Strange, beautiful, wonderful day; sights and tastes and conversations with strangers, and after all of it, I find myself at home, secure and comfortable, safe from the world – and from myself, which is a new thing to explore.

It’s been building for a couple of days, this strange juxtaposition of new learning and new experiences, this willingness to let go and allow life to unfold, fearlessly. I am unconcerned with whether it ‘is real’ or if it will last longer than now. It’s now. I am here, in this precious lovely moment, after this delightful day, and it feels so effortless to contemplate the quiet of evening ahead. This is nice. I hope to repeat it (the feeling, in general, I mean – the moment has been enough on its own, and unrepeatable).

Today I awoke at an odd time, later than usual, but ahead of the alarm – itself set for an out of the ordinary time of morning. My routine was in tatters before I ever woke, and knowing that when I descended into sleep the night before, I woke unconcerned about it.  I made two lattes, and enjoyed a morning of intimate, gentle conversation with a partner already awake for the day, and left with a smile near to the time I needed to, imprecise and free from chronological bondage, to catch the train to an appointment. A hair cut, and a manicure later, I headed for my last errand, thoroughly enjoying the day and feeling very pampered.

Today the world felt filled with possibilities.

Today the world felt filled with possibilities.

What made today so rare, so extraordinary? Well, for one thing, the sun shined like …well… something brilliant and without adequate words. I enjoyed all manner of odd experiences along the path of my day-that-routine-forgot. My morning was unscripted. My haircut is different – on a whim. I got my nails done somewhere I’d never been. I had a bite of breakfast at an odd little stand-up cafe wedged among the food carts; it was very early and I munched my breakfast sandwich standing alongside a small throng of ‘the unwashed masses’ panhandling for a shot at a sandwich. It was a very good sandwich, and the conversation wasn’t bad, either.   I had a maple cinnamon latte at a cafe obviously frequented by artists – I’d never been there, but the conversations swirling around me in the background were a giveaway. Later, as I headed home, I saw a SuperHero cross the street, quite properly, at the cross walk and head into a small pharmacy. I wasn’t surprised, which did surprise me. A block or two along the way, I spotted another, then another SuperHero – tights, spandex, cape, all of it.  I don’t always think to question the extraordinary. This was definitely one of those times. It was many miles and minutes later before I thought to wonder – SuperHeroes? Why were there SuperHeroes?

I was offered an earnest moment of self-awareness and perspective, along with the fun of the day.  To reach my last destination, I walked across the Burnside bridge.

The least interesting view of the Burnside bridge.

The least interesting view of the Burnside bridge.

To do so, I had to carefully make my way through huddled groups, tribes, clans, of homeless people finding what comfort they can, where they are permitted to do so. Years ago, I’d have felt invisible passing between and around them, camouflaged by my own indifference to their privation, and mine. More recently, I might have averted my eyes, instead, hoping to avoid interaction, and allow what little dignity I had to offer through my lack of observation. Today I felt humbled; aware that I’d just had my hair and nails done, a recent shower in a safe and secure home of my own, an exceptional cup of coffee and a nutritious breakfast, and very aware of what a privilege that actually is.

Not generally SuperHeroes, but mathematically likely they may be, sometimes.

Not generally SuperHeroes, but mathematically likely they may be, sometimes.

On the train home, I continued my reading (Buddha’s Brain). The books about mindfulness are piling up. Some take a practical perspective. Some take a poetic tone. Some are quite spiritual, but striving to distance themselves from religion. Others are about the science. I am still a student, of life, of love – of mindfulness. I still have PTSD. I am still a survivor of trauma, and of a brain injury. I’m still headed for menopause.  While those things are parts of my experience I’m willing to identify as ‘facts’, I am also no longer utterly dominated by them. I’m learning. I’m studying. Bit by bit, I seem to be gaining on real wellness and balance. I hope I never find myself taking them for granted when I have them – and it does look like ‘when’ now, more than ‘if’. I wish I could share it. It’s all in print, in every one of these books. Each book telling the tale in a slightly different way, with different words, and different authors of different traditions and styles of communication. It’s all there, though. Mindfulness. Meditation. Practice.

Practice.

Practice.

Practice.

It’s not about ‘practice makes perfect’. There is no perfect. No need of perfect. There is only practice. A bit at a time I am catching on to the idea that the journey itself is the thing to attend to.

Along the way, more practice.

Along the way, more practice.

Today, I face the world with a beginner’s mind. Today I am compassionate. Today I am tender. Today I am changing the world.  Here it comes.