Over Montana, I reckon. As always when I fly I remember too late that I want to have a map with me. A wide swash of flat valley-land between two mountain ranges, and I don't have the faintest idea what the mountains were, or what the valley might be. The mountains go on forever, now.
We took off southwest, St Helens out my (righthand) window. Wheeled around over the Columbia, while Hood floated slowly across my field of vision. Then up throught the clouds, and when we came out we were over the Oregon desert.
Mole blinking in the sunlight. It's been a long time, a long time since I remember the world getting wider, more spacious. For almost twenty years it's been narrowing, closing down to just family and work and compulsion. Then I guess seven or eight years ago, the Dharma began opening up space inside -- where it counts, of course -- but outside still the narrow round, work I don't particularly care about, the daily routines of "our little family," as we always refer to the four of us. We've had something of a fortress mentality, really.
So day before yesterday I had lunch with E., and it felt so different. Like when I was in grad school. Everything interesting. Except better, because I don't have anything to prove now. I feel marvellously agenda-less. I'm done with all that. I'm not trying to make anything happen. It's like taking off a seventy-pound backpack after a day's hike; I feel I could float into the air. It's been a long time in the making.
This is not what the Dharma is for, of course. It's the step that means the most to me right now -- it's a measure of freedom from things that have oppressed me all my life, all of this life. But really it's just an incidental side-effect. A minor increment. It feels huge, though. What would real freedom feel like? I can't even begin to imagine.