Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Little Gal with No Name

Losing a wallet is not something that I have done often in the last couple decades. Before that, however, it was a frequent event, at least a couple times a year.

So this time, I
canceled my credit & debit cards, knowing the bright pink wallet will show up under a pile of clothes or in the pocket of a winter coat that fell behind the couch. I went to put my hands on the passport, which I recall being in a drawer with the birth certificate. Ah, wouldn't that have made it easy. But it was not to be found. My house eats identification!

The dilemma started to dawn on me. No credit card to order a new birth certificate, no birth certificate to get a social security card, and no ID of any kind to get a new driver's license. Whoops! I became the gal with no name.

The good news is that I found some tracking slips for three packages of my Mom's possessions, one of which never showed up. I couldn't find the slips so I couldn't track down the missing box with irreplaceable treasures. Instead of a passport, I found these after 6 months. A good trade.
Losing and finding is a major theme of my life. It all started when I was about seven, right after I came out of a several week hospital stint with spinal meningitis. Yowza. Don't get that one, folks. At that age, I wasn't sure if they were trying to cure me or kill me, but it all scared me into being a very good little girl.

The following year, I would go to school with all the stuff-books, sweater, lunchbox.
I would arrive home with nothing.
It was disheartening for both my Mom and me. Mom even asked my doctor if it could be residual brain damage from the meningitis.

We laughed about it years later, but at the time it wasn't that funny. As I recall, arriving home from school with empty hands involved lots of yelling. It didn't seem to matter how hard I tried to remember. I would get past the key moment, i.e. boarding the school bus, and it was all over for another day. So really, just losing a wallet now and then is a huge upgrade for me.

Another major lost item was my senior college thesis. My procrastination writing it had cost me three years on my diploma. When I finally went to deliver it, I hitched 3,000 miles to my college and lost it en route, when the suitcase was set on the ground during some reorganizing of the trunk. So a wallet is really small potatoes compared to that.

Because I've been reading about the structures that contain our lives but have nothing to do with who we really are, I 'm wondering if this 'wallet losing caper' might be a lesson plan with my name on it. Every scrap of my ID vanishes in one week- the paperwork that proves I live in this body, have a right to operate a motor vehicle, have a credit history, collect paychecks, get library books, work toward a free latte. Being without it does free me up somehow. I found myself dancing today for no reason. Slipping on the icy parking lot became a little soft shuffle boogie. Walking up the stairs got a dance rythym going. Just because my purse was lighter? Or was it something more?

Yeah, I'm getting used to the idea that all that paperwork really is not me. At least not the me I seem to be becoming.
I mean, the absurdity of stuffing an infinity sized spirit into this little human body...
and then pretending that the body is who I is, you is, we are.

I am little, too, only 60 inches even if you stretched me on the rack. So why do we do that? When the evidence points toward large spirits capable of remarkable powers, we try to convince ourselves otherwise. We treat babies and children as though they are inferior little people who intentionally interfere with our plans, instead of the spiritual giants they are.

So perhaps Marianne Williamson hit the nail on the head when she said (and Nelson Mandela so eloquently quoted),

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. "

So I have shed my outer identities (or maybe the elves stole them) and am reveling in the essence that I find outside of all that. There is something liberating about not having a wallet. I go into the gas station to write a check, and actually talk to the salesgal, instead of letting the machine just munch my card number. I stuff bills all over the place instead of having them tightly corralled in that little slot inside my wallet. It feels really disorganized, but it's just different. Maybe it's a good thing to get booted out of the comfort zone, no matter how trivial; just for a while to have to wing it without all the little cards that tell me who I am and how much credit I have.

T.S. sure had a handle on this...

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
is that which was the beginning;
As the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between the two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always-
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding" in the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, ed. Richard Ellman & Robert O'Clair, 1973


Big Sky Dreamer said...

Thanks for the lovely"virtual"visit.
Be well, write, write, write!
Love ya, beej

Big Sky Dreamer said...

Thanks for the lovely"virtual"visit.
Be well, write, write, write!
Love ya, beej