CONVERSATION WITH THE SELF

 

Laguna on a Sunday morning Oct 2012

Why are you crying, my Dear?

Because everything is so poignant. So poignant. The morning light through the white paper blinds stuns me…especially in the living room where the floor-to-ceiling windows face east.

And THAT makes you cry?

Yes. The majesty of east, facing east, looking eastward…holy, regal, primal light one bows to, bows down to, kneels and prays to and…in the end…faces one’s gravestone to in a perpetual offering of thanks to that which never ends.

Have you always felt this way about eastern light?

Not until I got much older. Born and raised in Southern California, as a child and clear into my 40s, I faced west. Focusing always on the Pacific Ocean. Defined by its unending presence, its unending waves, like watching a giant animal breathing, heaving, inhaling and exhaling. It was always on my right or on my left. I never thought much about east. Except when an Irish-Catholic family from Boston moved to our neighborhood and would talk about “Back East.” 

But my world was all about west. And then north when I was five to Myrtle Creek, Oregon. 

A year later, back to Southern California—south, north, south—the Pacific Ocean, the West Coast, up, down, up, down, much like the ebbing tides—and years later back north to Kneeland outside Eureka, then south to Santa Monica, and back north to Sebastopol and Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. The ocean never being too far away. 

It wasn’t till I went to Istanbul that I witnessed the power and importance of east. The daily calls to prayer. Always facing east. 

Not that I didn’t love a sunrise but I just never thought about the fact it came from the east. Sunsets mesmerized me, and all things west 

(though, ironically, I became engrossed early on with Eastern religions).

And then, instead of moving vertically, north and south, I made a horizontal move eastward to Texas—far, far away from the 

West Coast—back towards where my ancestors came from, them migrating westward, ever westward since the 1600s. 

Are you happy or sad about that?

Well, it’s been 25 years since I made that move…but I do miss the Pacific Ocean…and used to long to be back there…but it hasn’t worked out that way. I visit once a year if possible…but I go back home to Texas. It’s all perfect. Beauty and nature are everywhere. The sunrise is testament to that. The silent majesty of the sun slowly appearing each new day, right on schedule. Unfailing. Unrelenting. Her pinkness unrivaled, unmatched. Rising regally, her very appearance emanating omnipotence. 

Just like the ocean. 

Rumi wrote:

I am not from the East

or the West,

not out of the ocean

or up from the ground,

not natural or ethereal,

not composed of elements at all.

I do not exist…

My place is placeless,

a trace of the traceless.

Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved…

Read more poetry!

 

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