what is

I was driving down Highway 1, in the morning. The waves and the fog were churning, in the same color and at the same speed. I remembered the lake next to the Zen Center in Minneapolis, even though, when I was there, there were no waves and no fog. Lake Calhoun, where I went to that meditation meeting in rehab. I thought of what it would be like to go back there. I would dress appropriately this time. I would know what Minnesota is like this time of year. I would be healthier and less frightened. I would be crying, because I would be sitting in the same spot I sat in nine or ten months or a year before, where I had been awakening, but out of a deep dark. I’d be so grateful and so sad.

As I drove, I listened to an audiobook where the author, a Buddhist teacher, was talking about taking a sacred pause – letting go of the doing, of all of the self-improvement projects, and attending to what is. She said it would be difficult, and it was. I thought of the little blue card in my wallet that my friend from rehab gave me on my last day, telling me it was my pause. I was supposed to see it and it was supposed to remind me to breathe and attend to what is, and I haven’t looked at it once in these last eight months.

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