And life tells me that I am not enough.
People call to me to say they're hurting.
Three people in less than 18 hours with sad, scary stories to tell me, asking me to listen, hoping for wisdom. Wisdom is what I long to offer them, but I fall way short of it.
No Zen sailing will not be on my agenda this day.
In my jeans and an old zipped up Gap sweatshirt with ink on the sleeve, I walk down to the dock in hope that the water will teach me. There waits the red rowboat -- an invitation. Can I face my fears? Can I be the only one in the rowboat on the big water, the one who can't swim, out there alone?
I climb into the boat and sit on the hard seat. I feel the boat swaying. I wish for my grounding. I wish for my friends to be around me. I wish for the courage to face where I'm going, to know what I know -- that I'm unprepared for what I'll be doing.
I pick up the oars and hold them in my hands. I know at first touch. They're too big for me, too heavy, too much. That's no consolation, no remedy. I hold them. I pray. I look at the sky that shelters me. Then I breathe. Then I breathe. Then I breathe once more.
I untie the boat. I use my hands, then an oar to slowly push away. I let the boat float on its own, as I get used to the feeling of motion. I get used to the idea that I won't be turning back. I need to know this or I can't help anyone.
Slowly I place the oars in the water. I ask permission without words, but through the grace and gentleness of my movement. I ask for faith from sky and angels who are everywhere. I need the wisdom of one who has conquered fear.
It takes a while, but I learn the rhythm of rowing. It takes a while, but I forget myself and learn about what I'm doing. I get to be one, inside my situation. I start to understand that the wisdom is only the knowing. I lose my self-consciousness and let my cells take over the understanding of what is needed, and suddenly, it's a dance with the water -- with no one leading.
Inside the fear is the graceful wisdom I was seeking.
My help will be the rhythm of rowing.
me strauss Letting me be