painful abiding

A current of contentedness is threading through my days. I just spent about four hours moving books and plants into my new home. I felt the heaven-earth-human balance in my spine and spiraling femurs and singing knee joints. I felt the temperature of the clay pots warmed by the sun, the dry brush of cardboard boxes on my forearms and finger pads, dehydration in the form of dry lips, and the city sounds of traffic and a water pump making music of the whole effort.

Now, I am in the midst of reading fellow students’ papers and discussion posts. I appreciate their vulnerable sharings of personal insights to lackings of awareness – which then become awarenesses of insights. My sense of flow slows, and I wonder what I am in denial of? I feel so connected, plugged in to the immeasurable source of energy, love, whathaveyha. I cannot deny the goodness that I am feeling, breathing, moving these days. There are emotions that waver for sure. However, the mood recently has been awesomely appreciative, light in weight, and receptive.

I do not care to imply that these are fruits of my practice or discipline. I do not imagine the road is so orderly. It may be. But I am simply aware that all is happening with ease and awareness of some variety – whether of the enlightened or truly insightful kind just is impertinent.

Does this mean my contributions in discussion posts are less engaging and provoking of interchange with others? It seems so. I do not receive much back and forth in the threads online. I don’t have many authentic questions. I am listening. And it looks as if I am telling, and surely as if I always have an answer. Silence could be an appropriate tool here. Yet, I am evaluated on entering the required number of posts.

To further illustrate the potency of the current mood of contentment: In recent weeks I have simultaneously been in acute physical and emotional pain regarding the continual coming out process as a transgender person. There have been many colorful waves of interactions and private moments, both cultivating senses of wholeness, connection, and being seen, and senses of brokenness, isolation and invisibility.

Contentment is reflected in this experience too, as there is no part of me over-reacting or over-efforting to rectify or defend or change anything about the circumstances. Changes are happening. I am opening up. I am expressing some discomfiture, and feeling held in moments of sorrow and confusion. This sort of paradox, from the ground state of contentment blended with melancholy, is utterly bearable (and bare-able). My prior history in the ground state of depression made such paradox unbearable to the point of constant-seeming suicide ideation.

I am abiding, for now.


7 Responses to “painful abiding”

  1. Kelly Says:


    I want you to know that your comments and contributions are more engaging and inspiring to me than I know how to respond by written communication. I sit in silence with your words for days on end, chewing them and tasting their fullness of flavor, and sometimes I don’t know what they mean, but they are speaking to me nonetheless. 🙂

    Love you! I am by your side always,

  2. Olynda Says:

    It’s kind of classic, that the day I finally have a moment to come play on your site- as I have been happily doing for the past two hours- is the day after you’ve posted this post 🙂 You’re description of your contentment is so poetic and engaging that I feel moved deeper into my own sense of contentment just from reading… And that seems noteworthy and powerful. Powerful in the gentlest, kindest most beautiful way. Fresh. And suddenly the world has a little less suffering in it. samtosha…
    loving u

  3. Rebecca Says:

    Hi Elliott,
    I love your posts, but I am generally a quiet, noncommenting kind of reader. Keep on writing – and being contented! I love hearing when you are happy and when you need a friend. You can count on it.

    And what a treat to see Olynda here too. 🙂

    • embodhiment Says:

      ugh. rebecca. you are radical and raucous and reachable and remarkable and receptive and (woh- r’s are challenging 😉 [dhuu. maybe i shoud go with bec next time ?]

      thank you dearest rebecca/bec for being you!
      all best to you and yours!

  4. mundane rapture « embodhiment Says:

    […] i am finally one or two tasks away from completing this nesting phase into my new dwelling (the one i moved into in february!). it is another testament to some side-door benefit of practicing deep rest? meditation? yoga […]

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