On Yoga & Walking with Beauty

snow:walk in new englandOn Yoga & Walking with Beauty

It was one more of my winters of discontent, not quiet ever made glorious. It was one more of my visions that snaked around and quietly became a narrative of thoughts that were rendered in a loose organization of beliefs. Most of the beliefs have been pounded into place, nailed down—as if permanence was ever any part of the human condition.

Literature, Psychoanalysis, Art, Writing, Philosophy, they all came before Yoga arrived. By the time that I met up with Yoga, I had become afraid of it, like I had become afraid of my soul, my spirit and just as important; I had become afraid of my body. I ran from all sensations expecting that if I ran fast and far enough I would eventually run into the world of the not-me and there would be rescued from myself.

Crazy, yes, but all too normal for many of us who listen to irrational fear more readily than we listen to our bodies and our-selves—our multitude of selves that make up our authenticities.

I was a good runner. My mind ran fast and fierce and furious and even rage-fully. All the while my body sat idle content to be a directionless vessel, a directionless cradle that lulled me into regressive, negative unions with my frustration, my behemoth stress that would attack me with fear. My regressive attachments that pulled me, with all the weight of gravity, lower and lower until my mind fell to rest deep in the unconscious region of my existence.

It was a very lonely place before it became solitude. Some say that solitude is a cure for loneliness. It may be, because my many illusions and beliefs seem so unnecessary in my solitude. In my solitude, I learned that it was never meant to be permanent, that my rolling towards death was indeed the most natural element, the foundation of my evolution. And, if I am attempting to stop that process, I am sure to be less successful than the little Dutch Boy was at holding back the sea.

Nonetheless, not fighting my evolution is a different process than not fighting for my health. Despite a career in psychoanalysis, and despite my devotion to health, the most recent winter of my discontent drove home where I was missing the mark. I resisted the practice of the mind-body connection while throughly embracing the philosophy and the theories being spun for me by the mind—the allusive, non organic mind that exist between and among my tissues, sinews, and physically discernible organs.

Before the most recent winter had set in, there was a wonderfully nagging thought that I enjoyed having. It occurred to me, or appeared to me in the form of a sentence. “I have never been betrayed by Beauty.” Emerson jumped into the picture with the line, “Beauty is its own excuse for being.”

What felt interesting to me about these sentences was the immediacy of their truths. Having been myself forever a truth-seeker; my spirit, my encompassing, entire-self, with its connections to the earth and the atmosphere were satisfied. For some, maybe even for many, satisfaction is not a mental and emotional concern. Instead, many of us are intrigued by the delicious sensations of sweet revenge, or instant gratification.
Certainly that is one kind of satisfaction. Western Civilization, especially here in America,  moves us with a great deal of guidance from schools and corporate systems toward success. Success is the goal, and riding in on its coat tails, we envision that along with a plaque that reads, “SUCCESS” we will become happy. But ‘plaque’ along with its definition as an ornamental tablet of commemoration, is also a sticky deposit of waste that adheres to our teeth and the lining of our veins and arteries. A plaque, or plaque in general, is not a one-way street to satisfaction. As sweet as satisfaction is, it is not a guarantee for contentment, and certainly not a guarantee for good health.

Beauty, truth, kindness, vulnerability, psychoanalysis and yoga, compound-complex thoughts that grow entwined with each other in a kind of inter-disciplinary evolution, each creating a renewed sense of hope, a new version of, “In the beginning there was the word.”


In the Beginning

The beginning, though met with some fear, always provides for the possibility of the unimaginable, a quick vision of a distant evolution so far away from where we end that space and time combined do not yet reach.  The exact, extreme, extent of our personal human condition, beckons truth seekers.  Those of us riddled with a narcissism of hope are like Faust making his bargain with the devil, the voices that emerge the loudest, and the most seductive, are not of necessity a bargain at all.  What is it worth a man to have gained his mind, and in the process lost his body.

The word had always been a source of motivation.  But, what of the wordlessness that we hear screaming as pain from the body, can we pay attention and hear the call of the wild- primitive within?  Can we close our eyes and see the tissues and the bones and how they flex or not?  Can we really be flexible if all we are willing to flex is the wordy ego?

