Something is still nagging at me: Why is it so difficult to really be out in the world? When I say, “out in the world,” what I mean is being a recognizable presence and working towards something much larger than myself. There is a certain way that it is most comfortable to me if I simply stay put, stay right where I’m at and not really change anything. That’s not to say that I’ve only stayed put and never changed, but the truth is that all of that seems to be more difficult than it would appear, and more difficult than others who know me might assume. There are those who live a life of wanderlust, there are those who live without homes – traveling the world or living in monasteries. I can fantasize about those things but it feels like there is a strong magnet within me (feels like it’s in my lower back) which draws me back to what I know and that which is familiar.
Here’s a concept perhaps having to do with my mom. I think in a deep way, the security I feel at home is like the security that I received from my mother and that security is a very strong draw for me. I’ve always been drawn to security: always saving my money, choosing a professional path which afforded me more security than say the life of an artist, and lately building a home with lots of concrete and steel – a home which I call the Sea ‘Sanctuary’. Nothing feels safer or warmer or more comfortable that the thought of being an infant and being held by my mother. I think in a somewhat deep mystifying, underlying way, I am addicted to that feeling and it has more control over me than I would like to admit. I feel a little anxious right now even writing about it, as if the truth is going to get out and my security will escape along with it. I had planned on going for a nice long walk a few minutes ago and right now it’s not as enticing (i.e. I’d rather stay at home). Very interesting.
I remember minutes after my mom died making a promise to let her love live on inside of me thereby allowing me to touch other people more deeply. It’s a sweet sentiment, but I realize as I type now that it was simply my way of introjecting her into myself, keeping her close by, so I wouldn’t have to so completely feel her absence. Clever one I can be. Well I’m a big enough boy to not believe in heaven and angels looking over us, so I guess (note a little hesitance) I also need to fully recognize that my mother is not here with me, in me, or looking out for me. In fact 1/3rd of her ashes are in an urn in a paper bag labeled mom on a shelf behind me. I think it’s time for me to get rid of her ashes. You know I held on to her ashes (weird I know but her 3 sons each took 1/3) so that when I finish this house I can scatter them here on the beach. Wow, so obvious how I still want to have her here with me, to lend comfort and security to this new home of mine.
Makes me think of the film “Artificial Intelligence – AI” directed by Steven Spielberg where a young robot boy is taken as a surrogate son in a family when their “real” son is cryogenically frozen when stricken with an incurable disease. When the real son comes back and is healed, the robot boy loses his standing as the son. He desperately longs to be loved by the mother and goes on an incredible journey in an attempt to spend eternity with her. It always touches something very deep for me, and as I write this entry, it becomes more clear that it touches that longing for union (for security) with mom. This is quite fascinating for me.
Oh, as I write I also remember when I was preparing to move from Oakland to Fort Bragg, that the predominant experience for me outside of packing and purging) was one of grief. It was as if I had to separate from everything I had known and loved in that loft over the previous 12 years. What I didn’t see at the time was that my mom is naturally infused in any place that I call home, and thus that grief that I felt was also related to leaving her. I wouldn’t be surprised if the derivation for the word mother actually was related to the work for home.
I just noted that we like to call Earth “Mother Earth.” I think that provides us with some security and comfort being on this planet. I think those religions who pay more heed to “mother earth” are much more comfortable at being nomadic because their ‘mother’ travels with them, than those whose god is in the sky.
So to circle back, it’s hard to get further out into the world when that addiction to comfort and security is so strong. I explore this because I want to get further out into the world, and be comfortable everywhere I go. Seems like mom is wrapped up in it all for me and perhaps for many of us.