I sit here in an aluminum shack with no electricity. I charge my computer each day on borrowed power long enough to be able to write. Ironically, I still have telephone service, but up until today I had to go to a café near my work to use their internet to make my postings.

I have learned to be grateful for a job that I despise working for an Evil Empire that is a big part of the machinery that is enslaving America.

So I sit here in the dark. My only light is the screen of my computer, which I turn down to extend the battery time left. I cook my meals over a fire in my barbeque. I keep my food in a cooler and add new ice each morning.

It is only a temporary setback. (That is what I keep telling myself.) I enjoyed a fair share of privilege and culture, a good education and lovingly misguided parents who did their best to provide me a good home. Much of my life has been a balance of comfort, culture, music, means, and adventure. I have loved freely with a reckless abandon that has been reciprocated far beyond my dreams. I wish I had been more appreciative of it at the time.

However, several convergent financial catastrophes and personal losses beyond my control have aligned themselves like planets in some astrological perfect storm that threatens to reduce me to my lowest common denominator.

Most of it was due to factors beyond my control, but some of it could have been avoided by better judgment. (And before you ask…no, I am not a drug addict.) Such is the nature of hindsight…although we wish so much that it could make us wiser, or provide us with foresight, in truth if adversity really does build character, I would be the Buddha by now, and I am not….

I know. I met the Buddha once, while traveling along the road, and I killed him and fed his body to a hungry dog. I will probably meet him again.

In my Cabin in the Woods I live amongst other Fallen Angels and Lost Souls, most of whom are united by bad luck, bad judgment, unfortunate circumstances or bad timing. Most of them would rather be anywhere else but here, but there is no escaping that we are all here for good reason.

I have a couple of neighbors who are here by choice. This is not their real home, but they enjoy the same quiet and serenity that I love about the place.

We have become fast friends already, and their generosity and kindness has helped me to not just endure my present hardships, but to be able to survive them in a way that gives me hope and inspires me on a daily basis. I am slowly learning to flourish within my adversity. Each day I surprise myself with my ingenuity and determination.

I thought that I was looking forward to being able to return the favor when my circumstances improved until today….

Today, just now, I realized that I do not have to wait for anything to improve to simply extend kindness and compassion to whomever I meet that needs it, and that simple realization has given me something I did not possess before just now, and that understanding will give me what I need to prevail.

It is also the only way I will ever be able to pay it back…by paying it forward.

My new friends are people of means. They do not need my repayment or my charity. They suffered their own setbacks and losses long before I met them, but managed to prevail, and even prosper.

They drive vehicles much nicer than anyone else does here, including the owners of the park, and I have seen pictures of their other home…they are here by choice, and they are here for good reason…and so am I.

They already know how much compassion enhances their existence, and I was sent here to learn it from them…not later, after my circumstances improve…but here and now, in the ever-present, never present, present moment.

This is something indestructible, which cannot be taken from me no matter how far I have yet to fall or fail.

This is something that no amount of financial or social privilege or good fortune can give you. I have known people who were born into wealth, as well as people who worked hard and smart(ly) to acquire considerable means, only to lose it, who never recovered from the loss, because material wealth was all they had.

They were so focused on what they acquired, and what they needed to do to acquire it, or what they possessed that when they lost it, they lost everything, as well as themselves…in so doing, they became possessed by their possessions.

We all so much want to have fun that most of us have no clue as to what to do when the fun stops, and one way or another, it WILL…for ALL of us….

I already know now how to keep dancing after the music stops…after the band goes home…after the flames consume the roof, and it is only you and I, dancing the Apocalypso.

If there is a divine order to the universe it would seem to be that within an infinite existence, everything will happen eventually, and some things will succeed and prevail, and other things will not.

There is order even in chaos. Our impatience makes us prisoners of desperation so consumed by fear of our own mortality that we fail to see the beauty of our Dharma as it surrounds us every day.

I will no longer be a prisoner of my own adversity once I learn to embrace it. I am filled with gratitude for all things, and it is my wish to share that with all of you in your own times of need.

Baraka Bashad.

6 Responses to “Adversity”

  1. eric keys Says:

    This is wonderful stuff dripping with much sweet truth.

    • Thanks. I’m learning to appreciate everything that happens. Right now a hot cup of coffee or a bath that didn’t involve building a fire seem like the most amazing luxuries…my gratitude is becoming abundant, and I embrace the adversity, rather than self-pity. I am blessed, and blissed. I wish I could do a better job of sharing it. That is my goal. I really appreciate the encouragement though. Knowing I hit the mark for someone I respect helps give me strength.

  2. You are clearly in the right mind to acknowledge all that is right. It’s a saving grace to be able to have that vision, I think because seeing the positive is the way to keep your mind open to possibilities when adversity bears down on you. Seeing the possibilities is the key to changing whatever you want to change if you want to change. It keeps yourself in a positive perspective. Your soul is strong in itself. xo, Jayne

    • I felt your pain in the last post I read…as well as a few other friends who are suffering or frustrated. It helped inspire me…to see past the Maya, and recognize the Dharma. We are not alone.

  3. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words Says:

    you have an interesting flow of energy….
    I have been where you speak of…and now I live moment to moment…I am my own making, I settled to exist and once I fell out of the existing to live…and after almost three years I am embracing the good in all the pain and betrayal….I figured out my last trip to Alice’s it is okay to grieve for love….lost or taken away …
    I honestly thought or actually didn’t think about it as grieving…
    live and learn i guess…
    the man I gave my kidney to died on the 6th of January …it was such a strange feeling…long story I won’t bore you …
    your thoughts are drifting through me like those whispers I hear on the wind…Thank you…
    ( and I forgot on the other post..not everyone over 50+ wouldn’t want to welcome you ..some of enjoy energy such as yours…)
    Take Care….You Matter…

    • Thank you, maryrose…truly…you have been a welcome source of beautiful energy more often that I have commented upon. I like visiting your site, btw.
      Some of the most poignantly beautiful moments of my life have been immensely painful or sorrowful, and yet I do not, in retrospect believe I would have traded them for something “happier”, because it is in leaning into that hard, cold edge of hunger, pain, loss, regret…whatever, that we come to know what it is to be alive…to transcend all of it, and yet still be in the moment.
      When I was very young, I was blessed by the love and affections of a few women much older than myself, and now, even years later, I still am grateful for what they taught me about not being blinded or obsessed by age, or age differences. We are all here for a reason. I see beauty everywhere I look, some days, in the places others ignore. We seem to hear a number of the same voices in the wind that blows through our lives. You too.

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