I have the answer that I need.  The body is as important as the soul. They are siblings, identical twins, separated only by their unique desires; each twin needing as much as the other.  Eventually they no longer dress alike, separated but still identical, the body needs the mind’s attention and the mind needs the body’s attention.  They have become strangers, they have moved away from each other and while still connected as identical they no longer know each other.  There is a silent yearning, a longing for a sense of wholeness.

Beauty and Truth are these kind of siblings.  We remain confident that beauty never betrays us, but we doubt the truth of their oneness.  We doubt the truth of our one-ness, and from this position of doubt, we adopt a perspective born out of fear of the unknown.  The mind becomes our world and the body is left untethered.  It is the body, not the soul that is in need of knowing god.  The soul already knows about the infinite connections between things.  The body needs a reminder and we do not get that reminder from a wordy ego, we get that reminder from hearing within as much as seeing within.

It is a new season now and the winter of my most recent discontent is passed.  I am bathing in the newness of spring for one more season.  My home is my sanctuary.  My body holds my consciousness in.  I am breathing with new air and fear recedes as courage increases in complete proportion to each other, giving a whole new meaning to “self-help”.

A.L. Dussault

Charlestown, Rhode Island



Are We Looking for God

Are We Looking for God

I want to write in my blog because the last few weeks have been so packed with enjoying life that i have forgotten to write anything. I am not sure what that means yet, but I wanted to get it on paper that from my vantage point, at this moment and with the age that I have arrived at, being content with two to three swims a day in a massively turbulent ocean has been as helpful as running the clothes through an old wringer washing machine. I feel cleansed and squeezed dry of all aspirations and have found myself content with meditation, mindfulness & good food.
Tumbling around in a warm ocean while sitting in a tropical depression is not the kind of depression that I am use to dealing with. The depression associated with climate seems predictable and even fun, while the depression that enters the mind like a starving termite enters a piece of wood is entirely too profound to be considered when sitting in the sun. That’s an essay for another day.

Just to make sure that I drive the point home to my readers, I am trying to make you envious. I am wanting you to feel jealous of this respite in the salted, sun drenched stretch of beach known to the Treasure Coast as Surfer Beach. In addition to every one being 19 or 27 and gorgeous, the beach is nearly deserted for miles. The sand is a soft white sand that warmly pushes up through your toes as you drift down toward the turbulent sea, and the glistening beads of water that give everything an emerald and sapphire coloring, erupt from everywhere.

I took Maddie for a walk and a swim this morning and she went her own way and i did not see her again for 40 minutes or so. Eventually she found her way back to me, smelling like a wet dog, covered in beach sand with her tongue hanging out saying–water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. We meandered back to the the house and she lapped at the water from the out door shower as I rinsed the encrusted sand from everywhere.

One last point in this short post. I want to emphasize that I deserve this contentment with life. First, I worked for it. But most important I not only worked at this, but I studied and researched this. I mean happiness does not come on a whim and it is not securely given like a plaque or a gold star. It is a success that must be cultivated all the time. This does not mean that the cultivation need to be hard dirty work, some might be, but for the most part, happiness comes from knowing how your mind operates and then putting into practice what needs to be done over and over again in order to achieve the richness and the crispness that gives life its colors. Mindfulness, the creating of an awareness that you are somewhere in there doing the experiencing is crucial to feeling a sense of well-being. I am much more than the sum total of my ego.

Mindfulness and well-being go hand in hand. And, weather you approach this from a psychoanalytic perspective, a Zen perspective or a spiritual perspective, each perspective leads to the same end. Enjoying the journey, remembering that the process is as important as the outcome, and above all recalling yourself time and time again to the knowledge of the sensation that is the moment–this is the way forward.

I re-read parts of zen bible while I was here enjoying life and what struck me most was that it was offering a formula and that it seemed to be saying follow this formula and you will be given the way. It sounds christian. Maybe it is. I mean I think that what ever it is that we find, at some level most of us want to call this God. It is difficult to say you believe in God while at the same time professing to be a scientist. But in the long run the two are not incompatible. The Great Spirit, The Universe, Consciousness, A Higher power, The Light Within–these all have in common that they are a substitute for the word God which had become so over used by religion than many of us had to abandon the word because it was just too confusing to reconcile a bearded man on a thrown with a staff in one hand and a globe in the other with what in the 21st century we have come to know as a source of energy. In a way happiness has more to do with physics than any other academic discipline.

