Joy Undecorated

copyright © July 7, 2010, by P. R. Lowe

Here, I do not have a code or label, but an innateness that drives me like a Cadillac. And when I am not here, or forget I am here, I feel as if I am running out of gas. Often, the gage is close to empty before I realize that I am, once again, a label; a this or a that, as compared to whatever, whichever or whoever has meandered onto the path. I forget to be me. I forget joy in it’s undecorated state.

At those times (and they have been many lately) I feel endued with a voice that comes (albeit sometimes behindhand) to simply say, “Walk”. It is a voice, I suspect, we all have, even though it may say “swim”, “ride your bike”, “play your guitar”, “go to the creek and sit”; whatever brings us back into pure being; that thing that we tend to put off because it is not readily seen as productive. True, it does not pay bills, build houses, or shorten the “to do list”, at least in a way that appears to be tangible in the moment, but for me it has generally played out to be the very thing that gives me clearer vision amid all the voices and choices, trinkets and toys. In fact, it has usually proven itself to be the very thing to do when all indications would say NOT.

So I “remember” to walk. Aside from the physical benefit it may bring, there is something that oozes from the earth and penetrates up into my being, like a multitude of tiny silvery threads; vibrating cords of energy, seeping up through the earth and into my toes and heels, giving me life and sustenance, as if I were an oak. And then, I hear/feel the Oak, as if I were “on line”and those cords are hook-ups to “high speed access” Slowly, I know, again. I am at peace again, and those dark places that my mind, judgements and comparisons took me to, begin to fade and seem somewhat silly. The longer I stay away from this walking meditation, this seemingly fruitless past time, the more serious the scenario becomes and the sillier it appears, as it slips from view. There is also something empowering about moving upon one’s own motor, unattached to any reward or pay off for doing so; in one’s own time, in one’s own way, for no other reason than to exercise one’s free will. (Which we still have but sometimes readily forget.)

On a recent, long overdue, walk, I garnered this: Important to step out of battle and struggle mode, important to slow down no matter how rushed you may feel. You may be required to release the illusion of security and comfort. The shift is not coming, it is here now, as it has always been. Then a message from the trees. “It is time to stop your multi-tasking, and approach one thing at a time, in each moment as it arises. The energy of speeding up is multiplied by your multi-tasking, the more one speeds or multi-tasks, the more things seem to speed up…better to approach, and only look at the thing in front of you.” The word “illusion” is key, here. Be a Palm in the hurricane, a rock in the flood, a gnat whose tiny bite is long felt.


What would happen if the world laid down its cell phones? If suddenly there were no Walmarts, Credit cards, Starbucks, Ipods, fast food, television, gas or gizmos? Distractions? I wonder as I walk. And this wonder has come up a lot in the past few years. Why? Have I just been drawn into the field of information that is “out there”? All that hype about 2012 and something coming? End times, the Mayan Calendar and so on. Or have I inadvertently tuned into mass media (even though I choose not to listen) and the economy, “not enough” fear?


Personally, I think it is a purely legitimate question. And quite logical, if one is at all observant of his/her environment – – all the hype aside. These things seem to define us, as a whole, if not individually. And these things are built on shifting sand. If one looks closely one can see “the builders” may not have our best individual welfare at heart. And the group, as a whole may be distracted by them. But distracted from what? Joy in it’s undecorated state?


As I meander, I remember winter. A winter like I have never experienced here before. Snow up to my thighs, howling wind for days and bitter cold. I shut off the extra rooms in the house and slept on the couch to conserve heat. I found myself voluntarily (more or less) confined to the living room, kitchen & dinning area, much like a one room cabin. I began to realize how much space I thought I required in the past and that I was quite content with much less. I unplugged every electric device not in continuous use, lamps, computers, radios, clocks, etc and also realized how much energy I was using unnecessarily (not to mention how little these things were required on a day to day basis, or at all for that matter) My electric bill went down by about ten dollars a month, from this alone. I also began to drape the already “shaded & curtained” clad, double pane windows, with regular bed blankets, around dusk, and felt quite cozy with the thermostat between 58-65 degrees, whereas, in the past, only 68-75 would comfort me.

It was a bit like crawling into my cave as the sun set, (a fairly natural, but forgotten feeling) and morning brought the unveiling of the windows, giving me a new appreciation for the sun; easily revered in summer, now doubly appreciated and truly seen for it’s radiant awe. One could say, I saw her in a new light. What could have been viewed as hardship became an unveiling adventure of discovery about the who and what, that dwells within me. The really amazing part is that I did it by choice; sure it saved bucks, but mostly I did it because I felt guided to. At some level there was a me desiring to see where joy truly resides and what it really looks like without all the “puff”.

One night, as the wind rattled the house and pushed great trees in surrender, I sat up suddenly with this thought tattooed on the inside of my forehead, “Suffering is an illusion created from fear.” The wind and the snow had been potentially treacherous and yet had also felt quite cleansing; treacherous and scary, cradling and cleansing, at the same time, like so many things in this time.. The snow and ice, foreboding, yet laying on the earth and my solitude like a friend. Another night, there was no wind and to my amazement, it was missed; what once gave me pause and trepidation, was now missed like a lover. There was something comforting in the closed-ness of it, the wrapping-up of it, the blanket of it, as if I were in the bosom of some great mother or monster. It seemed to easily be either, or both. And so, there again, the polarities came to me for forgiveness and acceptance of their two-faced-ness. I rested in their arms like an inefficacious babe, through winter, and awoke to a spring also strange and new, with it’s own two faces. Too hot, or at least hotter than springs remembered. All of it, both scary and inspiring, like giving birth – – so I muse, is something birthing itself? Not just thru me, but thru the planet, herself?

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1 Response to Joy Undecorated

  1. Meagan says:

    This really came across to me gentle, elegant and strong….your words entered my own thoughts and flowed with them. I enjoyed reading this.
    thank you.


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