Tuesday, August 6, 2013

After Living the Dream Deferred--Life Straight UP!




Just before graduation!
We can be heroes, if we try       
       David Bowie 
Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
       Bob Marley
Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their customs, privileges, or beliefs.
      Leo Tolstoi
It takes courage to grow up to turn out to be who you really are.
                                               e. e. Cummings
Fear is the cheapest room in your house.  I would like to see you living in better conditions.
                                               Hafez
Free at last

Mid-year already and six years since my graduation (release?) from the Monday through Friday job/ career. Ups/ downs, expansion/ contraction, and creativity/ depression all traveled with me on this journey of redemption.  Seeking to free my spirit, I followed a path to inner and outer places of unexpected wonder and terror.  In the process, I gave up my fantasies about retirement and what remains is curiosity.  I listen to its siren call daily.  

At the same time my demands on myself and others are few. To paraphrase Ernest Holmes, 'I am open at the top.'  It was a tough passage into elder phase of life and demanded major shifts in self-concept and lifestyle. Formerly frenetic with work, friends, personal growth, and wealth accumulation, now equanimity and ease under gird my life.

On location at the Novel, Main St
On December 21, 2012, hundreds of gatherings and thousands of people around the world noted the end of the Mayan calendar and celebrated the dawning of a new era.  Through a global televised hook up, millions heard noted teachers speak of the new beginning this event promised.  The date had enough notoriety for Hollywood to make a disaster movie on that theme.  Of course, Armageddeon did NOT happened.   

Ready for anything!
Although every year seems to mark some auspicious, world changing event that will usher in a time of harmony, love, and peace, 2012 inspired me to end, the Living the Dream Deferred blog.
   
Originally, I planned to write a guide to reinvention for the newly retired Baby Boomer with self help tips and suggestions prompted by experiences in my daily life at home and on out of town trips.  Looking back at the early blogs, many functioned as personal pep talks.  I gave a lot of advice that was essentially three fingers pointing at myself.  Not directions for others to follow, but suggestions to myself.


On the trail of redemption
Rereading the 69 blogs recently in preparation for publishing them as a book, my self-critic whispered—What hokey new age pablum?  How did I turn such powerful experiences into mush?  In spite of that, they represent three years of highs and lows, confusion and clarity, hope and despair, adventure and banal, stimulation and boredom.  As my associate, the Ravendove would say--'There is blood on the page.'  In the process of writing LDD, a good chunk of my personal and spiritual growth the last couple years has come from writing and posting this blog-Nothing like the web for public exposure. 

In the creative cauldron with Ravendove
Trusting my muse, I explored and wrote about many tributaries of my life. From Santa Fe to Maui, from hot springs to stone masonry, from abstract painting to spoken word poetry, from reggae to raga.  Following my inner compass, I embraced the story in front of me and within me and rooted around for its meaning.

Wandering sadhu meets a fellow traveler

Why do I write?--To inform, to make sense of life, and to help others.   Along with such an agenda, doubts arise:  Is this too personal?  Why am I doing this?  I am lousy. Will anyone read it?  Does it really help anyone? 

The bright light of Truth in the Chiracauhuas

 
If you have been following this blog from the beginning, you may notice a distinct shift in tone: No more adamant assertions of ‘do this’ or ‘read that.’ Do I have prescriptions? Do I have theory to flog?  Not now, but I strive to strike a chord of truth and that may also speak to the reader.  If so, then I have succeeded. 


On the road again


 
On this road places and people both new and old taught me the most, when I had my mind, heart, and eyes wide open.  For example, the most popular essay is about my passionate pursuit of hot springs.  Another popular piece is about Taylor Camp, Hawaii, which I wrote to illustrate the power of youthful and innocent exploration of community.  That appealed to many residents and lovers of Hawaii.  Some of the pieces attempted to explain psychological theories, as in the example of Dr. Jung’s synchronicity. 



Neither fish nor fowl nor vegan
I believe each of us has a hero within.  The hero faces the obstacles inside and out which limit our fulfillment in life.  No one can tell you your growing edge, that place within that calls out for recognition and expression, which you may have avoided for many years.  Taking either that inner or outer journey demands that we are courageous, while knowing that like the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, we may not be rewarded in this world.  But following that call offers its own reward of inner peace, self-acceptance, and contentment.  

Rhino has risen, self-portrait

After decades of living, most of us have seen that when one goal is achieved or a certain issue handled, another one appears.  Life is not a destination but a journey.  There is no ultimate success-- nowhere to go, nothing to achieve, and nothing to prove.  Goals may serve to motivate action but ultimately life consists of beginnings and endings--even our lives.  Closing a chapter such as Living the Dream Deferred opens space for new beginnings. 

Firebird Rising
An Ebook of the best of Living the Dream Deferred will be published in the Fall, 20I3.  Please check the LDD fan page on Facebook for info. If you have any closing thoughts, suggestions, or questions, please comment on this blog. I deeply appreciate every reader taking the time to ride with me. For me the greatest reward of writing is the connections made with fellow travelers in search of truth.   

Platitudes, books, and prayers only get you so far, now my calling is for raw, real experiences. In my next project I'll report on those journeys, inner and outer/ highs and lows--and leave 'blood on the page.'  

My intention is to be courageous, equanimous, and authentic with myself and to the reader, as I pursue the five aspects of Martin Seligman's paradigm of flourishing; relationships, achievement, service, pleasure, and growth.  

Two new blogs will debut soon:  Coffee, Hot Springs, Reggae, and Monuments, where I explore my passions in settings around the world and Reinventors 40/60:  Interviews with people rebooting into new lifestyles and work. 

Keep Konnected to Klarin:  See you down the road!  RAN
Aug. 6, 2013 @ Cow's End, MDR, CA



2 comments:

  1. Every time I have read your blog I have been struck by the similarity of my own path and that of others who I have traveled with. Being "free" to follow your dreams isn't as easy or as fun as we imagined it would be until we let go of our expectations and ...
    I am looking forward to to reading about you future adventures!
    In Peace, Love, Respect and Gratitude
    EarthSongWoman

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  2. Thanks so much for your ongoing interest and comments. As I said above, that is a major reason for these blogs. And yes, the expectations can be bumps in the road of experience. My next big adventure is into new places and activities without goals of happiness/ fun/ or people. Just do it and see what happens. Peace and truth to you.
    RAN

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