A commitment to getting everyone clear
So, you know those mornings where you wake up and feel super-excited because everything feels completely clear?
I’m having one of those mornings. And I’m really aware of how it doesn’t tend to last. And how the excitement of being clear fades and it can sometimes take with it the clarity.
I know from doing meditation that things can be totally clear and then if they don’t land in the body, but stay as excitement, that they go away again.
So, I’m trying not to turn it into action too quickly and lose it. Or run off and use the excitement to run about and lose it. Or try to translate it into something specific too quickly and lose it.
Because whether I’m able to do it or not, I know that what matters is tuning into the nature of this clear thing and staying with it.
Today the clear thing is a desire to get everyone clear. That’s the headline. And, this morning, I can feel it. I can’t tell you the specifics of what it means. Not right now. Because I’m trying to stay with the feeling of it.
In meditation practice, this might be called ‘placement meditation’: when you arrive at a clear point, don’t carry on thinking. (Like if you’re sharpening a pencil and it gets sharp — don’t keep sharpening.) Stay with the feeling of clarity. It will in time reveal its details. It will translate into actions, into words, into decisions. But, in the first place, it’s a matter of strengthening the connection to this feeling. It’s like plugging in.
This feeling. Call it passion. Call it potential. Call it as-yet-unexploited-creative-energy. It’s there waiting to be expressed. When I write a poem, catching hold of this feeling and not-letting-go feels like the whole of the art. I catch a feeling that isn’t easily expressed. Like a little bear hiding in a cave. And with quiet, patient, enduring attention I give it the space to emerge. If my attention wanders, I lose it. If I make too much effort, I lose it. The art is to stay connected to the feeling and let it speak.
It’s like kindling a fire. The excitement of a new idea is like a spark. And a spark in itself is not enough. There is an art to kindling a fire. An art to tending to a spark and giving it the best chance to become a flame.
How does that feel when the spark is an idea? What is the equivalent of those firestarting steps — protecting the spark from the wind, offering it a little dry tinder, making sure there’s enough oxygen, but not too much draught, assembling progressively more substantial bits of kindling…?
This morning it means staying with this feeling: a commitment to getting everyone clear.
And I don’t know what that means entirely. But it is a spark. And I can feel the fire that might follow.
Next up: A vision for getting everyone clear