Hello friends. Instead of waiting for the Big Spiritual Passion to return before writing, I thought I’d share what it’s like waking up from a long stretch in the mundane. We all have fallow seasons. Why not honor them?
The waiter at the 24-hour diner is in a good mood. He is chipper. It’s too early in the morning to have any customers yet he’s waiting for me at the door, menu in hand with a smile on his face like he’s got a secret. This makes me happy.
I hope it’s because he woke up next to the right person this morning. But now I’ve heard him giggle. He might be on the spectrum. The wonderful spectrum where the stars are brighter and innocence is somehow ever-present.
I tell him that it seems he really likes it here.
He says, “I sure do! It’s like my second home.”
I tell him I am looking for another job and he says, “You should apply here.”
I half laugh, then cut the knee-jerk condescension I sensed in myself, hoping I did it before he noticed and say, “Maybe I will.”
The cook is bitching about another one of the cooks that doesn’t show up. His campadre, an older woman, is trying to remind him to be grateful for having a job. He doesn’t want to hear it.
Each time she cuts in with advice, he says, “I know. I know. I know.”
But he’s really mad.
She says, “You have to focus on your own work because if you don’t, someone else will take those hours. They’ll take that money.
He says, “You’re right. You’re right. You’re right.”
The waiter yells under the heat lamps, “She just doesn’t want to work here!” And he laughs. I’ve been having my meal and he’s come over with the check because his shift is almost through.
“Ohhh! ” I say. “You’re tired!” I was trying not to assume that a waiter at a diner is taking drugs.
The morning crew is showing up and the rhythm of the diner is kicking in. The cooks have switched from English to Spanish.
I get my to-go container and it’s the most horrific thick plastic. I tell the waiter I think I might be going to the third circle of hell for it. He tells me I’ll be okay.
I’m stalling inside my car because he’s come out of the store and I want to know more. He gets in his car and I resist the urge to follow him. I’m behind him at the driveway. He turns left and I just miss his bumper sticker. It has the words We are witches.. but I can’t get the end part so I don’t know if it’s a joke or if he’s really a witch. I could go back tonight when he’s back at work and read it. I don’t think he’s autistic. He might not even be on drugs. He’s just a really incredible person.
It’s easier to say these things without knowing the details so we can enjoy the story – without getting so deep into it that we run into trouble.
There is a lesson here for me in how fucking condescending I can be. I should take an example from my elder. He never gives advice to me even when I’m trying to pry it out of him. One should never give advice unless solicited, is what they say. If he wrote it (which he would not), it would sound like One should never give advice. He even joked about it yesterday and said to me , “If you’re ever looking for advice again, now you know the person not to call.”
In case you’ve wondered why I’m up so unspeakably early, it’s because the Spirits told me to go watch the crows this morning. It’s two days before Summer Solstice and I’ve been saying again and again that I gotta go out and see the crows because it’s off-season and I want to know how many there are. I tried to go back to bed, but I got a kick. I said out loud “Really?”
And then I hightailed it to the roost.
As I was getting into my car, I was noticing that it was my gut that was directing my decisions. It wasn’t a mental projection I needed to manifest like everybody’s yelling at you to do. It was instinct – and this is the first time I’ve enjoyed writing in over a year.
I love the edges of things. Twilight, back roads, off-hours. Lots of people stay up late for the same reasons, thinking they’re special but us morning people, we get it. It’s not just wildlife that becomes more pronounced. All creatures come out. Human personalities reveal themselves. There’s more magic, more to discover.
I’m at the beach and it’s practically raining, just the way I like it. Now that I’ve watched all the crows disappear from their roost, I’m back closer to the city and there they are, yelling, continuing on their morning. These surfer shoes from Hawaii are perfect for walking on Pacific Northwest rocky beaches and getting your feet wet.
“It doesn’t have to hurt to be good, Jen.”
I had a manager tell me that over twenty years ago and it’s still there like a billboard in my mind revealing more layers of the same truth. I think when things are hard, it makes me feel more proud when I accomplish them. But the same things that I worked so hard on before, I can just do. Life without drama is some kind of peace.
Progress Note #1: There are some things that I just do now, instead of making it a big deal and having to win a victory, so I can tell myself I did a good job.
I might be too hard on myself with this one. It may have truly hurt before. What’s missing now is the passion in the completion. My notion is that I will have passion about different things and these will become menial tasks. I’m mostly talking about work but I also noticed this in the house. For instance, cleaning the kitchen.
Progress Note #2: When I have a new thought or meaningful experience, I don’t assume I’m the only one having it. I think of all the other people thinking the same thing. This is important not only because I feel less alone but because it takes me out of that special club of people that think they are better than everyone else.
Progress Note #3: There is a new glimmering shiny revelation that has arrived. I can even touch it. It might be possible that instead of either being attracted to or running like hell from addicts, I am merely not triggered. Perhaps I could even appreciate them and love them in a different way and not be pulled underwater.
People are starting to show up in the park. Meaning that there are eight cars here now and the parks department guy is finishing his chores. Time to go. Time to go back into the house. It’s true. I’m driving out. But still, there’s an older couple waltzing in the parking lot. I’m not kidding.
I’m home now, 9am, drinking the rest of my glass of wine from last night, and my wet jeans are warming by the fire. When I was at the beach, I was seeing dragons and I wanted to fall on my knees and weep to feel the magic again.
You see, the Spirits of Kindness beached me in the mundane a few years ago and left me there. I accepted the mission and I’ve learned things about myself and behaving in the world that was a long time coming but I was starting to feel a little bit abandoned. The long haul is not over, I know. I can’t jump into the flow of a passionate vocation just because I’ve completed my studies, because that flow is no longer there. I don’t even know what the vocation is anymore. I’ll have to walk a little further.
Maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s about the long game. In the meantime, I’ll treasure every speck of magic that comes my way.