Friday, March 16, 2007

Car Talk

Friday, March 16 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

My car is quiet today. It hasn't said a word since...yesterday.

Over the past week, though, it has been incredibly and disturbingly vocal.

Just as my physical vehicle has been eloquently pointing things out to me in recent weeks (see Body Talk), my automotive vehicle has been similarly insistent.

No more subtle tuggings on the steering wheel, indicating where to go or which way to turn. Either its voice has matured or my intuitive system isn't quite as responsive these days.

It all began a week ago...

With Texas behind me, California beckons. A little R&R by the sea, I think. And after a quick stop in Sedona, I head south and west toward San Diego.

I'm on I-10 when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the car begins to rattle. It's one of those frustrating car things: it only rattles when I'm driving but, while driving, I can't tell where the rattle is coming from...other than it seems to be coming from the interior front.

When you drive a minivan filled with most of your worldly goods (some of which occasionally rattle), the first thing to do is secure anything that might be loose.

I do that.

The rattle, just to be contrary, grows louder.

By the time I get to San Diego, I'm rattled, concerned that something is serious wrong with the car.

San Diego, in the throes of March Break Madness, rattles me even more. Neither rested nor relaxed, I leave the next day, determined that if the rattle continues, I'll return to Sedona and have my car-expert friend Larry give it a listen.

It does, and I do.

And then it doesn't.

Once Larry is in the car, my Mercury makes a faint, half-hearted rattle then falls silent, never to rattle again (other than a faint, half-hearted rattle on the way out of Sedona the following day).

I could say that Larry's very presence stilled the rattle. And maybe that's true. He is pretty powerful.

I could also say that the car was making certain I returned to Sedona. Given all the emotional energy I've been working with around my former wife, who lives in Sedona (see Heart Open Wide), I'm guessing that as soon as the car got me to Sedona, it shut up, its primary aim having been achieved.

Once having tasted power, though, my Mercury seems reluctant to give it up.

Cut to yesterday.

I'm heading for Santa Fe after a powerful visit to Chaco Canyon. My plan is to take an indirect, potentially more scenic route and still arrive in Santa Fe in time to pick up my mail.

As I bump along the unpaved road out of the National Park, my Mercury sounds a warning chime. "Check tire pressure," the instrument panel proclaims.

Check tire pressure? These are brand-new tires!

Anxiously, I make my way to a more major road and stop at the first service station. My front passenger tire is low and I refill it.

Nervously, I drive on, watching the instrument panel for a repeat warning. None comes. But when I reach the intersection of Hwy. 550 and Hwy. 96, concerned about driving unpopulated back roads with an iffy tire, I choose the route of caution and take Hwy. 550, the more direct road toward Santa Fe.

Once again, it seems, Auto Knows Best.

As direct as Hwy. 550 is, it takes much longer than I expect (Hwy. 96 would have likely doubled my travel time and returned me long past my UPS Store's closing time). It's also infinitely more stunning than I could have imagined. As well, it carries me past the Sandia Mountains, which have been calling to me in recent days.

I arrive in Santa Fe, refreshed by the beauty, activated by the mountain energies and in plenty of time for mail pickup and dinner.

Truly, Auto Knows Best.

P.S. The tire-pressure warning has not reappeared.

Photos by Mark David Gerson: #1 Near Chaco Canyon, New Mexico; #2 Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Body Talk I

Thursday, March 15 ~ US-64, near Farmington, New Mexico

The local NPR station broadcasts a promo for a program segment about spring allergies. They're gonna be bad, the announcer says.

Oh, I say. That's why I've been experiencing such extreme allergic symptoms recently. Sneezing. Sniffles. Scratchy throat. Itchy eyes. Off and on for several weeks. It's been beyond uncomfortable.

And then I remember.

I'm in my hotel room in San Diego last week. I've just come from Sedona, where my allergy symptoms were intense.

Juniper? Well, yes, it is the season.

But it's more complicated than that.

Actually, it's simpler.

You see, as I'm sitting in my hotel room, I remember that my symptoms act up and are at their worst either when I'm in Sedona or when I've been talking to my former wife, who lives in Sedona.

Am I allergic to her?

No, of course not.

But allergies are a function of the immune system, which is designed to kick in when it senses a threat.

Recently, as issues around my ex-wife and our separation have come up for deeper healing (see Heart Open Wide), parts of me are feeling profoundly threatened.

Although from a higher perspective, betrayal does not exist, my human-child self knows only that he has been betrayed and must not trust.

