Each time I’m invited to join a conference I review A Course of Love pretty thoroughly. Each time I’ve been amazed, and I am once again. I get amazed by what it is, what it says, and how it reveals such different things to me each time I return to it. There’s a way it lives in me and a way it has its own life, and as I review, these two ways meet up. They engulf me. I swear I feel as if it has a new pulse, like it beats to the pulse of the here and now.
ACOL’s publication, coming so soon after 9/11/2001 felt significant even then, and more so now. 9/11 split our consciousness into a before and after. I really see it now as the beginning of the old way ending, the old structures toppling, our heads coming out of the sand of denial and our hearts crying out. Another cycle immediately started with the powers that were at the time taking an attitude of “control and protect”, of fear and revenge, and yet in common people there was a new flavor of turning inward. “Cocooning” was what this inward turn was called at the time.
We’ve not recovered our assurance that life will get back to normal or that the systems that have perpetuated “life as normal” are trustworthy. We are not individually or collectively who we were.
I go back in the house from the cabin where I’m writing this, and I notice, passing a mirror, that I look softer than I once did, and I know that I feel softer inside. I feel as if there’s been a softening agent at work these many years and particularly in these last months, something that has relieved my tension, loosened my tightness. It’s Sunday morning and quieter than usual as I walk back to the cabin. I feel more restful, less agitated.
When I last wrote, I was experienced the angst of a change, a change that was affecting my ability to communicate. The timing, as usual, felt horrid. I’d been invited to speak at my first shared conference, to take part, for the first time, in a gathering of scribes (Miracles in the Mountains Conference). Jayem and Gary Renard would be among my colleagues. There was something odd-feeling about it, and I guess all these months later I can admit that what was so odd was being acknowledged in a more worldly way than ever before as being part of something. Belonging within a tradition that, though it goes way back, is also new.
I wasn’t even sure how I felt about this back then, and I’m still not “sure” of the implications. It’s not that this has even been on my mind, only that, now that the time grows near, I believe there may be some natural design into which this fits, some “the time is right” opening being presented.
Because when I “look back” as I do when I review ACOL, everything that I felt then (as I received it) comes back to me, and all that’s happened since then is revealed in a new way. It is clear to me that what happens is what is meant to be.
Those of you who’ve journeyed with me through much of this time may know that it has not always appeared to be so. I have questioned life’s twists and turns as much as any person of little faith ever has.
It sounds incompatible to say that despite questioning and worry, there was also in me, an underlying trust in the process, but I believe this to be true. I never turned my back on what came to me. I floundered like a fish out of water (too often and in too many ways to recount) but I was tenacious as well. I remained devoted precisely to the process, believing, somewhere underneath the surface level conniptions I went through, that there had to be divine reasons, that there was some mysterious alchemy occurring, and when I talk to friends lately, and we look back on the changes in our lives since the start of our spiritual journeying, we laugh and smile and say “What a journey!” “What a life!” We wouldn’t have it any other way.