“If you missed some chances, so what?”
At the cost of some slight embarrassment, I offer this for those whose life situation it may echo, who may take encouragement from it.
August 9, 2007
Joseph, my friend, long time no see, but I just got the sense that I ought to contact you.
You will notice that you are listening repeatedly to the Paul Potts album and finding tears in your eyes when he sings “Time to say goodbye.” I don’t think it’s because that’s the only line in English, do you?
I am feeling impending departures?
Your own for all you know. You recently expressed your strong sense of how when time is past, it is past and can never be revisited. This, despite the kinds of experiences we have had that show us that time and death aren’t what they seem. As you said, they aren’t nothing, either.
I should have paid more attention as I was going along, huh? I sort of knew that, but I am what I am.
That ain’t exactly true the way you mean it. Yes, you are what you are — but your choices are so vast, you got plenty of room inside that corral! In other words, what you are naturally is fixed at birth, sure — but what you make of yourself, which threads you pursue and which ones you choose not to pursue, is up to you. That is what you’re alive to do, as you’ve been told more than once, to choose. And your choices are your own business, yet they also affect everybody else of course. How else could it be?
So, if you missed some chances to enjoy the world as you were going by, so what? What you chose may have been rarer, more interesting in the long run. Maybe more valuable too, even the endless rereading of novels. You can’t really tell as you’re going along why you do some of the things you do, or why.
This is starting to sound like a valedictory.
We all die sometime, and it’s rare enough that we know it ahead of time Downstairs, as you say.
True enough. Something has to be the final entry here! And I don’t expect to learn what it is, ahead of time. But is this really why we are talking today?
Your work is partly unknown to you even as you do it. What you choose to concentrate on and remember may be just a way of amusing yourself while you do what your Upstairs component is most interested in you doing. So, you encourage people to write, or to heal, or to live. You think that’s trivial? It doesn’t seem quite memorable to you, it comes so natural, but not everybody spends his time doing it, you know! It takes a little of the sermonizer (and you’ve got enough of that in your background, God knows!) and the buttinski, too — not much afraid of being told to mind his own business.
It’s more than just a perspective, it’s a call for you to continue to wake up. We’ve been telling you to keep in your mind the things that happen together, to get a better picture of what’s really happening in your life, as opposed to the story you’re telling yourself about it as you go along.
Interesting! Yes, I see that. What comes at us, and from us, has a pattern of its own, autonomous like dreams, and so isn’t as likely to be distorted by our perceptions.
Exactly. And maybe you can’t live that way all the time anyway — but the closer you come, the better. You know what you heard Jung say on the recording.
When we look outward, we dream. When we look inward, we awaken.
Well? Do you have any reason to doubt it?
12:45 p.m.. After a discussion with Rita. She used the word “perseverate” — and Rich had earlier referenced the movie Defending Your Life — both of which I associate with Joyce. [My friend Joyce Johnson, whom I met at a Monroe Institute program in 1995, a little less than two years before she died.]
So — Joyce? Do you want to talk with me? I mean, do you have something on your mind?
You’re forgetting the first nudge that came yesterday, but yes, I do. You are hearing “Time to Say Goodbye” and tearing up. This is very good! You continue to unfreeze.
The iceberg is still melting. [Referring to my frozen emotional life.]
The iceberg is still melting, and I’m so glad for you. It’s a tremendous burden to carry around so long, and there is no need.
You know — without being insulted, I trust! — that I cannot remember what the tie between us is, when or where it was forged. But I love you so much!
Global warming isn’t all bad, Frank!
Meeting the melting of glaciers and icebergs? No, no it isn’t. Are you all right, love?
Just fine. You took care of that years ago. [A retrieval effort after she died.]
How well I remember. I don’t wish that you needed help again but I wish I could do something for you.
Do something for yourself, instead.
4:30 p.m. I am so sad, so deeply tired. Why? I feel like I want to pour all this out but I can’t actually say to anybody — it’s too hard, I can’t access this part of myself. Or – maybe I can.
Joyce, is this what you mean to help with?
Only someone on the other side will have access to all the things you can’t say, and we don’t have our own needs for you to consider.
God, that would make contact worthwhile just by itself, wouldn’t it?
But you have to be able to sit still and listen, and talk, and not run away — to the extent you are able.
Yes, that can be hard for me.
But you can do it.
All right. I’m making the attempt.
You ran away twice already but you came back. It’s just a matter of awareness and then you won’t let yourself run.
You forget that in some ways we know you better than you know yourself, because you are dealing with yourself day to day and we are dealing with the completed self even if we are talking to you at a given point, as we must do.
What is all this sadness?
Your life has been filled with the sadness of exile, has it not? You have no home even when you are home. At best you get resting places.
True enough. But by definition of what you’ve just said, it has been going on my whole life, so what’s new now?
What is new now is your openness to feel it.
Isn’t it strange? I have friends, people who love me, satisfactions, talents, and enjoyment — but there’s really more sadness and pain than anything else, even joy.
It’s best to know what is, because you can’t ever know all the players or all the roles. There’s always more going on behind the scenes than you can know. It’s enough if you can know what you feel; that will hold you to reality despite “story.”
Everything is so futile, well, except love.
Remember that you don’t have a very good vantage point to judge your life from. Most of it is just a rumor to you. It is only later that you realize what you did, what you were.