closer than I think.