Due to the present state of the economy and a few other small details we are all doing with quite a bit less around here. I know, we're supposed to buy things to stimulate the economy, right. Sorry, not there at the moment and don't know that I ever will be.
We buy food and gas. We pay the mortgage and the utilities and we buy monthly rail passes. I broke down and bought some clothing yesterday and felt a bit horrid about it but all my pants were falling down and I haven't pulled out that sewing machine yet. We go out now and then, mostly small things and we feed the animals. I go to Bikram once a week and everybody sees a doc when necessary (yes, we pay for insurance too and I'm happy we have it). These are the things that have become central and known.
A lot of things went right out the window and what surprised me was how easily they all went. Some of them went on their own without my noticing until they were gone and I'm sure there will be more. Some were harder than I thought underlining dependencies I'd rather not have.
And in the letting go what we are all discovering is how much sweeter, brighter, and cleaner life is right now. Small gestures have meaning where they went unnoticed or unremarked in the past. We give more to each other without thinking of it; it just seems to happen. We are happier, calmer more outwardly focused people. We are a more cohesive family unit in some ways than we have ever been.
Valentine's Day used to be a very painful event. What to buy, what to receive, how to choose when we already had so much and anything seemed empty and meaningless. I have a confession to make. I love receiving flowers, especially when they've been picked from some field but I detest receiving hot house roses for Valentine's day. The gesture, yes, love the gesture but felt empty, like some thoughtless clone on an assembly line.
I pulled out my water colors for the first time in a year and with shaky hands (it doesn't come back fast for me) I painted a card front and back, carefully taping off the edges, wrote a small message, the only thing that mattered in that communication and mailed it off to my husband. It's probably the sweetest thing I've ever given him.
The morning of the 14th, early when I was still working out, the phone rang and I ran upstairs to answer because any call that early on a Saturday matters. There was my guy, vulnerable as all get out telling me happy valentines day, I love you and I'd like to come to Bikram with you this morning.
Laying on our mats in the dark room with the music, acclimating to the heat and floating into the music, I placed my hand over his heart and fell right into him. He put his hand over mine and the boundaries vanished for a moment. I have never received a gift quite like it and it will be with me forever.
What else is possible when the noise is removed and the cotton pulled from our ears, mouths, eyes and hearts? What becomes real and what myths fade away?
I can't quite bring myself to say the economic situation is lovely (because it ain't by a very long shot, there are way too many people hurting in ways that should not be necessary). But what I can say is that the results on a personal level leave me feeling more alive and connected than I've ever felt. Except maybe for when I was six, or seven, or eight and laying in a field looking up at the sky and discovering the meaning and feeling of infinity.