Sunday, November 9, 2008

Some Things You Just Know

photo by ricardo.martins

In December 1993, by many standards my life was wonderful. I was in a loving relationship. I had a secure high-tech job of almost limitless advancement potential, with one of the largest international corporations in the world. My wife, of only a few years, and I had just built the house of our dreams, in pricey though desirable countryside surroundings—where we expected to retire in due time, enjoying the fulfillment of our dreams as best we understood them at that time.

Also in December 1993, my life was failing by some standards that I could not escape. All indications of my health were that I could not long survive the ‘costs’ of our achievements. I spent most hours of my day entering
into/within/or recovering from a migraine. My blood pressure was sky high (very bad for someone with an aortic valve insufficiency). Virtually every aspect of my health seemed to offer a negative response to my attempts to push myself to achieve more, quicker, or to seek instant comfort from the effects of going ever faster, farther.

To make matters worse, I was in dire confusion about the growing conflict between how I believed I should assess my ‘achievements’ and what I actually felt inside. The more I achieved along that previously defined path of success, the emptier I felt—and the worse my health became. Fortunately, my relationship with my wife was strong. It was, however, being tested by my ravings about pursuing some unorthodox path to shake off the growing sense of meaninglessness. Kathy wanted to help, but had no better tools than I to understand what we would be trying to achieve if we did veer from the only path that we knew.

Soon, I announced to my wife, “I want to move to the mountains!” –a place that I had only visited very few times in my life, and found myself completely incompatible with due to my severe intolerance of heights (and curvy roads!). Kathy had much more history with the mountains, and loved them dearly, but was most comfortable with them as a cherished vacation destination . . . perhaps even a second-home site.

“How do you know you can live there?” she demanded, truly concerned about my reasoning and logic.

“Some things you just know,” was my spontaneous response—surprising Kathy as well as myself. I did not have any real understanding of the need to move to the mountains, but I did know.

I abruptly quit my job—certain that I could not muster the energy to survive if I went back into the office even one more time. I returned to my writing, long neglected, as an avenue to realize what it was that my spirit could not otherwise convey to my consciousness. I picked up a translation of the Tao Te Ching Though it had become lost in the background of my everyday ‘achievements,’ I always had the good fortune of a strong connection to the spirit self. Writing, countryside and nature were forever the best gateway for me to come to my center. The Taoist philosophy of the Tao Te Ching was a perfect reminder. The
land surrounding the dream home that I had come to disdain was now a willing aid in my journey back to myself.

Without my drive for an urgent solution, it took my wife another year to let go of the path that she had been well trained to believe in all her life. It was fortunate that a connection of the spirit—a joint interest in the
metaphysical—had been one of the strongest common interests between us in the beginning, even at the subdued state of our spiritual focuses at that time. We followed our intuition, even without understanding it. Releasing that familiar life was a painful time in our relationship, but it proved we had a deeper bond that we had not fully realized.

In order to stay within our budget, we purchased a boarded up place in much need of repair, attic full of snakes, in the country. Writing again took a back seat to such things as patching the roof, chopping wood, getting running water into the house.

One of many new blessings provided to us was to walk to the ridge of the
mountain range near our home—though it is a hard three hour climb. When we arrived in the area, my knees were so bad that I could barely walk stairs. Before long, the mountain had called me to the top.

Once on the top, I visited the mountain frequently, meditated many hours, listened to nature around me, and tried to attune my hearing to my higher self. Kathy and I redefined our priorities, and developed new circles of friends with focuses more compatible with our new understanding. Employment still got in the way of writing, but work chosen was more likely to tax the body than the mind and spirit.

For many years the writing waited while I came back to my center and my health. I was fortunate that the muses were not offended by my long absence. When I was in a position to understand, they renewed our conversation. One of the first things they graced me with was the knowledge that I had come to just the right place at just the right time.

Whether it is the love of your life, the life changing move to a new career/new location or a major shift in your definition of yourself, the greatest knowledge that you will ever exercise is often unjustified by your cultural experiences, your family heritage, your education or even your own logic. These are the “things that you just know,” from deep within yourself. It is a part of yourself that may seem mostly unfamiliar, but is always there…waiting until you can listen.

copyright 2007 CG Walters

C.G. Walters
primarily writes fiction that focuses on the multidimensionality of our loves and our lives.

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meenakshi said...

C.G., your story not only inspires, but in a way, satisfies a deep-seated longing within me for the mountains. Strangely, knowing that you and Kathy are there, and experiencing them through your writing, brings in the mist, and I am content.

Thank you , dear friends, for braving those snakes and the tough aspects of mountain living!

CG Walters said...

Thank you for the visit, Meenakshi. I am glad that the mountain is in connection with your spirit. Wherever the mountain, it has quite a bit of power and wonder to share.
blessings to you and your dear ones,