Sunday, April 15, 2012

Presence is not a thing of the past.

Have you heard the one about...?

A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her. The senior monk carried this woman on his shoulder, forded the river and let her down on the other bank. The junior monk was very upset, but said nothing. They both continued walking and the senior monk noticed his junior’s silence and asked, “Is something the matter? You seem very upset.” The junior monk replied, “As monks, we are not permitted a woman.  How could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?” The senior monk replied, “I left the woman a long time ago at the bank. However, you seem to be carrying her still.”

My last couple of weeks has given me a lot to carry and the opportunity to put some things down and let them go.

I took some time over Easter to visit family and friends back East.  It was glorious.  I needed a break and I got to indulge in some of my favourite pastimes – spend quality time with my parents, work for a whole day in my sister’s garden, help my brother build a split-cedar-rail fence, eat fabulous home-cooked meals, and perform at a local venue with my musical buddies.

I came back and hit the ground running (with jet lag), and immediately had to make some decisions about next steps for Presence (my beautiful little home away from home – my store in Horseshoe Bay).  My new lease had been drawn up for me to sign and there was a sense of urgency to get it done within a short period of time.  My new landlord is a long-time friend.  What she was asking for rent was more than I was able to commit to (even though I knew it was fair market value) and the prospect of having to close the business became a reality.  To say that I was devastated is an understatement.  And that it was at the hands of a close friend was deeply upsetting. I was in a perfect karmic storm. 

I found myself in the middle of an extremely uncomfortable situation (sleepless nights, a 3-day-long migraine, potential loss of a friendship, business, livelihood, and reputation in my ’hood).  In the depths of my initial despair, my worst-case scenario was that I would lose everything and have to re-create myself.  (insert “f-word” here).

I give my friend some credit here.  I know this has not been easy for her either. She has been able to stick with the process while I continue to describe my experience to her.  While she and I don’t see eye to eye on everything (particularly in the transparency arena), we are able to continue communicating with the intent of healing our relationship.  At the moment it is still in tatters, but as I told her, I am sturdy, resilient, and have the desire to be able to laugh about all of this in the future – for real – not as a way of avoiding the heart of the matter. I want to be able to let go and not carry this with me.  I have already learned from this experience that what my life looks like may change, yet I will still be intact.

At zero hour, another place became available nearby.  (It’s called “Horseshoe” Bay for a reason methinks!) It is affordable and the landlord is open to offers.  I let my friend know right away that she may need to find a new tenant should I choose to relocate.  Regardless of my location, I will still have Presence. And if I move, I know it will not be out of spite but rather from a clean and clear choice for the best course of action.

If I do move it will be over the next two weeks.  I am going to be busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. 

Branded by re-creation,


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