The energy of a positive attitude, Norman Vincent Peale aside–is what we are looking for. We are looking for God. We want to find that place internally or externally that feeds us with a sense of peace and a sense of serenity and a believing and an allowing for the good in the world to flow through us. So, if we are in college, in school or in church or in a monastery; or if we are in a lab or an orphanage or a hospital, we are seeking comfort. God gives us that comfort even if how we understand this is that our internal awareness coaches us toward life giving, life affirming events. I can skip a great deal of angsts and simply say: Thank God, this has been a wonderful vacation.

‘Tis a gift to be simple. As I begin to pack and put myself back together to get myself back to the office and to what i do for a living, I do this mindful that I have been blessed with a very deliberate opportunity. My life’s work is searching. I search for myself and for those who i love. I search and help people to organize themselves in such a way that they they will come to understand exactly how their particular mind works. And in discovering they will begin a practice that will help them to discover the divine within, not just once but over and over agin many times a day. Reflection on the moment is the best defense against an ego hell bent on robbing us of joy. As i become mindful that the experience of now is the breath of life, I can let go of some of the aspirations that are overwhelming, and let myself flow gently down the stream of life, anticipating that my needs will be met if i am in touch with my instincts as well as with my ego.

It amounts to a belief that we can indeed trade in fear for joy and gratitude and that this is a fair trade for everyone involved.

Dr. A. L. Dussault,



A Month in the Sub-Tropics

It is always the inner conflict that is most painful.  A short definition of pain might be in order.  This is what is currently on Wiki, “Pain is “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.”[1] It is the feeling common to such experiences as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting iodineon a cut, and bumping the “funny bone“.[2]

Well that sort of does away with my premise.  When we talk about pain in psychological terms we are not referring to the “bumping the funny bone,” we are referring to another kind of discomfort that is associated with not liking something very much.  I very much do not like ambivalence and because of that, I refer to my conflict as a kind of psychic pain.  A bumping of a kind of mental funny bone.  But from this perspective the entire idea of pain is a metaphor.

When we talk about all pain being an inner conflict, I think we are talking about a pain that is not necessarily connected to tissue and to nerve endings.  The pain that is associated with inner conflict comes from the essential characteristic of fear.  Fear leads to a kind of pain because it introduces a certain chemistry within that has us imagining pain.  As we begin to calculate how awful something will be or how awful something was, we tend to call that association pain because it has in common with physical pain the notion that we do not like it at all.

Coming out as an artist is often painful for people.  Coming out as an artist is big business for the soul and all too often the ego does not want to encourage this idea and it begins an internal dissent.  The ego fights back with words, “you are not an artist, you are not a writer!”  There is a deflating vengeance that the ego can have toward we changing a mental construct about ourselves.

This winter I am in the sub-tropics giving myself an artistic interlude.  I am here to make peace with my inner conflict, to subside the psychic pain involved with reinventing myself at the age of sixty-five.  I am here to gently nudge my soul away from the precepts of the ego that tries to steer me away from becoming comfortable with a new me.

The idea is not so much to convince myself of an identity.  I can do that very well on my own in my traditional settings.  The idea is more one of convincing myself that authenticity is itself a form of joy and a form of success & that I need to practice authenticity internally as well as I need to sell it to others externally.  I feel prepared to let myself be a creative writer.  I have allowed the thought to simmer now for some time and I think the sauce is ready. Listening to the small inner whisper, the internal voice that is meek like that of a child’s, gives my soul a hint of the permission it needs to eventually amplify that voice into it own authenticity.

As I think about the process of authenticity i find that there is as much letting go as there is newness involved.  Letting-go of deliberate outcomes in exchange for accepting things as they are provides us with enough faith to believe that change will occur when it is time for it to occur.  The caterpillar  has no intention of becoming a butterfly. When it is time the metamorphose will happen.

This deliberate letting go of outcome, I find difficult to reconcile with my egoic self that has always be so directive and controlling about what i want and how I propose to get it.  The simple idea of letting the world happen to me requires that I have a faith in a process that I have little to no experience with.  I am here in the sub-tropics letting the world happen to me and I am finding that it is equally difficult to call myself a writer even when that is all that I am doing with my life.  The ego gets up with me every morning and when it hears the sound of the pounding surf several hundred feet away it begins instantly to command and make demands on me that sounds more like the voice of a drill Sargent than it does that of a gentle nudge.

