Bulls to Seashells
The bull market “is not ending, but it is ‘resetting’, according to my financial manager’s report from his banking institution. The message being, “Don’t Panic” as I interpreted his words from the email I received the day before yesterday. It had to happen eventually, as everybody knew. Constant expansion is not possible in our world. Everything moves in waves- everything is in flux, including financial systems, governments, weather patterns, beliefs, life cycles of flora and fauna, birthing and dying. Sound moves in waves as does electricity, as do the intimate undulations of blood flow and breath. Every molecule is either a particle or a wave depending on how it is observed. Nothing remains static. If there is life, there is movement, and movement means change; beginnings and endings.
Most of us spend our lives endeavoring to stave off the effects of unwelcome transitions. In times of chaos, our desperation increases in order to hold on, to grasp at anything that we can use to stop the forward momentum of the next wave. It can be a tsunami, or it can be the slow rise of temperature that remains invisible. Until worldwide droughts and increased storm violence and frequency reveals our unwillingness to deal with the consequences of our actions, we freeze; we hold on. Slow or urgent, the dynamics of life are always at some point on the arc of swinging pendulums; back and forth, in and out, up and down. Though we wish to be in control of these motions, we never can be. We can only attempt to learn better surfing skills, learning to read the gathering volume of wind and water as best we can each time we venture out on our boards.
Given such unpredictability, the prerequisite to living a full life is both riding the waves and diving deep below them to where the ocean floor is essentially unaffected by the turbulence above. To me, this is the slow discovery of Silence as my ground of being. Many simply call it Awareness, or our True Nature. To source my life from these peaceful depths does not mean withdrawal from the messiness of being human. Rather it means embracing the whole ocean from shifting waves to stillness. Swimming in the ocean often means being roughly tumbled about, scraping onto the shore with your swimsuit full of sand. It means floating in bliss as the sun warms you from above and the water cools you from below. It means donning the right gear with the right preparation to enter the silence and rich grandeur of what lies beneath the surface. The bigger the wave above, the deeper your need to dive in order to emerge with the wisdom of spaciousness and fulfillment, of no grasping, and no resistance to wherever the waves deliver you.
I have not been able to stand upright at the oceans’ edge for quite a few years now. My precarious balance cannot handle the pull of the tides. I can’t even navigate over an expanse of sand by walking on my own two feet. Yet I love the beach, the wide horizon, and the smell of salty marine plants and creatures at all stages of their lives. My life is now so full, so engaged with meaningful relationships and activities, that I remember the beach with pleasure and not loss. It is not in my current experience but I have imbibed past experiences within me to draw upon when needed. I can let my past life be as it was, my present as it is, and more and more the future arises as it will. I have a rollator and a scooter (no board) to help me surf, and the mysteries of the deep keep calling me down, spiraling inwards like a seashell towards Home.
by Judi Bachrach 20014
In my dream, the last wave delivered me to a shore
my eyes not yet open.
I groped to fill my usual basket
by tangled seaweed
by barnacled stones
over half a sand dollar
over everyone’s garbage.
I arose with the sun
and trudged along the shore
towards the breakwater.
Midday I sit to rest unconcerned
as I watch my basket
dragged away by the gathering tide.
I close my lids against the sun.
Bright lights dance inside.
the tangy salt air
the gritty warm breeze on my cheeks
the mingle of birds and waves and buoys
the death of countless briny creatures
my endless dissolution in the sea.