New to an online memoir writing course, I wrote the following in response to my first assignment.
Memoir Writing #1
Word count: 199
Rock canyon walls close around, cold and hard. Green fertile valleys open, soft and sun-warmed. Through dark tunnels, over high airy bridges, past snow-covered peaks, steel wheels roll ahead on their tracks, carrying with them a long train.
Framed by the window, the scene flashes by, from one image to the next. It is a long train ride that goes through the night and under a starry sky.
From another vantage point in awareness, it's a steady flow of stillness — vibrant, alive, and always the same. Whereas the perspective of constant movement goes over the senses, that of the stillness is felt in the unseen.
A woman passenger in a window reflection triggers a memory of my mother and something she once said to me, that feelings are just feelings.
'Yes, mother', I say, 'feelings are feelings. It's okay to feel cold and hard as the canyon walls, or open and soft as the sun-warmed valley. I am not those feelings, nor the passenger on the train, nor the whole train ride, but all of it together being in divine duality.'
A smile from my mother warms my heart into peace while the window reflection vanishes.
1. You are on a train by yourself. It stops to pick up passengers, one of whom is someone significant to you who has moved out of your life (they may even have died), someone you haven’t seen in ages. This person sits a few rows ahead of you, alone. You get up and walk toward them, ask if you can sit down.
What do you say?
Photo credit: artist unknown
A reader commented on the post above that she is curious about what is beneath the surface — to which I responded,
"This piece was reduced from more than 600 words to 199. The former version goes deeper below the surface, and in it my mother appears as a passenger boarding the train. Well, I don't expect anyone to read it, but here's an excerpt from the longer, which may help satisfy your curiosity."
Moving scenes, constantly changing, each scene an object of its own.
A steady flow of stillness — vibrant, alive, and always the same. In this, no separation is felt, all objects are felt as a sea of One, interconnected and electric.
One train ride, and both are true.
Framed by the window, the scene outside flashes from one image to the next, as linear as a train track. The experience is sharp-edged, as though each object is too distinct and far away. But, it only feels so because I push it away by my resistance.
Electrical resistance makes possible my individuality, but for a sensitive soul its edges are too hard. By emotional resistance men harden their hearts, and all the world suffers.
Softening the resistance and thereby the edges could describe my journey. All of Nature seeks balance, and in this I am no different although my search is made more complicated by emotional resistance.
Looking down the aisle, then across to the far windows, then back to the near window, all appears separate and moving, inside and outside the train.
Yet the train ride as a whole is one experience — and when I feel more deeply, it is a continuum.
My access to the moving scenes comes easily by simply following the senses and their associations of the mind. Feeling separate seems the norm, but deadened aliveness is contradictory at least.
I cannot by simply choosing feel non-separate from the moving scenes, or can I?
Feeling more deeply into the ride as a whole means letting go of the apparent separation and sinking in, sinking in, to what is real and foundational. I extend connection to feel being.
As I sink in to this foundational feeling of oneness, and the connected feeling grows, I am aware of feeling more alive. Then the train stops and new passengers board. My resistance level has lowered, my awareness expanded.
One of the new passengers is a woman, soft of face and silver-gray of hair. She carries a knitting bag and sits three rows ahead....
What comes to mind reading these passages is that we choose how we want to experience our world. That is why at this time people are experiencing life from either a 3D, 4D or 5D reality. (Consciousness can be replaced by D if you like.) We all are experiencing the same thing and yet our experiences can be so different. That is why an awaken soul can not fully explain to an unawakened soul what they are experiencing. There is so much more that can be said here, but I'll leave it up the the members to share some of their own thoughts here.