One day rowing was like ploughing through molasses, wind tossed water confused by current and tide created a disorganized pile-up linking above and below with fragile boat occupying choppy interface. An apt parallel she thought for interfacing between inner and outer realities at times when forces are at sixes and sevens. This ponder makes her amazed that anything other than complete crazy is even possible. Think about it …
It must be hard to be a scientist in the fields of climate change, earthquake geology, meteorology, areas that allow one to see with a fair degree of certainty the path ahead for which there are possibilities to lessen impact yet not always motivation to do so. How do they balance the thrill of discovery with the horror of discovery? She hopes they cry enough and likes it when they do so publicly.
And yet, here we are all living on death row since day one, and no one seems to be doing a thing about it!
Mira, not an accomplished cook, can get enthusiastic for special occasions, and her favorite challenge is to go as local as possible, like the backyard garden, orchard, and chicken coop. When she does this she notices that the only choice is to produce interesting collages. Ratatouille with herbs of place rather than of a particular recipe, fruit crisp combo of what is ripe and available in the proportions that present.
And in doing this is the realization that she is reflecting the contemporary locavore phenomenon which is of course an old, practical, essential style of feeding oneself that recycles ingredients and cares not the least about formality.
This human contrivance of protection from what … life? death? ... has the effect of keeping us from experiencing essential moments including dying with presence. Ever resisting, wanting to be somewhere else, avoiding what might be instead of what is, separates her species from being.
Does our intelligence have to result in this separation she ponders after reading an article on the magnitude and likelihood of a very nasty earthquake soon in her area? How much protection is appropriate?
When she wakes in the morning without plans, Mira is free to stumble through a day, down a street, into a project, onto a treasure, unfocused, into what comes her way, uncertain about all it might mean, picking herself up after a tumble, and embracing the mysteries that she lurches over.
Out of nowhere the oar was suddenly at an acute unbalancing angle and she splashed over board kicking feet hard out of their Velcro traps. Frigid water crushed her chest and stole breath that wanted to shriek for help. She knew what to do to get the boat righted and back in but the freezing fooled her mind that refused to slow enough to prepare adequately.
Instead she hurled away from cold in spite of legs tangled in oars and riggers and landed without proper oar alignment on top of the righted boat, where she sat momentarily struggling to retrieve the rogue oar but instead plunged in again. then again, and again until finally dislodging the seat with a lunging knee left her dispirited, depleted of energy, daunted, she gave in to reality and the need for assistance so her buddy called for a water taxi to take her back to the dock.
When she realized that the crux of morality relates to examining her own behavior, not how others choose to behave, whew … all that time saved in evaluating the other. Life simplified is life enlivened and extended.
Ahh …. the sigh, that corporeal relief that untethers coagulated stuffiness into welcoming space. When it tumbles out effortlessly, wafting lazily groundward, her whole body falls into loving arms of serenity, buoyed by breath. And it all started with relieving a tension.