Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Soul II Soul in my head today...

I arrived home yesterday mid-evening, after a non-stop flight from Denver. DIA is the most sprawled out airport I have ever had the misfortune to travel through (and one I usually avoid, though the treat of a non-stop from retreat is a worthy price to pay). It can take an hour and a half to get from arriving at the airport to get to one's gate, and that's at a steady gait, and the stress level of all the arrivees so pushed to the limit to meet their departures heightens the overall atmosphere in an uncomfortable way.

Also, of course, I was coming out of 10 days of retreat.

Sitting at Paradise Cafe in Boulder, eating salads before returning the rental car and RTD'ing our way down to DIA, Becky and I both consumed quickly, out of synch with each other for the first time in almost two weeks. At one point I stopped and looked at her and we both grimaced. I said something to the effect of "I hadn't realized at the time how synchronized all of us were with each other - not just in the same program, but eating the same meals, using the same bathrooms, and, of course, meditating together, practicing together, etc." She nodded. The follow-up comparison wasn't necessary, but I added it anyway, "Now of course I realize that in absentiae."

Madison is calmer, more like on retreat, only with far more familiar faces. Madison is more laid back than either Boulder or Denver Airport, or at least, my neighborhood is. Even the friends I ran into on my morning walk and breakfast trip realized I had just arrived home last night and to go easy on me. I, luckily, realize the same. This is what makes a "successful re-entry" - going easy on one's self - the emails, the phone calls, the face-to-face contact with what appears to be the same old world one left, only it is just as changed as the person who left is changed.

Back to life, back to the day we have
Let's end this foolish game
Hear me out don't let me waste away
Make up your mind so
I know where I stand

This isn't a romantic message to Dylan. It isn't romance at all. I got home from my morning errands to the main line in my head, and I looked up the words. A song I had heard before as a relationship plea, I now hear as a message from me to me - we're back, don't let what we gained waste away - make up our mind so we can stand tall again, re-entering reality.

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