It's not safe!!! he shouts. And feeling endangered, he calls in the troops. Shields up! he cries. Defenses up!

My immune system responds, with sneezes, sniffles, itches and scratches, trying to fight off the danger, as it has done throughout my life.

As a child, my immune system was very active. I had many allergies. I had many fears. The world didn't feel safe, wasn't safe.

Today, that child is once again frightened, once again reluctant to trust.

Today, though, a new strategy is called for. A new defense.

That defense can only come from a place of love, of trust, of forgiveness...all the emotions it feels too dangerous to embrace.

It feels too dangerous. Yet that danger is an illusion. I cannot fear an illusion. I dare not.

Sitting in my San Diego hotel room, the Pacific waves thundering on the beach beyond my window, I offer a new strategy, a new defense.

I open my heart in love, I say.

I open my heart in trust.

I open my heart in forgiveness.

And, finally: It's safe to open my forgive.

The symptoms don't dissipate immediately. Many years -- lifetimes, perhaps -- of patterning must dissolve. But as my words remind me of the truth, that truth gains power in my body and in my life.

It is safe. I am safe.

I continue my drive -- deeper into New Mexico, deeper into spring, deeper into allergy season. Deeper into my heart.

Photo by Mark David Gerson: Pacific Beach, San Diego, California

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Out of Texas

Sunday, March 4 ~ I-10 near El Paso, Texas

The push to come to Texas was so strong, it's hard to believe my "mission" here (whatever it was) has been accomplished.

In fact, when I woke yesterday morning in Alpine and heard the voice of Spirit state unequivocally, "You're done in Texas," I was surprised and annoyed.

"Done?" I asked. "But what did I do?"

No answer...a reminder that we needn't always know the reason, needn't always have an explanation, needn't always do much other than trust and surrender.

Yet just because we don't need to doesn't mean we don't want to.

Two years ago, on my first visit to Madison, Wisconsin, I found myself on a frustrating, cross-town odyssey as I searched for a place to spend the night. I drove for over an hour, looking at different motels, never finding myself satisfied.

Finally, after checking into a Microtel, I looked at the city map and realized that I had just driven three concentric circles around Madison, starting with several loops around the state Capitol.

I had always suspected that my seemingly random journeying was purposeful, that I was unconsciously carrying out some form of earthwork, gridwork and lightwork. I had suspected it, but was still skeptical.

A large chunk of my skepticism dissolved that day.

Yet I feel some of that same skepticism today as I prepare (I think) to leave Texas. I wonder why, after so much drama, I'll have spent only three nights in a small corner of this huge state.

As I did in Madison, I stop to look at a map. My finger traces my Texas travels...

East from El Paso along Rte 62-180 to Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

South on Rtes 54 and 90 through Van Horn and Marfa to Alpine.

North to Fort Davis and Kent.

West along I-10 to Van Horn (where I spent last night's lunar eclipse) and back to El Paso.

What my finger has traced is an infinity symbol!

I don't know what that means. But I know it's no accident that my travels have carried me along the roads that created that pattern. I know, too, that all I can do in every moment is trust God's GPS to guide me along the highest path -- be it a a physical highway or spiritual one.

Photos by Mark David Gerson: #1 Guadalupe Mountains National Park; #2 Twin Peaks, near Alpine, TX; #3 McDonald Observatory, near Fort Davis, TX; #4 Lunar Eclipse over Van Horn, TX

Sign of the Times IV

Thursday, March 1 ~ Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

The highway sign says it all...or almost...

I've always loved the name of this town in southern New Mexico....even if it comes from the famed quiz show. (The town's original name was Hot Springs.)

I love it because it reminds me that there are consequences when I don't walk in my truth, speak my truth and live in my truth...the truth of my highest expression...the truth of my Divinity.

It's not always easy to choose truth.

But when we don't, it's even harder to live with the consequences.

Divine Will

Saturday, February 24 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico

When I completed the rough sketch for this drawing five days ago in Sedona, it asked to be titled Free Will.

Yet as the energy of the sketch percolated within me, Free Will morphed into Divine Will.

What happened?

As I contemplate the final drawing, almost identical to its sketch, I realize that our truest freedom is not the freedom to do what we want when we want. That’s not free will. That’s ego gratification.

True free will -- and, with it, true freedom -- exists when we surrender to and act on the most authentic expression of our highest will, our Divine Will.

Order a copy of "Free Will" (#114) or see other of Mark David's sacred geometry and sacred earth drawings