The High Road

There is a beautiful Wanderweg (clearly-marked walks through the Swiss countryside, mainly) in Kanton Zug. It sits atop the Zugerberg and contains breathtaking beauty, relaxing pedestrian strolls, a charmingly dilapidated church, fabulous tracks for bikers, and the “Skulpturenweg” for children and adults.

When I lived in Zürich, I took the short train ride (with my beloved SBB) to Zug, and  walked it many times. It was more meditation than sport. I would walk for hours – disappearing in the sound of cowbells and sunshine or rain or foggy mists.

The top of a Swiss mountain, even a “smaller” one like the Zugerberg, can make one pause. There is a literal and figurative perspective when viewing the city below that brings an immediate disconnect from “real life” and places one in the mountain’s uppermost sanctuary.

When looking down upon the city below, I recall feeling compelled to stay high. I wanted to stay at the top because being at the top felt easy and peaceful. Relative to what lingered below, the higher road above felt more who I was. (Do not mistake me, I can do it – work and live below – I just don’t want to.)

The low road is covered with soldiers running around wearing narcissism, greed, neglect, pathological lying, darkness, etc. like medals. It seems almost normal for quelque personnes on the low road to engage in the tearing apart of folks who don’t live like they do. People who place a higher premium on other virtues.

I don’t do that well and I hope my son will choose not to. It’s not a Catholic thing for me, it’s a human thing. I have one life, I don’t want to live it worshiping those gods.

The high road has better views and many things seem easier to “touch” up there – joy, God, clarity, compassion, sunshine. That’s what I want my son to strive for, also. Life can show you true joy when you stay focused on gratitude, generosity, and humility.

There’s one great thing that lives up there I failed to mention. Justice resides on the high road. Even as some on the low road fail to see her or care she is there. Justice always stays where the air is pure and the views are clear.

And, she’s one hell of a companion to have by your side.

Fear and Yogeet’s opinion on it

Since Monday around 10:30AM, I have been riddled with fear. Something bad happened to me on Monday morning and fear took over. Those of you who’ve seen me since then (minus Liv, who saw me ugly cry after it happened) will be surprised it’s so bad. I’ve been my “normal” smiling, perky self.

Today, my schedule cleared up and I knew it. I must get to Yogeet (referred to as my “Indian healer” on this blog and my FB page). But there was serious fear because of what happened Monday. I won’t say how, but I got to Yogeet this morning.

What I happened at Yogeet’s changed me forever. There will be upcoming days and nights when I feel anxiety, but I do not think I will feel fear again.

After about an hour, I told Yogeet a Jewish story I’d heard about Death. A man lives in a village and hears Death is coming. He’s scared, so he leaves his home and goes to another village to avoid Death. He gets to the new place, there’s a knock on the door, and it’s Death. “Wasn’t looking for the place, I was looking for the person. It’s your turn, buddy.”

Yogeet listened. Then, he said, “I have a similar story.”

Shiva is a popular god in Hinduism. He is usually adorned with serpents and wears nothing except a cloth of tiger fur covering his “his”dom. The rather disturbing planet of justice, Saturn, was apparently headed for Shiva one day. Most people are afraid of Saturn’s justice and so was Shiva. In fact, Shiva was scared shiv-less, so he decided to go into the river. He created a shield for himself and stayed in the river for 7 ½ years, to avoid being touched by Saturn’s version of justice. After 7 ½ years, Shiva emerges from the river and confronts Saturn. “I did it. You didn’t get me.” Saturn’s response, “You kept yourself from your home, your life, and your entire world based on your fear of justice. Who won? Me or You?”

Okay, I’m paraphrasing Yogeet’s words (which I also might have baffled) and I am certainly far from the “proper” telling of this. I don’t think they refer to Shiva’s “his”dom, for example.

But this story changed me. It is one thing to feel anxious and nervous. It is another thing entirely to be so afraid that you live a life dominated by your fear of anyone, anything, or any possibility.

That is not a life.

I will try to write more about this later because I truly was changed today. But, what I can say is that I am on the train headed HOME. To my home. And on Sunday, my knees will bend and I will pray my weekly prayer AT MY CHURCH. My church. As I do every Sunday, I will repeat the same prayer, “Thank you for giving me strong legs, a strong spirit, and a strong heart.”