family life

Lives as They Unfold

I’m back in Chicago where I’ve been for a little over a week now. As most of you know, this is where I was born and grew up so I have lots of family and friends here. I’m getting to the age now where I’ve had a chance to see how lives that I’ve known for a long time are unfolding, how they get stuck, how children grow up, and what happens to marriages. It’s actually quite a fascinating social study. There are people who just don’t seem to be all that happy, and there are others that seems to have more of an ease in the world. I’ve seen alcohol abuse, hurtful communication, bitterness, fear, waywardness, emptiness and resignation. I’ve also seen some wonderful happy and easy people and some intelligent self-directed children. I don’t exactly know why I’m writing this except that I’m actually seeing the unfoldment and I find that fascinating. I am blessed with having many friends that I’ve had for over 30 years now so I’ve known them as their lives have unfolded, and their childrens’ lives have unfolded. Family, of course I have known all my life, and I see their lives and the lives of their children as well. In general, I’m seeing that children really are like sponges – where there are parents who are joyful, there are children who are joyful, where there are parents who struggle, one finds children who struggle.

As I walk through these Chicago days, I feel somehow outside of this world here, although at the same time I feel very connected to it. I feel outside it in that I feel that I am coming in to this place from a very different vantage point than I have historically, and I find it easy to witness it all, somewhat silently. There is a real ease in my being these days which I am enjoying, and as complicated as lives around me seem to be, I just feel “here,” simply present. There’s a floatingness to it all which is very peaceful. It feels as if I have disengaged from my reactivity in a way, not completely, but substantially so.

I have postponed my flight to France. As much as I hated to do that, there is some love and support here that is needed, and I seem to be in a position here to provide it. I will still definitely be going but I’m doing my best to allow myself to be/go/remain where needed.

I’ve been gone from here so long, living in California nearly 22 years now, that I somehow forget at times how people each travel their own directions, and how some seem not to travel very far at all. My love for the people in my life here doesn’t seem to be affected though, which I think is part of that floatingness feeling I mentioned earlier. Love seems clearly to be independent from the behavior of the object.

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