The aspect of my creativity that I have long postponed was that I thought I needed to know where i was wanting to go.  I thought that the desire had to lead in the way of a guide rather that in the manner of a muse.  In fact i am discovering that my creativity resides much more in the concept of allowing myself to be authentic in the moment than it does about knowing directions.  Who I am and what is important to my life happens in a moment by moment manner and there are days that I wake up discouraged in myself just as there are days that i wake up feeling enlightened and even wise.

In most of my professional life I have surrounded myself with intelligent, scientific types.  I have enjoyed using the phrase research fellow as it enhanced my idea of value.  i do not want in any way to have to dismantle those ideas and those times, but I do want to add a different flavor to my repertoire.  I am encouraging my soul to listen to the sound of the pounding surf and i am encouraging myself to think and to use words in ways that are not necessarily accurate; rather they are used to convey feelings, to create portraits & landscapes that are pleasing to the soul.

more on consciousness & creativity

Waking up in an environment that is as stunningly beautiful as this one is, I can not help but be drawn to topics that interest me at the core.  In the context of abject silence, blanketed by wildflowers, tall oaks and wind breezing through tall pines, all captured in an aroma of earth and sea, I love to contemplate aesthetics and specifically consciousness.

What and who am I?  I mean what about who I am gives me the capacity to appreciate and call something beautiful or to call something love.  The context is a plot of land minutes away from the sea and from ice ponds on the piece of land that we New Englanders call The Vineyard.  There must be several acres of pristinely cultivated land that yields not only the brightest of red tomatoes, but also is dotted and spotted with more colors than the eye can count.  All this is set in silence.  I can not hear any human made sound.  No lawn mowers, no leaf blowers, no exhaust, no fumes, no a trace of human activity that is anything but throughly respectful to sustaining the environment.  Even the water is heated by the sun.  Birds flutter and tweet and the breeze blows through a sun drenched screened-in porch.

Can you tell that I am happy?  Can you tell that I am in love?

I am keenly aware that the setting and the people here are all contributing to an exuberance that is not always possible while existing in the hum-drum aspects of my ordinary life.  I do not have a big-life, and ordinarily  I am scarcely aware of that fact; but today, here and by juxtaposition, I am experiencing the fact that both quantity and quality effect my days and my moods of consciousness.

I am attempting to experience a visceral understanding of being as opposed to knowing.  I find that when I sit with the attempt to meditate that I do not want to pull myself away from the beauty and the sensations of delight that are running through me.  I do not want to trade in the experience of exhilaration for the experience of stillness.  As I pondered this, I began to wonder if I was perhaps understanding a greater resistance.  Meditating is difficult for me, but also for many people.  And when people talk about the difficulties with meditating they usually talk about a condition where they are unable to simply stay focused on the moment and their mind drifts to thoughts or visions or concepts and ideas, more exciting than stillness or breath.

The desire to run away from the stillness might be the same in this moment as it is in any other moment.  I do not want to leave my dialogue.  I do not want to leave my persona and the experiences it is creating in the moment in order to experience a moment of  “simply” pure consciousness.

Pure consciousness  is a form of being that is removed from the egoic perceptions, including the perceptions that are specifically created as a direct result of our linguistic competence.  If my egoic self is the result of evolution and if by extension my persona–who I tell myself I am, is a product of that evolution, then it would seem that meditating is actually a return to a more primitive aspect of the human condition.  Essentially meditating looked at this way is a regression to not only an earlier aspect of my life, but, indeed a return to a less evolved human condition that existed prior to humans linguistic.

To void oneself of thought, one has to be able to turn off the portion of the mind that creates thought.  If we think of this in terms of location we are saying that in order to meditate one has to be able to get away from who one has decided that one is to a place in the mind where the ego is not functioning.  This place is perhaps more akin to experiencing nothingness than it is to a location.  But for sake of language, let’s say for a moment that the ego evolved or grew out of the brain as a cluster of activities that allowed one to categorize and synthesize events and experiences.  As this ego grew both from the macro point of view and from the micro point of view, it became associated with learning about the world that it was born into.

