Yesterday morning as I walked, I thought about the upcoming writing course that I signed up for which starts in 10 days and I was fretting about whether or not I was going to have anything of worth to say because I’ve been in a deep, dark funk with my writing for a long while. The very second that thought crossed my mind and I asked myself “What’s it going to take to turn it on, to get the words to flow? “ I heard a loud click and the fountain in the middle of the pond that I walk by came on, like a switch, a sign that I wanted to believe in. So I took it, packed my bag and chair and headed to the beach and wrote. This is what I thought…
“The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is.” When I first saw that post on my Facebook feed it took only a second or two till the voice in my head blurted,” Alright, but reality is perception and that doesn’t take away the fact that the tunnel is someone’s reality, pitch black and foreboding, with no room for u-turns. At times a frightening, loathsome, singular hell, personified, taking jagged dagger stabs at the softness of your soul.
Even those of us who proclaim ourselves to be strong willed, hearty and polyurethaned souls enter tunnels in life at times. Being told that it’s an illusion is of no comfort, offers no solace, even if it is the truth.
There have been quite a few times in my life when I could not see the forest for the trees, was blind to the bigger picture, clearly did not recognize any light in myself or anything else familiar in the undeveloped Polaroid moment in front of me. That glimmer of light and hope at the end of the tunnel was invisible to me. The fact that I’m still here and writing is evidence that there have also been times when I’ve latched on, even clawed onto and hung by threads on a microscopic glimmer, tasting the sweetness on my tongue, conscious of it settling in my stomach as hope.
Life’s dark tunnels and our perception of them are filtered by our point of view, as well as our own intimate history with tunnels. The click of the fountain switch can be drowned out by lack of faith or insecurity. We don’t notice that we’re in the company of others. We don’t realize that we just missed the round-about leading out, the hand pointing the way, or the answer in a stranger’s smile meant only for us.
Tunnels are unavoidable in life. There are places that can’t be traveled to otherwise. What is required of us is to recognize that fact and give our eyes and ears time to adjust. Be a Buddha. Find a fig tree or any soft spot and settle in. Be one with the tunnel. Only then will we be able to discern the light that always exists in the tunnel, as it does in every living thing, in every moment. The tunnel is no longer a harpy threatening to snatch our souls away. And that changes everything.
Peace and Love