Tuesday, December 31, 2013

trust in the darkness

I recently returned from San Francisco where my daughter and I experienced the tactile dome at the Exploritorium. The dome is a large half a sphere in pitch darkness. One finds their way through the dome with only the sense of touch to guide the way. I had the sense when I booked it, that it was a powerful metaphor for my life right now, maybe for all our lives. I forgot about that sense of symbolism  until after the fact yet now I am again struck how that experience mirrors my life.
The first time through I went with my daughter and she had a tiny bracket that glowed in the dark. It somehow diminished the experience so I asked her to take it off. We took turns taking the lead. The second time through it was totally dark and we went more on our own. Of course now we had a sense of the route that involved sliding, crawling, groping, climbing through a variety of textures and solidity, from squishy to bumpy. There is one part that is quite unexpected and had me first shouting then giggling with the surprise (withheld so as not to be a spoiler in case anyone ever tries it.) I had experienced the dome decades before in my youth and actually was nervous about it now. Would it be hot, claustrophobic, narrow, too difficult? It was none of these things. I really did it hoping my daughter (13 years old) would enjoy it. Turned out I loved it. The third time through we went by  ourselves with no help from each other. I was really enjoying it until I came to a cavernous room where i felt nothing except the ground under my stocking feet. I could reach the ceiling and then found the walls yet no opening. I felt a moment of panic, even though I knew I would find it, had found my way twice before and was actually being monitored by the guide who could see and hear us, I am guessing with an infrared camera. I had to slow my breath way down, recenter myself and CALM down before again feeling everywhere to find the gap. It was probably a matter of less than a minutes yet the sense of panic was significant. Here is where the most powerful sense of metaphor came in. I knew I was safe, protected and had the ability to get out of there. I had deliberately made it more difficult by losing the tiny light we had the first time and by going alone the third time. The uncertainty and challenge added to the excitement and pleasure. O.K. here it is. They keep saying life is like game we set up, a hologram for our enjoyment of returning ourselves to our Divinity. Now for me this is like no way Jose. I have not enjoyed the suffering, the uncertainty, the fear. Or have I on some level? Why did I choose to make it harder in the dome, to go alone with no guide except my own hands and my own sense of confidence in myself? Because it made it more interesting! That is very symbolic to me for these times.
For me, I feel like I am groping in the dark. My future is uncertain, particularly my finances. The way has been arduous, dark, grueling, so long. Is that perhaps on some level adding to a sense of pleasure at the fantastic accomplishment of breaking free? of finding my own way? It is the first time I could genuinely even consider that possibility. What if on some level I want to reclaim my own magnificence and the best way to do that was to go on a long journey into the opposite? I am at least now willing to consider the possibility.
Here is what made all the difference. I had already been through so I trusted I would get out. I knew I was being watched over so I was protected. I knew I had the resources to find my way since I'd done it before. I trusted I would come out of the darkness and thus I enjoyed the whole experience. So back to life. What if I could really trust a benign force has my back, is watching out for me? What if I could trust I really do have all the resources necessary to pull off this game called life? What if I fully surrendered to a totality of trust, could I then actually enjoy the twist and turns, unexpected dead ends, feelings of being lost and alone, fear I would never find my way out? WOWOWOW. Now there is a fabulous idea to carry into the new year 2014. Beloveds may you know and trust you are safe, you are protected, you are aware, you are capable, you can do this thing called life with grace and even enjoyment.  I am seeing the same for myself. May we all pass through the darkness knowing all is well. And so it is.

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