Thursday, April 26, 2007

Story of the Day... Yet Another!

Originally uploaded by YAR!.

I received another Story of the Day from Story People. It’s entitled, “Personal Plateau.” It goes like this:

I don't want another opportunity to learn & grow, she said.
I just want to eat crackers & watch Oprah & pet my cat.

Words, words, words and stories. They are sitting on my nerves!

I was reading The Truelove by Patrick O’Brian last night. Jack Aubrey, naval captain in the Napoleonic Wars, is at sea on a broad reach to Figi. He is encumbered by legal correspondence from England and among other problems finds he must appoint a new chaplain to a couple of parishes. He enters into the following conversation with his friend, Dr. Stephen Maturin, naval surgeon and spy:

“I have the particulars of the advowsons I told you about some time ago. But tell me, is Martin an idoneous person?”
“Idoneous for what?”
“Oh, just idoneous. Two of the livings, if you can call them livings, are vacant; and this letter says I am required to present an idoneous person.”
“As far as benefices are concerned no one could be more idoneous, fitting or suitable than Martin, since he is an Anglican clergyman.”

And then later, there was this little do between Clarrisa Oakes, stowaway and prison escapee from New South Wales and Dr. Maturin:

“I had almost made up my mind to send you a note asking if I might consult you. But perhaps female disorders lie far outside the purview of a naval surgeon?”
“In the nature of things he has little to do with them. But I am also a physician and therefore omniscient.”

God, I love it! Doctors were omniscient even then? What are these characters about?
What does idoneous mean?
I don’t know - either, any, all of this. But, somehow all this blather was just perfect to my mood.

In the past few weeks I have listened and listened to Byron Katie CDs while laid up in bed with a bad back and legs that would not work. She is into Spiritual Inquiry – really looking at the stories that we tell ourselves, though she calls them “judgments.”

“The sky is blue.” That’s a judgment. It’s also a story.
And if that is – Everything is… I guess.

Notice what you’re telling yourself.
So often it is not true.
So often it is causing pain. That’s Katie’s whole deal. So, I have been noticing.

I have been noticing a lot. Try staying alone in your house for about two weeks and just notice all the insanities that rumble through your head and living room… stories….

Take for instance the fact, “She left me.”
Of course, not unlike “The sky is blue,” this too may be a story. But you have to start some where.
So, OK- “She left me.”
Now what? The stories start.
There is hers. Do I believe it?
There is mine. Do I believe it?
Yahda, yahda.
I went with hers and have been processing that for over a year.
Most of the time now, I can live fairly easily with it. I have accepted "what is."
And that is good. The pain is over.
Katie’s, Tolle’s, Adya’s whole thing (in one flavor of another) is “Accepting What Is” or being-even becoming- a “A Lover of What Is.”
I’m still not close to Loving that she left me, but Accepting was no mean feat either. So, I have been pleased and it gets me compliments from many corners.

But what did I discover these past couple weeks?
The stories come in layers. (Bette Boop puts hands to cheeks, “Oh, NO!”)

I went with “hers” initially because deep down it was what I wanted to believe.
It had this noble, spiritual tinge that I preferred to my own initial, “She done me wrong!” This latter more dramatic version expanded so easily into mean and painful thoughts.
But then, both She and I knew all along there were other versions.
My sister had her interpretation, our friends had theirs.

Story after story, I would not listen to...
Until, I had the privilege of lying around the house for ten days.

We start with the story we most prefer (however awful it may be) … and adjust to that.
And then voila - you are freed to accept the next story, the next interpretation of the very self-same “fact.”
Dang! This is not the best discovery!

Yet, it seems that each version of the story is a bit easier to accept.
And this must be progress, given that originally any one of these renditions was more than I could face.

In part this ease arises from being more alert to when my inner gears begin to spin. I can take a breath and let it go before they gather all that much momentum.

And too, maybe I’m just a bit more tolerant of the stories others choose to tell.
So many stories, no one is more real than the other.

So many stories, each adjusted to the pain their teller can endure.
There is kindness coming here.
Or, with a nod to Adya who likes to quote William Blake, “A fool who persists in his folly becomes wise.”

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