Me.  We are that we are, how we are, when we are, who.  

What has gurgled in me throughout this week, and made it somewhat difficult to post much, is that I ran into these burls.  Grief, change, adaptation, struggle – they all push us up against, or cause us to deny or flee from, these knots, these boundaries, these fabrications of how things ARE, how we’d wish they were, or could be.  In myself, these evidence as anxieties, fears, verges of hopelessness.  With the help of others – my children and their presentness, their being-into (ecstasy), being-out, unique ways of being-with – my therapist, and many other well-intentioned voices and persons who want good for me… I come to see that MOSTLY it’s ME and these burls, these knots, these imagined borders and boundaries in myself – MY IDEAS OF HOW IT WOULD BE NICE FOR THINGS TO BE, my ideas of my “self/ves,” my organismic survival instincts and ancestral tactics – that dislodge me, silence me, THAT I UTILIZE (choose or select) to withhold and diminish and undo my opportunities to be-in, be-with, be-out, be-for the rest of you – the world, my children, my work, my self/ves.

So I’ve been termiting around in these burls.  Wondering how do I undo habit, instinct, ancient patterns of stanching, stoppering, limiting a potential flow of the world and my surround and my relationships and my knowledge and my emotions and my beliefs and my feelings and my thoughts and my dreams and my fears and my anger and my sorrow and my regret and my terror and my joy – work WITH those facts… and begin to erode my selections and choices of UNDOING and LIMITING and FEARING and DIMINISHING and instead tear or leap off these quantitative scales of evaluation, these assessments, these CVs and criteria – and JOIN.  JOIN.  OFFER.  GIVE.  BRING.  SHOW UP.  BE.

CHOOSE – slowly, granularly, deliberately, carefully, wildly – to INVITE the world (as it is) THROUGH, and OFFER the world (as it is) THROUGH…




…and All.

I don’t even have to reflect to be able to say that Synechdoche, NY – a film by Charlie Kaufman – is my favoritest made movie of my lifetime, or even of all time for my lifetime.  And as I burrow in these burls of grinding away at the resistances, the terrors, the wishes, and the ecstasies of being a human alive, stumbling across this short lecture of his has been an invaluable gift.  I do not know how to improve on it, so I let it pass THROUGH me… to you…

“Acceptance is nothing less

than the complete transformation

of what one has believed to be one’s self

and one’s reality.”

– Cheri Huber –


Chodron - groundlessness


I seem to be unable to stop digging in and reflecting on When Things Fall Apart.  My memories range over its engagements with this book, most of the circumstances blurred and dissipate, but not the wisdom of the text.  I was trying to explain to my teens the odd euphoria that follows suicidal determination – what neuroscience knows as “shut-down.”  As the body begins to burn, or be ripped apart by fangs, riddled with bullets or smashed into bits…pain ceases to be useful to the organism and it is flooded with endorphins…a kind of blissed-out euphoria like a systemic morphine drip.  “There is definitely something tender and throbbing about groundlessness,” Pema says.



But the idea isn’t shut-down.  The idea is more like a drowning compression without a bottom…a fall…a float…if fear – flight; if anxiety – distract; if anguish – addictive comfort; all these options for moving away, slipping out, attempt at relief, escape, a concretization of experience, rather than its flow.  It’s now-ness.  This drowning compression without bottom – what if we BE THERE?  What if we sit in it, and breathe.  The groundlessness, bottomlessness, suddenly becomes some space.  A little room…there’s opening.  We don’t know what to do, don’t know where to go, don’t know how this happened, don’t know why we did.  “Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all...Life is like that.  We don’t know anything.  We call something bad; we call it good.  But really we just don’t know.”

“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing.  We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved.  They come together and they fall apart.  Then they come together again and fall apart again.  It’s just like that.  The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen:  room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”


“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”

– all quotations Pema Chodron