I am firmly convinced that my dog is capable of the same experience of lying in a spot of sun at home in my city apartment as well as it capable of enjoying a spot of sun in this idyllic Vineyard environment.  To be honest, that is not the experience that I have.  There are conscious moments during which I seek out an aesthetic environment in order to be able to experience more joy and more exuberance that I can find in my “ordinary” life.

In other words, in order to facilitate my experience of joy, I create conditions in which joy is more able to be allowed in to consciousness.  So here, this morning, sitting in a porch with the sea breeze and the colors of the world dancing in my senses, it is much easier for me to relax into a kind of state that is absolutely wonderful.  From where did this joy come.  It seems unlikely that it actually comes from the setting as much as it comes from my allowing the setting to be absorbed in a particular fashion that then registers as exhilaration.  Aspect of consciousness that are not being impinged upon by ordinary responsibilities, are open to the wider sensation of being because my more primitive senses are more acute than they might be in a less idyllic setting.

So, have I suspended higher, more elaborate forms of consciousness as I allow myself to relax into a cradle of pleasant sensations.  At least, I think that I have.  But it may be less that I have escaped from the egoic persona as much as it a different concentration that is providing this moment of joy.

I seem to have closed down avenues that  in another setting would bring me closer to synthetic thinking and instead I am simply contemplating the experience of the pure sensations and because they are each so pleasant, I do not have a requirement to “do” something with them.  Instead I am simply able to feel the experience which is a more elementary human condition than is complex thinking.

At the same time, the aesthetics of the location are so stunning that they open up a new rivulet of consciousness that is unchartered and therefore more amenable to creativity.  My consciousness is both elevated and suppressed at the same moment.  I am aware of the simplicity of being and also am gratified by the experience that this simplicity offers in terms of being able to have progressive or new combinations of experience leading to my openness to creativity as opposed to my being open to the routine to my ordinariness.

My being able to suspend my customary dialogue about who I am, about what persona has evolved with me since my early years of existence, allows me to use the same circuitry that I use to navigate my environment in a new and creative manner making it seem to me that I am existing outside my persona.  In actuality all that I am doing is being or existing outside of my habit or routine.  And this fact is so delightful to my consciousness that i think I am in a different state.

It may be that I am not in a different state at all, rather I may be using an unfamiliar combinations of circuitry.  The same set of circuitry that creates my ego, but rearranged in an unfamiliar pattern–the new unfamiliar pattern my be what I call my creativity.

Nonetheless, the experience of creativity is a sound mechanism for me to be able to use to exit my narcissistic ego.  As I move from one state to the other–location, or circuitry–I find within my frame of reference a newly born capacity to rearrange either negative thinking or bad-habit thinking, or simply ordinary routine thinking into a sort of synthesized newer version of the old egoic me.  Because this feels so good, I am able to label it well-being and with Practice I am able to remember this sensation of well-being and with low-key effort I can call on this remembered-wellness most any time that I want to.

In a future essay i will take up some of the reasons why this remembered wellness is only available most of the time and try to shed some insight on how we can increase the number of times and situations that this remembered state is available.

The vitality of Blood Pressure

Vitality–dreams are made up of this stuff, these chemicals that come together in a alchemist sort of way.  Faith & Hope are sacred words, part of the potion that swirls and whirls around the inside of our minds and settles in a peaceful sort of knowing that renders us completely at ease with whatever is.

Whatever is is not the same as our response to whatever is.  Is-ness is different from our response to what is.  And Vitality is a key component to our happiness.  I feel like I am all over the place tonight.  In part my biology is playing with my psychology. And interestingly, earlier my psychology was playing with my biology.

I had a rather benign procedure earlier today.  But it was complicated enough that I elected to have it done in the O.R. rather than in my doctor’s office.  That was a wise choice on my part, despite the difficulty I had convincing the doctor that I was not about to allow anyone to “take-that-route” without anesthesia.  As much as I am fond of the here and now there are some things I would just rather not be present for.

While recuperating from the O-R ordeal, I got a e mail from a patient.  He wanted to know if love really existed. And further, why bother if in the end there are no promises. I answered her with the following:

“Let me do the best i can,”  — “as I am still under anesthesia, from the cyctoscopy I had earlier toady.  Hope and Faith are notions that we entertain in our minds–much like the notions of death and pain and persecution, they exist or do not subject to our will.”

