i was right here

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It was Christmas 1995... I was here housesitting for my best friend... and then again in October of the next year... and then again in February 1997... same place... and I only know this because of a postmark on a note from my teacher. I think karma slashed my friendship with Peter because, for all his amazing attributes, he is definitely not right company, and because I can't lean on that power spot for the rest of my life. But right here I lost all track of time and gravity.

The telephone ended it, I remember answering it and some jackass was mowed down that I was elite enough, special enough, to be trusted by Peter with his property. It was idiotic. The guy was too friendly and too worshipful and was apologizing for busting in on my Christmas. He hoped he hadn't interrupted anything. Nonsense. Christmas isn't for another couple days... is it? He swore to me it was Christmas night. I thought it was still the 23rd, didn't end up really believing him about this date discrepancy until I was able to get off the phone and call someone I trusted to verify the actual date.

I think Peter and his wife had left on the 19th to go spend the holiday with her family. They were due back on the 27th so he could be back in time to get his club ready for New Year's Eve. So I would have decided to shoo myself off on about the 21st, maybe even the 20th, really very soon after arriving... and close to morning. See I'm trying to figure out the duration without having a firm grip on the start date, just knowing I had not been there yet 48 hours, and discovering to my amazement that a whole fairly serious holiday had come and gone.

I remember shooing myself off like a swarm of really annoying gnats, and I remember being irked back into this density on Christmas night. I do also remember everything in between, but had no concept of time or effort or disaster or ailment or regret or difficulty of any sort. I didn't do anything special with that time. I fed the dog, the problem dog who somehow was no problem for me. I watered the plants. I made my meals, using a lot of herbs and things I was clipping from the garden, and ate them. I cleaned the mud room. I showered on the porch. I stoked the wood burner. I smoked cigarettes. I enjoyed the drips from the pear tree limb as I walked down from the house to the office that is completely hidden by the shade of the redwoods in this image. I enjoyed the mists, the forest on the hillside opposite the course of Greenwood Creek below. I did everything I always did at Peter's house, whether he was there or not.

The difference was only that none of these activities took any effort at all, and there was no sense of calories out or in. Nothing was meaty or drudging. I'm thinking something like sandpaper might've been extinct there... or not of the character to scrape anything abrasively. It would have to have scraped caressingly if you even wanted to keep the word "scrape" in this lexicon. My butt didn't smoosh into the stair as I sat there with my cigarette, seeing everything in its perfection of selfness there. There was no muscle strain in any of the going up and down of that place, and there is a very lot of that there all the time. I played a lot of Klondike on the computer down in the office. It was extremely pleasing.

In short, I didn't do anything you'd call transcendent in that time. You'd have to be able to look back on the moment your mind's eye saw yourself shooing yourself off like a swarm of gnats, a kind of swarm that one wave of your arm disperses to the winds. You'd have to have been dumbfounded about discovering you'd missed Christmas, the gnats being injected back in through your ear. It was not a momentary insight. It went on for days of no time.

I had almost completely forgotten the followup there ten months later. It was only two days. I'm pretty sure about that, even though it could have been as many as five, and didn't notice the gnats leaving at all, just noticed my heart filling up like someone had shot the Pacific into it. That time not only did my butt not smoosh on the stair but I noticed there were a few inches between my butt and the stair you'd say I was sitting on. I took Goldie out for a nice fast drive down Highway One and over Fish Rock Road to Boonville and back home from the Philo side with Seal music blasting out her moonroof, just for doing it, just for singing at the top of my lungs and screaming out the electric Pacific that never ebbed. I chatted with a grocery clerk, lit him up. It was an active thing, not my usual thing of just holing up at the house for the whole time. There was the very heavy flavor of the happiness of love lost on the physical plane, which, you might agree, is rare as fuck. This time there was at least a Pacific Ocean more joy to it, and a definite sense of more than ease, of infinite power, and love, and joy, joy even in the worst pain you can't even imagine... and noticing that my body wasn't touching anything.

I can't tell you why that was almost forgettable when the Lost Christmas was not. Just consider that joy is only a reaction to the bliss of fundamental reality. After that, it becomes simply being as is. Still, you are not out of the range of backsliding.

Finally, there for a whole month, and my birthday looming, it all dropped into place, what this meant, what it completely was, and all the blockage between me and me lifted and reality expressed itself clearly. I was not aware of weight or weightlessness. When time was or wasn't. Just very strong and clear and sorry for every mistake of my life and full again with that ocean of love and gratitude. Not divorced from me and not holding onto me. It felt like the tumblers in a lock all falling into place. That very moment, Peter stopped being my friend. From wherever he was. I didn't leave him. He left me. He felt those tumblers. He knew. He shrunk. He could not abide it.

I could describe every bit in the minutest detail and you would not grok what I was saying. You might even be able to memorize it so you could trick people with it. You would not understand. You would not wake up.