Sunday, June 26, 2011

Even If I Don't Know

Rose gave me a green card (years ago!) with a quote from Thomas Merton; writer, monk, teacher, ponderer.

On the bottom of the card there's a tiny sticker with Mary holding baby Jesus and I'm guessing it's Joseph standing behind her, looking over her shoulder. Even with my glasses, it's blurry. I keep it on the fridge. Every so often I stop and read it. It begins:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. 
I do not see the road ahead of me. 

I nod, I have no idea where I am going! while I put the kettle on for another cup of tea. 

I'm fixated on knowing where I'm going which completely contradicts yesterday's post, I can rest in life as it is. All fine and good, restful too, but I'm way too busy ferreting-out the exact location of my going-ness to rest. 

But the more I ferret, the worse I feel. 

This no idea where I'm going knot has been tied very tightly to my work life for a couple of years now. After leaving a teaching career eleven years ago, I joyfully embarked on a second round of motherhood along with writing, workshop leading, yoga teaching, artist-in-residence freelance-y work while Claire grew.

But all the panic over pensions and the economy, caring for an aging Dad, worry about money has grown a fear worm that's been eating my joy and trust in huge gulps. 

I've convinced myself that people who have full-time work (with an actual job title) know exactly where they're going and feel really good about it. That if I want to know where I'm going and feel really good, I should do what they're doing. 

This artist's life feels  too hard. I need a real job.

real job = steady pay, pension, health insurance

Can I send you my resume?

Brother Merton goes on to write Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I'm actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you...

More stuff about desire and pleasing, then, 

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. 

Is he still talking about knowing nothing?

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost...

I'm thinking Thomas is my long-lost twin...

Some days I seem to be lost. Others I feel very found. My quandary, as I write this, is that I make one out to be the good guy, and the other one, not so good

It's a mystery, the whole God thing and who exactly you is and why should anyone trust God, The Universe, Spirit,*Ethel, themselves.

Without trust, I'm screwed. 

Just for today, I will trust that the road I'm on may be the one less traveled, often foggy, crooked and unclear. 

But I'm on a road, 
or trail, 
or a wooded path with sunlight, 
even if I don't know I am...

*read: Call It What You Will 3/29/10


  1. Be careful what you wish for... When I was home with my children, I felt like I needed to be working. When my school closed and I didn't have a job, I felt like I needed to be looking. Now, I have a job, I'm uncertain of my former energy level because my head and body don't match. I am choosing to be happy about my new school. I will enjoy what is good and overlook what is not good.(maybe)

  2. Thanks so much for this. I get it! It is, for me, the daily practice of being in this present moment, which is really wonderful...It's my anxious mind that likes to stir the pot, pushing me to believe I "should" be somewhere else, doing "Important things."...

    This worry mind is a sneaky one.

    "I will enjoy what is good."

    thank you for that and for checking in...