The impermanence of life is a truth from the moment of conception and as well as we are able to accept that, the end of anything is a fact that is inescapable. That’s philosophy at best and biology at its worst.

What is Love?  Wow, that is a big mouthful and one that in my most sober moments I could not really take on.  What I can take on, and indeed believe in is–Vitality, drive, desire, goals and wishes…

Vitality, like well being is something that we aim for.  In a state of vitality we are able to live in the moment and are able to find beauty in a cool gust of breeze, or a ray of sunshine falling though a droplet of water or resting over the horizon.  Vitality is a feeling of well-being that I have come to “believe” in.  I trust my vitality and I trust that i will have it with me from now until my impermanence sets in.  Love is fun in living.  It is about stopping the incessant chatter and replacing that chatter with a calm and cool view of life that starts with the “notion” that I am fine and I will be fine.

I used it this morning.  I went for a procedure got to the hospital for 9:30 and proceeded to have to wait until 12:30 for my turn in the operating room.  I saw that were I to have wanted to I could have been angry. I could have been scared, I could have had just about any feeling that my thoughts could conjure up.  You see, thoughts come before feelings, and feelings precede moods.

I decided, while waiting in the sterile and overly air-conditioned cubby-hole that looked like a parking lot for gurneys than anything else,  to be quiet and to play with the blood pressure cuff that i was hooked up to.  I decided to drop my blood pressure using the monitor as feedback.  I started with a BP of about 140/80.  In about 30 minutes I had lowered my Bp to 114/60………

So. I thought,  if my BP responds, why not my emotions.  I let myself have any thought, but if the thought became doom-like and I experienced  not feeling good, I returned to concentrating on the calm and each time, it would worked.  The BP would come down.

In the bargain that I had in my mind with a former lover, I was going to die first and never have to be alone.  He was 15 years my junior. so I had a pretty good jump on this bargain, but life had twists and turns about which I knew nothing…

I could never have taken care of a dying man for five years—the universe, luck, a series of consequences or just plain—how-it-worked-out, intervened.  Impermanence always wins and if we let that fact interrupt our joy of living, then we lose out in a much greater fashion.  That is, not just lose in the end–the destination, but lose the entire process, the journey.

I am in love with life.  That feels like good-enough for me at the moment. Romantic love is like coming upon a great novel after reading several lousy books.  It is an enthusiastic response to a particular situation, a particular man or woman–or a particular moment.  Romantic love is as predictable as new england weather….I love new england weather, but do not particularly enjoy a 19 degree day in February when the drizzle turns to ice and the lovely breeze is nothing more than a damn cold northeast wind.

Love, like a warm  breeze in summer becoming a chilling wind in winter, has to be seen in context of our greater life’s purpose. To be in love with life does not mean that I love every moment of my existence–pentax up the shaft included.

My major professor while studying to become a psychoanalyst wrote a journal article entitled, “how we aim to be with patients.”  In it she describes than a variable of successful treatment lies in the analyst’s ability to “be” with the patient.  This is in juxtaposition to knowing about the patient.  She always stressed that being with the patient was a most difficult task of a beginning analysis.  Usually that was the case because the feelings and moods being presented in the consultation were feelings and moods that the analyst did not want any part of–too regressed.

As I study, most recently the phenomenon of exiting from narcissism, I am struck by the parallel process that can be found here between how we aim to be with a patient and how we aim to be with our selves.  The routine by which the excessive chatter that seems to emanate from that piece of the ego that is learned must become in alignment with our greater self.  That is to say, we have to aim for the feeling of well-being and adjust our directions in life based on how we align the ego with the self.

Vitality–or the feeling of vividly being alive ought to be able to trump any other feeling.  Vitality, as well-being, demands of our egos that they align with the greater purpose in life.  Our life mission can be at once both the destination and the journey.

But just as surly as we need to come to terms with the fact of impermanence, we need to come to terms with the fact that vitality and well-being must consciously and routinely be invited in.  We are not as likely to stumble on happiness, if we are not consciously on the look out for it.  Health, happiness and success are deliberate, not passive wishes if they are to be manifested.

Vitality, success and well-being are the emotional equivalence to blood pressure. Emotional health & romantic love need to be allowed in deliberately.

