I watched my friends cat today. Zabu, a name as formidable as her demeanor, is the alpha female of this household and a Queen to be sure. Sitting in a huge picture window that faced the Canadian west coast mountains, she viewed her domain through the glorious curtain of bright Evergreens and shedding Madrona which nearly blocked the light blue Autumn sky. It wasn’t the sleek black beauty of her coat or even the view itself that caught my attention. It was her stillness.
Zabu sat for what seems like hours soundlessly staring out the window and I noticed myself become fidgety and bored. As I moved to let my body follow my mind forward to the next task, Zabu stirred at last and slowly turned to give me what felt like a look of disdain, then slowly turn back to her panorama. What was she thinking I wondered? Did she sit there lamenting the wild hunt? Was she longing for a mate to wonder past down the path across the way? Planning her seasonal detox diet? Perhaps she was contemplating the passing of time and calculating how old she will be at her next birthday. At the last thought I laughed out so hard it sent Queen Zabu out of the room and away from the odd cackling stranger she had once trusted to share her kingdom.
Chuckling at the antics of this tiny beast, I met with my host in the hall. He bid me farewell on his way to the store and as he gathered his cloth grocery bags like any good west coaster he casually inquired into my afternoon. I need a new blog post, it’s been too long. He asked of what I will write. I’m really stuck on that very topic because though I feel the urge to write, I have no angst or drama or special insight about which to communicate. He gently suggested I write about not have angst. I felt my face pucker and my brows furrow at the thought. Well, that would be boring! The look of confusion on this enlightenment master and wizened gentleman’s face gave me pause and then he smiled at me knowingly and left the scene.
Write about all things being well? Communicate from a place of peace and calm? Why? Where’s the fun in that? That’s when it hit me. The real question I now ask myself is, why are times of anxiety or high drama so much more appealing to me than times of equilibrium? Oh, yuck, Mira – really? Yes. This is the truth of my experience at this moment. When life is safe and good and peaceful, when I am not infatuated or fearful, I am totally bored.
Memories of my teens and even in to my 20’s come rushing back. How much drama did I create? I can’t even guess. The idea of being in the moment had no meaning to me. Not even if I read a text on it or got an A+ on an exam about it could I have understood the nature of presence so riddled in my past and burnt by my history was I. I needed restitution and was entitled to my anger and angst, band mates, boyfriends and body be damned! It’s all about me because it’s all about me that’s why! Ah yes, the addiction of a dramatic tantrum fed me like nectar to a humming bird and my mind moved even faster than those flitting wings. Calm and quiet was unsafe and if I were to be too still I may hear something I must contend with in my psyche or worse I may go unnoticed which could simply not happen…attention must be paid.
Once fed and warm Zabu is totally content to simply be. Be. Just sit and be in the vantage place of her sunny window. What was she thinking? Probably nothing. The images were flowing through her eyes and into her being and nestling there like warm morning chai after a great nights sleep. Nothing need be done in this moment and though the things that need tending come soon enough, those things are not here now. Now. Here.
I went back to the window and crept into the corner Zabu once claimed. I leaned myself to get the better view and fidgeted for a time. Comfy at last I take a deep breath and then another and look outside. Another breath and I can now see the greens and blues again but this time the subtle pinks of the naked bark and deep reds of some unknown perfectly round berries hang from the bushes that line the pathway into the deep forest. A bird, then another, both land and show me their plumage of blue and white. A breath. My thoughts begin to drift towards that special someone I wish were here to see this beauty but I allow it to rise and pass and am back to sharing this moment with myself. The butterflies that must be sleeping in their caterpillar cocoons have no need or requirement to fly nor do they lie in their cocoon anxious about how they will manage flight. They will fly when they fly. Or they will not fly. No needs. The ocean and it’s power flow without worry or plan and I envy the movement of its unconsidered life but catch myself and my envy and breath back to this…this. To this.
I’ve wanted happiness over pain my whole life. Anything to make things pleasurable and to avoid discomfort was worth it’s price. I have come to realize that a peaceful stance is the more powerful place when it is allowed even if through brutal truth and fierce grace. Truth is better than the lie.
The truths of life are not always good. This is proven. The facts of circumstance can take us for a challenging, even terribly frightening ride. But as my teacher often tells me it’s the flow of the river of life that we can attend to with success in the search for peace but once we fight to dive from bank to bank, one being happiness the other being pain, then we can never attain a peaceful stance in life. Let go and allow yourself to move through the flow of the river.
Like this cat, who has already forgotten my affront to her peaceful throne and has no judgments about me in this moment, I can sit and simply allow life to be what ever it need be and move through it effortlessly. I thrive in the warmth of her eyes and aspire towards that calm presence. Rule well Queen Zabu and thank you for this lesson.