Temptation: to bury the confusion in my heart under a layer of television; to cut consternation off from my consciousness; to shelter my mind from the visceral knots by thinking hard about other things, or by not thinking at all--
(Somewhere along this road, I stopped being the stable person I thought I was. Maybe my bike got a flat tire. Maybe it's a cobblestone road now, and I was only good at riding on asphalt. Better yet, I'm biking down a mountain trail. Rocks lurk under the dust and sand, and the trail writhes back and forth between tree roots. The trees themselves are prickly, the live oaks and pines of my hometown hills. I careen down the hill, occasionally falling off my bike and into a bush. So far I've avoided the poison oak, thank God, but I've gotten some nasty scrapes. I am trying to get out of these hills by sunset, when the mountain lions prowl.
(I am not accustomed to riding alone. My partner keeps disappearing around bends, and I keep thinking I am about to be left behind, if I haven't already been abandoned. Maybe the momentum is just too much for him, and he can't wait for me. I skid and scramble to catch up. So far, we are still on the same trail, anyway; we will come out in the same place, may it please the Lord.
(I would like to get off this bike, and walk, slow, taking in the sights. I know there are birds here, and deer, and at dusk there are rabbits. And even sunset's scarlet, with your hand in mine, could be the flame of the rose, and not the blood of the pumas' victims.)
--Always I expect peace to sprout from understanding, but the lesson keeps coming to me, persistent: peace transcends understanding, and I must surrender to not knowing. I must accept the place where I am, before I can walk safely out of it.