A.L. Dussault

Charlestown, R.I.

It’s Time to Wear Whites

It is the start of Memorial Day weekend in 2010.  It takes a long time for me to absorb change and I am still unsure how to say the number “2010”.  Do I call it, twenty-ten, or is it the year two-thousand and ten, maybe there are several ways to say this number, but the one thing that i am sure of is that as of today I can wear white again…

I am such a fashion hound as those of you who know me have seen.  At the very least the elastic that holds my hair back matches my jeans or the color of my sneakers.  But on Memorial Day–I love to wear white.  It is liberating to wear white.  It is saying to the world, I can eat pasta and red sauce and not drop any on me, it is saying to the sun–I will not absorb any of your vitamin – D, and most of all it is saying that summer has arrived.

The geese are back, honking their way from one side of the lake to the other, last night i heard a faint whisper of peepers in the woodland and this morning I am drinking my coffee on the deck before getting dressed….I love to love summer and at this time of the year it become my favorite season–for a while.

You see, when I have had enough of getting exactly what I want from the universe a very strange thing happens.  I find myself wanting a much simpler life.  I discover that when I am free from wanting, free from desiring anything more than the feeling that I am having in the moment, a gentle sense of contentment sets in that is a complete anti-thesis to wanting anything.  I must confess that I do have a lovely spot on earth from which to not want anything more.

You might say that where I am living now is a manifestation of what I have wanted in the years past.  My home is situated on a lake, on the side of a hill, surrounded by trees and pines and chirping birds, so you could almost say that I was already in Paradise.  Based on the idea that what I have, I have manifested because some where in the past I have set myself up to receive this; based on that idea I have created my current universe out of the universe that I was born into.  For Star-Trek fans it will be easy to understand.  I have walked through the doors of the “holideck” and I am arrived at the vacation that I am taking from the rest of the fleet.

You might thing that I was talking about manifesting an illusion, but that is not really the case.  Rather, I have taken what the low-hanging fruit are in my world and created a cornucopia filled with the fruit that I like and it is here around me for me to participate in–to what ever extent that I allow.

In part the wearing of white must have to do with the proliferation of colors that the world supplies at this time of the year.  It is easy to be in white and to be an ensemble with anywhere you go.  Take the majestic Iris, were you to stand near the iris in any garden, who you are would be increased 100 fold simply by being near this divine creation of the universe.  As we grow into our world and shed, one thing at a time, the materials that we thought were so important, we discover that the incredible lightness of being, the simple life, is so enormously filled with abundance that we do not really need to possess as much as we have thought we needed to be happy.  Actually, the reverse begins to happen–the more we are in touch, aware, awakened to, the idea the we are a child of the universe, the more we understand that what we need we carry with us.

We are fortunate.  If you are reading this essay–you are fortunate, because it means that you have a computer at your disposal, you have electricity to generate it, and you have education behind you to be able to read and absorb the words.  You are fortunate because you very birth right has placed you in a location where–to more or less, you have the opportunities of a free and abundant world.  You are free to continue reading this, free to go into the world and drink a coffee or a tea and probable free to buy the morning paper and a muffin and turn on the radio and listen to the events happening in the world.

There is a kind of freedom that we have that we take for granted.  I am free to wear white in summer.  I am wealthy enough to own a pair of linen slacks and a silk shirt and a hat to cover my head from the sun beating down.  I am free to engage in conversation and I am free to isolate myself and turn my attention to the remnants of yesterday still lingering in my mind.  I am free to turn my attention to tomorrow, to later today.  I am free to create fantasy, generate desires, engage regrets or simple establish myself in the mystical moment of now.

NOW, is the time to wear white.  Now is the time to relinquish the aspects of you that are cumbersome.

Just think–for the next thirty-seconds, right now, right here in the middle of reading this essay, you can stop and ring a bell in your heart and listen to the sound of the chime as it rises and falls back into obscurity, and as you do this you can breath and clear your mind of any thoughts for just a few seconds and you will awaken to a simpler you………………………………..

“Love is not love if alteration is does find………..”  A Shakespeare sonnet begins with that line and it might as well apply to the whole of the universe as well as to a lover.  When I accept the world for what it is, I find a happier me able to establish myself in the moment and absorb the wealth of the world at my disposal.

You can wear white just about anywhere…