Some years back when I was living in Portland, OR I was trying to find my way around the Pearl District. I had lived in this city for eight years and this part was still a messy maze to me.

Nothing new about this. All my life I have felt disoriented in a world of one-way streets, stop signs at this corner and not the next, cars behind me wanting me to go faster. On this occasion, quite reliably, feelings of overwhelm and fragility arrive. Thoughts of 'this world is too much for me', ' I'll never get better at this stuff', ...all start filling up the screen of my consciousness. I want to be at home, safe in my own house and I especially want to be away from what's going on in my nervous system. As I start sinking into this whirlpool of conditioned mind, images of my mother arise......her lost, scared, befuddled face on leaving a strange building..... not knowing which way to turn..... clinging to the arm of one of her adult daughters as if her life depended on it.

I feel the beginnings of the heart stirring as I look at my dear mother's face and feel what she carried in her body for a lifetime. For a while mother and daughter are one......as I hold her, hold me and weep for the both of us. There is a sensing of this feebleness going back up the female ancestral line, all the way back to that horrific moment in time when we believed ourselves to be separate from God. The beauty of the softened heart takes over my consciousness........a softness no separate individual can claim ownership of. It is the heart of all being coming back for all its precious, unloved ones.

Will this character ever move quickly and smartly in the world.... something that was always longed for. Goodness knows. And does it really matter. In the cocooning of the heart, you realize you don't really mind. This landscape of vulnerability, will it need visiting again. I can't imagine not as inch by inch the heart folds everything into itself.