Sunday, April 06, 2008

What makes us wise

Today is the first day it's been warm--in the high 50s--and sunny. After spending the morning cleaning house, Adonis and I spent two hours walking around the neighborhood: getting mochas at the coffee shop, stopping to talk with friends and neighbors working in yards, assessing the little house for sale that we have our eye on, pausing to love up the neighborhood dogs. It finally feels like spring. (How I long for a garden and dogs! My dad cautions us not to buy a house just because we want dogs, but of course that's exactly why we're buying a house. Oh, and it's a good investment. Unlike most places in the U.S., my little town hasn't been hit by the housing and mortgage crises. Prices continue to climb. Why do people move here? Don't they know winter is six months long?)

Tomorrow is the new moon in Aries. Even as the cold days have lingered here in the north, I've felt the shift in energy that early spring brings. I'm moving more, working off winter's lethargy, and feeling stronger, more vital. I have a renewed taste for raw, bitter, green things. I'm starved for sunshine. Adonis and I seem to occupy the slightest lull, a suspension, before the activity of summer commences. Beginning this week, we're both traveling. Adonis is headed to New York City a couple of times for work; I'm headed to Atlanta to do healing work and visit my good friend; and we're traveling home together at the end of the month to celebrate my grandmother's 98th birthday.

I've been thinking a lot about happiness. This past year has been challenging for me: lots of intense growth and new life emerging, but also, and perhaps not coincidentally nor paradoxically, stark confrontations with mortality and grief. It's been just six months since I lost my beloved Lugh. On that very six month date, last week, my sister had cancer surgery (and is doing well). I'm learning something about the kind of happiness that depends on things going my way, and about the kind of happiness that can arise independently of felicitous circumstances. I'm thinking about happiness as a spiritual practice and what that entails for me. I often dream of that lyric from Sinead O'Connor's song "What Doesn't Belong to Me;" I take this to be a profound thealogical truth:

And the goddess meant for me only joy.

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