Walmart Satori

Today I am kind of depressed, a natural inflection.  I leave the house in a huff in my pajamas, not knowing where I will end up.  When a little down in the dumps, a run or yoga will typically pick me up.  When true Despair makes a visit I crave a long drive, the open road giving me a sense of freedom and liberation my running shoes and yoga mat cannot.
Due to my overarching need for Purpose, I go where most people who are depressed end up when they leave their house in their pajamas:  Walmart.
I sit outside and watch people go in and out, enjoying the anonymity of being in a city 45 minutes from the small town I call home.  I have some solid ideas on what is causing my depression, but I do not want to address any of these things.  Instead, I stew on the circular nature of karma and the difficulty of the human condition.
I attempt to romanticize my current situation with ideas that I will meet a great spiritual teacher here on the bench outside of this Superstore of America.  The young Hispanic sweeping up the trash around me offers me,  “Looks like it is going to rain again today.  I brought my jacket out just in case.”
“Yeah, but the rain is still a blessing, eh?”  I offer, hopeful that he will transform this everyday banter into a profound insight on my current state of sadness.
He nods and moves on to litter further away.
Another employee, a rounded woman in her mid-30s, sits on a bench two down from mine.I glance over.

She swigs her Mountain Dew and belches loudly.

Disappointed, I head into the store. I typically reward myself with a bag of Sun Chips and a Vitamin Water after a Wal-mart experience, but today I am not in the mood.  I check out with no treats and load up my car for the drive back up to 8,000 feet.

Lately, I have been running.  I am training for a marathon.  Well, I think I am training for a marathon, just as I think I will one day write a book.  Today my schedule dictates that I run, but I here I sit pecking away on my computer.  Today may be the first day I miss a training run.

I wonder what the point is.  Not just the point of running a marathon, but what is the point of anything?  What is the point of consuming Sun Chips?  The pint of Guinness after work?  The hours I spend on my yoga mat?  What difference does it make to the world if I log miles, meditate or drink ten shots?

I can cling to running, I can cling to work, I can cling to Guinness, but in the end, it is all the same.  My ego seeks to define itself by external activities, consumptions or possessions.  In one moment, I strive to find identity as something-a yogi, a lover, a writer.  In the next moment, I know from the experience of my past lives as a financial planner, student and wife of that my spirit cannot make a singular identification with something else home.  There will always be cracks in the matrix.  There will always be a lack of grounding in these pursuits.

While I have learned this little life lesson, I do not know what is past it.  So, I struggle.  I attach myself to what is lost because I do not know yet what is to be found.

Maybe the young Hispanic at Wal-mart has a point after all.  It does look like it is going to rain today.  I should have brought my jacket.

“All you have to do is pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know to take the next step.”  Paulo Coehlo, The Zahir

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