# 82 Out There

Out there.

When I meet people and the question about where I live comes up the inevitable words “I love it out there!” is the most likely response. Last night driving home after dark from a rare evening out I, too, felt like I was driving “out there” along the only route that passes through town, in then out again, turning a few miles later onto the road that runs out when you get to the sea. A map, Google or printed, shows a jut of land water to the left and in front of you. Aerial photos show the dark blue ocean with a brown-grey mass of rock trimming the edges, and a somewhat small cluster of houses set just back from the rocks.

I woke from a dream where I was traveling to where I lived before I came here. I opened my eyes to my current life, seeing the vivid horizontal streak of sky orange before sunrise and with it an underlayer of cherry red that only occasionally appears. I could feel the change from my dream-body to the waking present where a jagged dancing energy flowed just under the skin of my chest, realizing that feel is a near constant presence when I am here. I wonder about that red, the color of alarm, danger, excitement, passion. It seems to pair with that jagged edgy feel inside me.

The first moments I spent in this house I sensed the possibility of a vast presence. It remains to this day, as unnamed now as it was then, sometimes feeling like a challenge and sometimes, a mere unsettled sense, of nearly constant unease, perhaps and ebb and flow of a rhythm that matches the intensity of the waves and the wind.

I imagine living on a pleasant street in a tidy neighborhood thinking there I would not feel this underlying red, this unsettledness that is so constant. I am not referring to life’s ups or downs, the troubled times or restful ones. I am attempting to describe an existential energy present, I believe, where the vastness of the ocean pushes its might up against solid rock, opposing forces giving off energy release that is palpable even if all seems calm, or as calm as the ocean ever gets.

What images form in your mind when you think of the word “retirement”? I had thought it would be a time of rest, of unstressed  activity with time to savor. Instead, I landed in an energy vortex where beauty is a constant but ease is not. This is a stark awareness on a minute-by-minute basis. I am not attempting to describe emotions or feelings. The backdrop roar of even a fairly calm low tide is in my ears as I write. It is the constant presence of releasing energy. This truly is “out there”.

2 thoughts on “# 82 Out There

  1. Jane, I really connected to you beautiful sharing of the out there energy vote. presence. Thank you. My contemplative poem of the day is David Whyte’s poem, The Shell. Here it is if this space allows:

    “THE SHELL

    An open sandy shell
    on the beach
    empty but beautiful
    like a memory
    of a protected previous self.

    The most difficult griefs,
    ones in which
    we slowly open
    to a larger sea, a grander
    sweep that washes
    all our elements apart.

    So strange the way
    we are larger
    in grief
    than we imagined
    we deserved or could claim
    and when loss floods
    into us
    like the long darkness it is
    and the old nurtured hope
    is drowned again,
    even stranger then
    at the edge of the sea,
    to feel the hand of the wind
    laid on our shoulder,
    reminding us
    how death grants
    a fierce and fallen freedom
    away from the prison
    of a constant
    and continued presence,
    how in the end
    those who have left us
    might no longer need us,
    with all our tears
    and our much needed
    measures of loss
    and that their own death
    is as personal
    and private
    as that life of theirs
    which you never really knew,
    and another disturbing thing,
    that exultation
    is possible
    without them.

    And they for themselves
    in fact
    are glad to have let go
    of all the stasis
    and the enclosure
    and the need for them to live
    like some prisoner
    that you only wanted
    to remain incurious
    and happy in your love,
    never looking for the key,
    never wanting to
    turn the lock and walk
    away
    like the wind,
    unneedful of you,
    ungovernable,
    unnamable,
    free.”

    Excerpt From
    River Flow: New & Selected Poems (Revised)
    David Whyte

    Namaste, Joe

    Like

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