My soul in silence waits- day 7- weighing in

“Those of low estate are but a breath;

those of high estate are a delusion.

Together they are lighter than a breath’

What does it mean to be weightless? For all that I am and all that I love to have no substance at all, to be, in the end, nothing?

There is, of course, freedom in that thought, a lifting of the weightiness of it all – self-importance, a ‘meaningful’ life, my life’s purpose, achievement, ‘making a difference’, “Who Am I?’ even. I think of the great sigh of release I felt when I finally understood Mary Oliver’s infamous line, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life” within the context of the rest of her poem, in which she is lying in the grass watching a grasshopper’s jaws move back and forth. The ‘ah’ of that release was deep, relief from the weight of enoughness—doing enough, being enough, good enough.

More recently, I have noticed within me that the need to be known also seems to be lifting. While once I feared leaving no trace when I departed this place, nothing to be re-membered by, today those piles of diaries could be tossed into the pyre. I suppose, then, that weightlessness has something to do with letting go of the albatross, or the burden, of being seen. I also realize somehow that my detachment from those journals of old has to do with my self having moved on from that place; something in me has already passed over. I am no longer the woman who wrote those words – 10, 20, 30 years ago. She, you see, has also become weightless as the sheets of paper upon which she scribbled.

This is not merely an exercise in the letting go of material things, though the all too common giveaway of old age has already begun for me, but in letting go of self-possession. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. This is also what it means to be human.

Perhaps my image of God, becoming diffuse as it is, is merely a mirror of my soul’s own journey within this human body, my spirit beginning to seep out from its containment within form, my sense of self leaving its seat in the ‘Vicki that I am here in this place and time’, to whom it has been attached as identity. I also am nothing. No Thing.

I ponder the one I was even a decade ago, feeling set free from her role as mother, believing that ‘now’ was surely the time when She would come alive, figure out Who She Was ‘separate from’, discover what was the ‘Gift’ she was to carry into this world. She perhaps had to come to terms with her Ego, let it release its hold, not that it was a ‘bad’ thing, but one that had passed its usefulness. Today, what felt so important to me then has no energy to animate it, no need infusing it.

No emptiness to fill? Hmmm.. how interesting is that. Who would have guessed that becoming emptier would lead to satisfaction.

Of course, even here I lie to myself, because that is what we do, even as we are blind to the fact that we are doing it, for it feels so true to us at the time. Children, we are, certain that the world is flat. Then, time shifts, and truths lift, becoming weightless too.

But, I am also invited to prayerfully imagine such a letting go of actual things– people, possessions, intangibles– to name those I care about today. To imagine them as weightless. To list ten.

My daughter. My sons. My husband. My granddaughters. My friends. My Algonquin. This beautiful earth. My home. My eyes. My mind.

And as I ponder these, there is grief. Of course. Grief bears the weight, perhaps. Love is perhaps the bind that ties, after all.

Is love merely another human quality, which will only dissipate into ether? Something in me, today at least, whispers ‘No ‘. “Love is essence’, it says. Weightless perhaps, but perhaps also the Whole of who I am—filling emptiness from hidden corner to hidden corner, nay, spreading out, expanding beyond boundaries of form.

Perhaps this is what it means to be weightless.

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