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Remind Me Why I'm Here   

Posted by Alexandra - Sep 30, 2014 - 12:28am
I’ve been in some weird space lately.

The sort of space many of us go through every now and then (at least I think many of us do) where we question the purpose of our existence.

Maybe this is the result of all the changes in my family this year—putting Mom into assisted living, my childhood home being sold and no longer having my family “headquarters” to visit—but even more about being 2000 miles away from the clan, and feeling so very cut off from them all of a sudden. Certain family members I was really close to don’t reach out nearly as much (and yes, I’ve been reaching out to them), and none of them have come to visit yet.

I’m experiencing some strange-ass feelings of not being needed, and not belonging anywhere. No children call me Mom, I am not a wife that some man cherishes and cannot live without. Often, I feel like I wear Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility.

Life dreams? I had some firmly in place. I was excited about them. (Sometimes I still am) People used to tell me that things I wrote inspired them—so I made that a higher purpose for all of my writing: blogs, articles, and novels. I published two books that were appreciated by many—but despite my best efforts, things are moving very slowly in that area. I don’t seem to be inspiring anyone anymore or having the impact on the reading world that I’d envisioned. I write (and edit) things all day that help the world of education (which is fulfilling), but sometimes it seems to leave little left for my fiction brain in the evenings. I’m wondering if I still have the passion for that dream.

The other remaining dreams in my life just aren’t happening. Not even close to happening. I used to tell myself, “Surely it won’t be long now.” I even wrote a book about waiting. Then ten years crept by.

I felt my psyche going on a sit-down strike. I was too weary to even do any visualizations of how I want things to be, and so sick of being disappointed that I just didn’t care anymore. I suppose you could say I was having a "George Bailey (from It’s a Wonderful Life) moment." Don’t worry, I wasn’t going to jump off any bridges, but I seriously needed Clarence the Angel to come and tell me what’s up.

I wasn’t having these feelings in a “woe is me” and boo-hoo sort of way, mind you. I was simply sitting back, bewildered, and surveying. Doing the Zen thing where you witness your life without attachment. I felt I needed to really be silent and listen for some kind of reply.

Things come to me from on high when I’m in motion, and especially in the outdoors. So I fled to the forest. I wanted to be soothed by bird calls and flowing water and sun slicing through tree tops.

Great lighting in the forest

I found solace in my inner silence, even though there were several other people on the trail. And the burning demand that seemed to leap up from deep within and onto the trail in front of me in a flash of light was: REMIND ME WHY I’M HERE.

Tunnel Falls was my goal that day. Every other time I’d hiked the Eagle Creek trail in the Columbia River Gorge, either the people I was with wanted to turn back halfway there or I was turned back by icy conditions. This time, I resolved to make the entire 12 mile round trip to the falls and back. I passed all the other well known falls along the way. I enjoyed every sight, every sound, and every smell. I even saw someone tightroping across Eagle Creek. At one point when I stopped to rest, I noticed it was 3pm. I debated whether to keep going, not knowing if I’d have enough daylight to get to Tunnel Falls and back. Some people coming down from the falls told me it was about forty more minutes. “I say go for it,” one of the girls in their group said. “It’s worth it.”

And so I kept going. I kicked into high gear. The trail got very rocky, and it was hard to move quickly while negotiating each step so carefully (ain’t nobody got time for a twisted ankle!).  After what seemed like forever, another group came my way. “Am I almost there?” I asked them.

In cheery British accents they assured me, “You’re about seven minutes away! And it’s lovely!”

After a few more twists and turns, I heard the roar of water. I felt the negative ions zinging through the air. And then I rounded a bend and saw the falls. A veil of water plunging 130 feet to a shallow basin below, and a tunnel going through the cliff face behind it to the other side. It was breathtaking. It was dazzling standing in the tunnel’s far entrance and seeing the sun glinting off all the drops and spray and mist and moss.

In the tunnel under Tunnel Falls

More late sunbeams slicing through evergreens

I continued up the Cliffside trail to look back at the falls and down into their pool…and was treated to a shimmering rainbow that kept fluctuating in intensity.

Some of my friends here know that I was given a spirit name by an Oglala Sioux elder some years ago: Rainbowsong. Because of this (and even long before I was named), I’ve been pretty akin to rainbows. This waterfall seemed to have my name on it.

Magical rainbow with my name on it!

And all at once, it dawned on me. There was my answer, reminding me why I was here.  You’re tired. You wonder if you should go on, and if you’ll get to your goal before dark. Keep going, even if the path gets rocky and slows you down. There is time. And waiting for you is something more beautiful than you ever imagined…with your name on it.

At least it felt like an answer. I’m hoping it was. I saw two snakes on the way back down the trail (one with a red stripe down its back and one with a bright yellow stripe)…and “snake medicine” is all about transformation.

I’m still weary, but I think I’ll keep going and see what happens.
Namaste, y'all.
15 comments on this journal entry.
Oh! This!
Xeric Avatar

Location: Montana

Posted: Nov 15, 2014 - 7:49am

Keep going, Alexandra.  And keep writing.  I haven't poked my head in here in many months and when I do, this is what I find . . . and it's lovely.  As are you.

kmh Avatar

Location: NY

Posted: Nov 10, 2014 - 11:46am

See For Yourself
black321 Avatar

Location: A sunset in the desert

Posted: Oct 28, 2014 - 10:39am

The sleep of reason produces monsters
Rod Avatar

Posted: Oct 6, 2014 - 8:22pm

Beautiful. {#Hug}
arighter2 Avatar

Location: dubuque

Posted: Oct 5, 2014 - 3:29pm

Nice writing, too.
I haven’t seen the Democrats this mad since we freed the slaves
bokey Avatar

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 10:49pm

Very poignant and inspiring.{#Hug}
We're all riders on this train
ScottN Avatar

Location: Half inch above the K/T boundary

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 6:30pm

Namaste, indeed. {#Good-vibes}

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 4:32pm

this may be the year you make contact

it's all about to be revealed...

stay tuned



journeyman365 Avatar

Location: Brandon MS

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 3:32pm

I myself is felt this way for quite a long time, years in fact has more time passes it becomes more difficult to interact with people places things.
I have yet to find any answers to the deep abyss I find myself in emotionally but I pray every day that it will come.
It is however comforting to know that others go through the same things I do those the reasons for them may not be the same as mine.
Resident oddball
p4jkafla Avatar

Location: New England, USA

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 11:54am

Nice. I like this. Well said.
Living with passion
Alexandra Avatar

Location: PNW

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 9:07am

Funny you should mention that, Scott - this was the ONE time I never did a safety check-in with anyone; however, there were dozens of people on that trail that day—so it could've never become a rosedraws situation, thankfully.
I eat pints
ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 9:02am

" The trail got very rocky, and it was hard to move quickly while negotiating each step so carefully (ain’t nobody got time for a twisted ankle!). "

I thought we were going to get a Rosedraws/127-days type of journal ;-)
Shine On.
Coaxial Avatar

Location: 543 miles west of Paradis,1491 miles east of Paradise

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 6:22am

i need a bogle for my glotch.
lily34 Avatar

Location: GTFO

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 5:45am

i totally relate (as you know). i am feeling totally detached, removed and confused. but not exactly in a woe is me - boohoo way, just like you.

for me, i just feel like...i guess i'm taking a break and regrouping and for now, nothing can be done except waiting to see what's what.


BlueHeronDruid Avatar

Location: planting flowers

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 2:28am

From a New Joy Sea Gull, I gots ta say, "Not fuh nuttin', this is a good message. Namaste back atcheh."