“This is enough, and more than enough.” – Giotto di Bondone
DEATH can be a beginning.
The Moab endurance race is just one huge single 240 mile loop, no repetition. Death brought me to that circle. Death always brings us somewhere. The unknown mystery of the after, or to the continuous loop of grief.
A circle implies an idea of movement, it symbolizes the cycle of time, the perpetual motion of everything that moves, the planets’ journey around the sun, the great rhythm of the universe.
I spent a year happily and diligently creating something or somebody that could carry my friend Teddy in that huge desert circle. It wasn’t just a physical transformation. I shaped or was shaped into something else. Equally losing myself and creating someone new. Grieving the loss of Teddy, and celebrating a new relationship with him. Understanding more deeply the idea of movement, myself in space and in time. Time would stand still, stop, and then shift rapidly under my feet. My friend in ashes in my vest pocket, the now. Then suddenly and simultaneously reliving a moment we spent together, the then. Experiencing both equally. No separation. The cycle of time, the perpetual motion of my mind, my body, measured in hours and memories. A friendship experienced in singular seconds in the great rhythm of the universe.
A circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning. It represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness.
Unbroken. Our bound. Also destroyed by impermanence. Meaning. What does it mean? What did Teddy mean? What do I mean? Always circling into itself. My self. Who’s self? What self? By myself. Alone in the circle but experiencing what all humans face. An expansive idea this movement. The expansive desert I move within. What idea? This wasn’t my idea? I didn’t want Teddy dead. I didn’t hand me his ashes. This journey around the desert, around the sun, around and around in my mind. Teddy being the sun, a son, having a son. Timelessness. Eternal. Where did I start and where did teddy end? Who was carrying who? Total surrender. Wholeness, the self, unselfish. selfless. Two imperfect lives. A imperfect friendship ending in some ideal of perfection? Friends for eternity?
Timelessness in a moment. 4 days in the circle. 98 hours. 15 minutes and zero seconds to be exact. Eternity? A human vessel carrying a human in a vessel. A human experiencing life in honor of a human that is not here for this experience. A life changing experience through death. A timeless circle, the infinite Teddy. Is he really gone? Am I really here? Where are we? Where are you Teddy?
The circle is also zero in our system of numbering, and symbolizes potential, or the embryo. It has a magical value as a protective agent, it indicates the end of the process of individuation, of striving towards a psychic wholeness and self-realization.
Sometimes you have to start over. Go back to zero. I am nothing. In that circle you can reexamine who you are. Spinning in that idea between being nothing and seeing everything you are. I’ve spent another year struggling to try and understand how my life changed. How I changed. Did it change? Inside the turbulent wash, inside the process, spinning around and around, inside out. Some days drowning in it. Other days in a calm moment of clarity.
What happened out there?
What happened to me the individual?
Who am I? Who will I be?
Was I born or did I die out there?
Where did I end? Where do I begin?
Circling, circling, circling, striving for clarity. Wholeness to fill the hole.
The circle of necessity: birth, growth, decline, death. Defense against chaos, formlessness.
I’ve arrived at two points in this circle. Temporary way stations as the movement, growth and decline are always evolving and causing more movement. I’m in this space I can only describe as give mode. I don’t have a better name so please don’t judge it too harshly. But teddy forced this sliver of force out of me. Maybe it was there, maybe it was born out there.
But those two words just represent a shift, a subtle pause in my life’s trajectory. But a major change in how I think everyday. Maybe this is my defense against chaos? The chaos of me. The chaos of you, this place. The birth of formlessness. I am nothing more than my ability to give or at least not take.
I feel very strongly this way about my current state in the circle,
I’m not an old man.
I’m a elderly teenager.
I feel as if I’m 16 years old with a little more financial freedom and a lot more wisdom.
I feel like I did when I stood at the start line in Moab with Teddy. I have a long way to go, if that’s my fate. I don’t control it, but I’m going headlong into it.
I have no idea what’s going to happen, nor do you. Chaos.
But I’m going to enjoy every moment in this holy experience the best I can, no matter the outcome.
BIRTH can be an ending.
“I am enough, I am more than enough.”