I have discovered an endless natural resource. It's a fuel from the meaning contained in my child, and it is used for a special kind of traveling.
Sometimes I think of the endless in terms of the overwhelming and mundane. The piles on my desk are endless. The housecleaning is definitely endless. And, as far as my child goes, it's possible at times to see the administrative tasks, the sheer volume of things he needs help with, the medical issues, the Unknown, as endless. But this is a richer endless.
The force and depth of what we go through gives a soft, penetrative quality to any aspect of my vantage of Us. It makes it possible to access myself, through that field of Us.
"You have pushed so much away that now it seems impossible to make room for it all, but that is your [child's] legacy to you."
Stephen Levine, Meetings at the Edge, p. 2
Through that initial push of: baby joy, worry, disappointment, shock, anger, exhaustion, pride, acceptance, sorrow, and humor, all in one relationship, I was invited to a place of cleansing, treasure, and peace. Again and again.
It can take a lot of days or months of beating my head against the wall on the way to get there. I get stuck on whether I am doing it right, on imaginary things I think I must do to be acceptable, on actual barriers, on judgments of others and myself. I can want to be in charge. Now everyone, listen! I am creating the universe today, and the first order of reality is removal of all Cheerios from the floor, and this is more important than the seasons, the elements, and life itself! (as an example) Or, okay, we are going to Fix this kid! I am imagining this all better, so that. . .um, I won't have to change diapers in ten years and I will be able to eat a meal putting the food into my mouth instead of someone else's. I refuse to. . .Whoa.
My child's meaning is a door for me. A door to me, a door to God.
Through surprise at deformity and pathology, I discover what is real in being alive and human. Having your eyes point a certain direction, having all the parts of your brain, being able to walk - these are definitely human, but they are not quite right on.
Through anger, I discover the very weight and fact of our existence. We have need, we are imperfect, and we turn to others for help, and they may be imperfect. In addition to anger, there is just the fact of all of us together, imperfect.
Through wrestling, giggling, and drifting to sleep, I discover comfort and timelessness.
Because my child is always around, I have so many points into that work, when I want it. If he dies first, they will still be there, because I will have grief, and his memory. If I die first, if I'm lucky, I will have enough warning to touch them through concern for his life and through potentially surrendering that concern. So the resource is pretty much inexhaustable for me, for my lifetime.
Eventually I come to believe that it's possible to go to that place without starting at a specific situation. The place doesn't exist because of the situations. They are an ideal way to get there, though, because they continually pop up for us. We don't really require permission to go there, but we somehow may need the situations' frequent pokes in the butt to go there. The place is what is endless. It can really take some struggle to touch it though. And I won't lie, it takes pointing out by other humans who are rich enough to share it with us.
Hmm, the place is endless, and the doors are endless.
Some traditions teach that we are half animal and half angel. We are so fortunate, because our nature thus always leaves the ladder down for us to touch, should we want to. It's always there.
So, I love my son, but I also love the fact of having been given this son in this way at this time. It is a lifeline back to love itself.