“If you don’t want to change, don’t do the work.”
– Jim Frank: elder and friend
Nothing special happened this weekend. Or rather, I should say that this weekend’s activities were pretty much a continuation of last weekend’s – and of the one before that. Worked with a patient at the studio, weeded the garden; cut the grass; placed a few gargoyles around the mulch bed; packed and unpacked a slew of boxes in preparation for the move at the end of the month. All in all, a mellow – if rather busy – weekend.
While talking with a friend at work the other day, he remarked that I was no longer “that same Ben J.” he saw sitting at a local watering hole some five years ago. And I had to agree with him. In those days it was bars and nights out with the pool league. Weekends were spent running to parties or hanging out with friends until the wee hours of the morning.
Slowly though, that all began to fall away. Like a few stray drops of rain coalescing into a trickle and finally a stream, Spirit crept in and planted my feet firmly upon the good Red Road. Now the parties are quieter and generally end before midnight. My immediate circle now includes a fiancé. And sweat lodges and gardening have taken the place of nightclubs and raucous carousing.
Surely my former self would look at the man I’ve become and conclude that I’ve lost my edge. The need for constant activity is gone, and with it the predatory gleam of a young man’s eye. Old friends have disappeared, and a newer, less self-destructive crowd has shown up to take their place. We sip our wine now, the same way we savor the first pale light of a sunrise – the first thin shoots of green breaking through the soil of a back yard garden.
Fire in the belly has taken the place of fever in the brain.
And my own path has led me here to stand in the place of the West; the direction of work and the responsibility of adulthood. Like pebbles dropped onto the surface of still pond, the ripples of actions are not only observed, but contemplated. Mother Bear has moved incredible power through this body. Since picking up the drum, I have been both midwife and observer to events which most would deem “miraculous”.
And yet, it all feels simply as it should. . .