Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ticket to Anywhere

I was so busy throwing out what was not coming to the new place and cleaning up after the garage sale, I didn’t notice I threw out something of value. Early the next morning, as I sat meditating, slowly slipping into the quiet of a California morning, it pops into my head, a special delivery from the universe, “You threw out the ticket.” It was difficult to sit much longer as the realization sunk in. It was a Sunday morning, there would not have been a trash pick up, "Maybe it won’t be too hard to find." I console myself. I throw on some old sweats, head across the concrete center area that all the apartments faced into, down the outdoor steps that lead to the parking area and open the lid to the dumpster. Two things strike me, mounds of garbage and a homeless person obviously beat me to the bin and opened bags with a different treasure in mind. It added flavor to the task ahead I tell myself. I decide I need a tool for the job. A broom, something with a long handle to push things around, I’m still in denial that the only way I have a shot at this needle in the haystack is to get in the dumpster. I figure out the inevitable in short order, climb up and jump in. I’m thinking I’m lucky it’s Sunday morning, really early, and maybe I get out of this with no one seeing me. I spend an hour emptying bags, searching through papers, avoiding food scraps and other yucky things with no luck. My landlord walks by looking like maybe he won’t be sorry I’m leaving by the end of the day. I try to explain but he’s clearly not interested. I go back to the work at hand. He comes back a few minutes later, doesn’t say a word but hands me some work gloves. A couple of other neighbors head to the cars with a wise crack directed my way. I’m busy, raking, sorting, and searching. It is well over an hour and I’m beginning to wonder. At first I had no doubt I’d find the ticket. After all this time I’m beginning to wonder if it is worth my time. I take a coffee break. I return. As I’m approaching two hours, with thoughts of all I have to do this day, I have a realization. “How perfect is this. I spend my last day in this place going through the garbage." It was a clear picture, a wrap up, of what I’d spent the last five years doing while I lived here. This is where I’d gone through my emotional trash, all the stuff you don’t want to look at. I’d stood in the middle of it, sorted and cried and released and now I’d “bought a ticket” out of here into a beautiful guest house with no shared walls and more importantly, no one above me. Just then I find the ticket, an airline ticket I could use to go anywhere. The full impact of the insight, the snap shot of what these years where about, in a morning's search settles in. I see the perfection of my throwing out the ticket, my mornings search and the last five years.

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