Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting the (Common) Sense Knocked Out of Me

Tuesday, Sept. 9 ~ Sedona, Arizona

I'm walking along Hwy. 179 in Sedona's Village of Oak Creek, nursing a bashed nose that's still tender and a bit bloody after its run-in this morning with a plate-glass slider.

Sedona, which has always been good to me through the two times I've lived here and through countless visits since, seems to have taken on a Mommie Dearest persona on this trip.

Although Saturday's talk and book-signing at The Well Red Coyote went wonderfully, I've had no end of challenges with my hotel: locks and keys that don't work, a mattress that leaves my back aching each morning, rowdy guests who wake me in the wee hours and, of course, the glass slider in the breakfast room.

If this is a dress rehearsal for a return to on-the-road living, it's not going well.

You see, when I get back to Albuquerque on Friday, I'll be packing up and preparing to return to some version of the road odyssey that I've written about so often on this site.

Meantime, in true Sedona style, I'm sort of stuck here. That's because my daughter's ninth birthday is the main reason I'm in town, and that's not until Thursday. I suppose I could change hotels, but it doesn't feel as though this particular hotel is the real issue.

As I continue my walk, trying to clear the fuzziness from my head, my cell phone rings. It's a dear friend who has been experiencing challenges of her own. Her call is not about challenges, though. It's about the angel who volunteered to help her out over the weekend and then gifted her with a massage.

I don't often get direct messages for people when I'm not in session mode. But in this moment, a powerful inner/higher voice urges me to say to her, "Don't doubt that you're being taken care of."

As I speak the words, my voice catches and I feel a surge of emotion. These words are also for me.

I realize in that moment that all the mishaps that have been feeding my anxiety about going back on the road are because of my anxiety about going back on the road.

Why am I anxious? Because I'm afraid I won't be supported.

Of course, there's no reason to feel that. Through 30 months of full-time travel I was always supported. Miracle after wondrous miracle kept me going, and never did I feel abandoned.

Yet I fear abandonment now because this journey isn't like the last one. How could it be? Why would I repeat something I've already mastered?

No, this is a new level -- of something. And not knowing what kind of void I'm about to drive into leaves me feeling fearful.

Conventional thinking and common sense support my fear. But conventional thinking and common sense also argue against the way I live my life: leaping off cliffs and trusting that I'll sprout wings on the way down...stepping into one void after another in the certainty that I'll be supported...surrendering unconditionally to the highest, most divine nature I can access in any moment.

It's no accident that my friend's call came after I bashed my head. Perhaps I needed common sense knocked out of me to make room for the higher, divine sense that generally directs my life. Perhaps I needed to be reminded what is true (my faith) and what is illusion (my fear).

Twenty-four hours have passed since I walked into the glass slider. I'm sitting in the same hotel breakfast room wearing the same Voice of the Muse t-shirt I wore yesterday.

Today, though, a fellow hotel guest notices my shirt, asks me about it and, ultimately, buys a copy of the book. Ten minutes later, I've sold a second book. Within an hour, I've sold a third.

All three sales occur right by the plate-glass slider that knocked common sense out of me yesterday -- to remind me that I'm always supported on this uncommon journey of faith.

As I travel east this fall, I'll be looking for opportunities to present talks and sound activations, offer classes and workshops, and do book-signings. If you have any thoughts, ideas or suggestions or are open to hosting an event, please drop me a line.

Photos #1 & 3 by Mark David Gerson: #1 Sedona Red Rocks; #3 Hwy 167 near Mono Lake, California. Photo #2: The patio by my hotel's breakfast room.


unwriter said...

I'd love to host an event! Too bad I don't have any money to do it or a place to do it. Your anxiety is rough, but you have the key to it. Keep the faith. Miracles happen every day and I've seen them happen. Keep traveling, that is your destiny.

Mark David Gerson said...

Thanks, Ron, for the good thoughts. No worry on the event front. It always works out -- whether I worry or not. So I might as well not!

zhadi said...

I loved this post, both for the humor and the message. I love the description of Sedona having taken on a Mommy Dearest persona...

Mark David Gerson said...

Thanks, Zhadki. Fortunately, it was a padded hanger...and all is well (if weird) again.

Ivan Chan Studio said...

Ain't that a kick in the head? :)

Glad you're embracing the path before you (and congratulations on your book sales!).

There are invisible obstacles and challenges (like fear) that can stop us in our tracks until we acknowledge (and open the glass slider) and let them pass over us.

My best wishes for you for the journey ahead.


Anonymous said...

OMG - I once did the same thing - only it was in my own home! Yup, thought the (newly installed by me) patio door was open (thanks to my sterling cleaning job) and walked nose first right into the glass. Maybe commons sense was telling me I need to get out of the house more!? LOL

Mark David Gerson said...

Perhaps the moral, Marvin, is to never clean (or close) sliding glass doors!