Halfway Cafe


Sri LankaI feel myself emerging. The kiss of sun on barer skin and daily swims in a cool, clear Sri Lankan ocean that’s just a stroll from the doorstep, are bringing my juju back. At last I feel to write.

I’m still not sure how to share what’s been happening over the past months, since I last wrote, or whether it’s even necessary. But I feel the need to try – for me as much as for you.

It’s felt like a waking up of sorts, but of my humanity more than my divinity. Without pre-meditation or any conscious decision to do so, I’ve sort of just stepped out for a bit from the leading role in my life, partly because I got bored of playing it, and partly perhaps to assess my performance thus far.

I’m pretty sure it’s a ‘turning 40’ thing as I’ve watched a couple of close friends do something very similar over the last few years, as they too began their mid-life re-evaluations. Oh my God! But it makes sense huh? If I should be blessed to live until I’m 80 then right now I’m exactly half way.

For me it’s been both disorienting and liberating. Disorienting, because all of a sudden the same things don’t feel like they’re working in the same ways that they used to. Life is like that – nothing stays the same for very long. And liberating, because while letting go of some crutches leaves me less and less to hold on to, it’s also freeing me up to live more from my gut – to listen a bit harder to that quieter voice inside that doesn’t always buy into my theories.

Truth speaks through sensation – when we hear or see or feel it we get goosebumps. And so when we’re not being completely honest with ourselves, the same applies. We don’t feel quite right. I get sad, or lethargic, or irritable, even angry. I know then that I need to change something.

And while often a bit uncomfortable, these are the times that we grow the most. Confusion is usually followed by a period of greater clarity. Sadness by a deeper compassion. Replacing the battery in the dogma alarm from time to time is essential to being truly authentic.

I remember as a kid that my Dad would restore old furniture on the weekends. He’d sit for hours using just a small piece of glass to scratch back thick layers of bright, glossy, toxic paint to reveal the naked beauty of whatever wood was hiding underneath.

The last months have felt a bit like that.

In my case the naked wood is the beauty of the Self, but it’s also the beauty of the Self incarnate in the human form of Lucy, just as she is, with desires, flaws, and preferences. Realising that those desires too are all part of the larger plan, and that some things just need to be lived before they can be understood, let alone renounced. Some mistakes just have to be made in order to see more clearly. Knowledge comes from books, but wisdom is gleaned from experience. Nobody else can tell me how to live my life right, and I no longer want them to.

I’m actually looking forward to making more mistakes. Getting my hands good and dirty as we plant our vegie garden. More than ever I just want to be in this world – human, flawed, ordinary. Divine love and human love don’t feel so far apart anymore. Spiritual and mundane are blurring nicely into one another.

Do I long to be free from the tyranny of the mind? Yes. Do I seek to know and share Love in its fullest expression? Absolutely. Do I seek to transcend this human experience? No, not one bit. Is there a sense of urgency? No, not really anymore.

It’s getting much harder at this age to fool myself about who I am and what I want, and that’s a beautiful thing. Whatever desires remained unlived, instead of being something to overcome, are showing me where I need to go next to learn what I still need to learn. Life is the playing field and experience the teacher and there’s no way through but through. I say this all the time.

Here at the half-way mark the rose coloured glasses have come right off, but so too has much of the harshness of self-judgement. Spiritual, material, temple, forest… none of them seem so different anymore. The path stretches out before me, and I feel very excited to walk it. I sense it’s going to take me down some very different roads.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” ~ Andy Warhol

Om Namo Narayani