“With the inward eye looking

Where does the external world come from?

And where does it disappear to?

Looking at it again,

One distinguishes

Between the inner and outer world,

Between true and false.”

Koan on “Insight”

– Po-Chu-I

I have been too agitated to write about Zen and too emotional to work on my book. Even just saying this is difficult to face. Sometimes the crazy comes roaring back into my life and rather than calmly shut the door, I fall back into the corner cowering and letting it pull things apart. Let it pull me apart. I have been in pieces, I have been trying to hold myself together.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the question “Who are you without your trauma?” and I’ve found in different ways little pieces of myself, in… funny places, where my trauma doesn’t show up, or maybe can’t show up. I have relationships with friends where their traumas and hardships are maybe bigger… or maybe just more present than mine. I have relationships where my life sits on the back burner, who I am is totally unseen, because what I do is more important than who I am while doing it. This is all to say, I don’t know who I am without my trauma, but I want to find out. I’m trying to find out. I’m learning and it is still scary to not know, but I will not stop seeking to know the Universe and so myself.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides, and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

moved Earth and Heaven, that which we are, we are.

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will,

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

– Ulysses

Alfred, Lord Tennyson