Another night in the series of many recently where awakeness occurs between 2 and 6 in the morning.
Simply a sign that change is occurring through me. Unsettling me, slowly turning me upside-down and like a bowl full of confetti the pieces all float to the ground as the bowl empties itself, and then continues turning.
I don’t know what will be in it when it rights itself – it’s still in the upside-down right now.
The upside-down isn’t comfortable. It’s awake every day at 3am for starters.
It has the constant presence of children to entertain even though there’s none of our usual stuff to do. Except dog walks which seem to have gone from something that were done together at weekends as a way of connecting to some form of enforced daily exercise torture – worthy of many many hours of negotiation and tiresome bargaining.
It holds a listlessness and a losing of the mojo – both of which are intolerable to my personal mind.
It has an instability and an unknown floorless feeling to it with new of second waves and shortages of food and medicines and in my darkest hours, permanent home-schooling.
But all of that’s somehow OK.
It’s just what happens in the upside-down periods in our lives – the transitions.
These past few months for all of us, I believe, have offered us an opportunity to re-calibrate.
To allow ourselves to be turned upside-down if we’ve allowed it.
The alternative? Pretending ‘everything’s getting back to normal, this was a temporary blip, when can I go to the shops again?’.
That or booze in the hope that when we sober up this will all be over.
In my experience, attempts at the former, and a dawning realisation that the world will never be the same as it was.
The resisting of the upside-down, the denial of it, the dawning realisation of the futility of the battle against it and more so now the sinking into the welcoming of it.
It doesn’t make the being in it any more pleasant.
We’re like a caterpillar, in the process of butterfly-becoming, but in the bit in the middle there’s nothing but a dissolving of the previous form into caterpillar soup before butterflies can appear.
But there’s beauty on the other side, I know it in my bones.
In fact….it’s right here, right now.
There is, because there never hasn’t been – it’s always been there but we’ve slowly slipped into unconscious behaviours and misunderstandings and we’ve forgotten it’s right there for the taking.
Life has a way of waking us up to what its true nature.
It offers us a pause on our normal activities and a time to reflect.
A reviewing of priorities and a seeing that the old ones were fucked-up somehow and it being impossible to create new ones for the future because we simply don’t know what that is.
The seeing of what weird things we appear to be doing that don’t make sense whether our mojo is functioning or not.
Online coffees, creative projects when we ‘should’ be focussing on ensuring our future incomes, getting new kittens.
Life forces a wearing of masks. No longer can we wander absentmindedly through a shopping centre, staring at our phones, not seeing the people around us, mindlessly shopping to fill the void while surfing facebook at the same time.
Now completely impossible.
We have to put the phones down. We have to look into the eyes of other humans to acknowledge we’ve seen them and are respectful of their desire for distance. We have to think what we actually want badly enough to risk our health to shop for. We have to think about what we want before we pick it up and handle it. We have to make eye contact with the cashier as we try to communicate with our eyes when the rest of our face is covered and our voices aren’t clear.
An invitation to absolute presence.
If we’re up for seeing what the upside-down has to offer us.
In that presence, it becomes so obviously apparent where life would like to invite us to reflect.
On our relationship with our children. With work. With friends. With health. With food. With nature. With money. With what’s constant and unchanging despite apparent flux and change.
And with that comes peace with the 3ams, the listlessness and lack of somewhere to hang our hats and feel certain.
The OK with the not OK.
And an openness and presence to listening to what life wants us to see about itself.
This blog is my exploration of that.