Perfection is an Illusion. Really.

“Tell me how” implies that there is a right way, and that
you know how to do it.
“Show me how” implies that there is a guideline to follow,
and I can learn according to my own humanity, with mistakes and triumphs.
Tell me how means that I don’t trust myself, and that I am
better off letting you figure things out for me, leading the way so that I
don’t fuck it up.
Show me how means that we are collaborators, each learning
from one another, and there is no expert or right way.
Tell, versus discover. Tell, there is a certainty in this
world; discover, nothing is certain.
Maybe there is no reason for this cancer, except that my
cells mutated. Period, the end.
Maybe there is no vault combination to happiness in life,
and it’s all a trial and error.
Maybe I can let go of the throttle-hold on how to live
properly, my strict code and belief that the world will “open up to me,” “fall
into place” if I just learn how to live properly.
I brought a certain notebook with me to the hospital this
time. I use it mainly for recording my shamanic journey meditations, or work
that I do with others around that realm of my practice. I read through some of
it during my stay, and came across a meditation I’d forgotten, one where I’d come
to meet my grandfather, my mom’s dad, who died when I was about 11.
I’d dreamt of him before, had memories of him, with his blue
v-neck sweater, tall as anything. In this meditation, his advice to me was,
“Live … And don’t worry so much.”
Good advice.
I’ve been thinking about living, how I’ve been doing it, and
wrestling with it, and flaying in it and struggling against it, and demanding
it reveal its secrets to me, so that I can finally relax.
When, in fact, the relaxing is when the revelations occur.
An example I heard recently was about the Dead Sea in
Israel, or really any salt body of water – if you flail and struggle, you’ll
drown; if you let yourself relax, you’ll float.
I’ve been thinking about the intersection perhaps of the two
gods I’ve been struggling with – the one that is the calm center of the
Universe, and allows for glimpses of what can only be called love; and the one
that might be personal to me, and actually interested in my living a life worth

My friend said perhaps there’s both; and perhaps I’ll never know.
I’ve been thinking about relaxing. About putting an end to
my frantic digging. Digging for answers, for a new life, for one that looks
more secure and accomplished than my own. Digging for peace – frenetically.
I’ve been thinking about the possibility
that a power greater than myself might be able to care for me, in a
I’ve been thinking about how much less worry I’d have if I
didn’t demand so much of myself; so much of myself to be different than I am – to be published perhaps, a good pianist, gainfully employed in meaningful work, partnered, happy. To wrestle myself into
I don’t think it works that way.
I’ve been thinking about that phrase from my friend, that it
is our responsibility to make our lives one worth living; that we’re the only
ones who can do that for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we are alone in doing it.
I’ve been thinking about the words mystery, paradox,
wonder. Words given to me by a
friend this morning in her own expression of what god might be to her.
We don’t get to know, and we don’t have to know. I don’t
have to know the answer. I don’t have to know the outcome. I don’t have to
change what you think of me. I don’t have to change how I am around you. I don’t even have to change how well I play the piano.
The only thing I have to change is simple: I have to open my
palm, and allow myself to live. 

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