DAYS 28 & 29: 4 Minutes & 40/50 Seconds of Gazing

Pink CT Sunset
Brian Hogan

I have been gazing solo since returning from Connecticut. My trip to the other ocean and back broke up the routine I was in with my neighbors so I find myself alone on the cactus covered mound watching the sun burst onto the scene in the early morning now. Brett branched off and established his own routine with the sun early on, and he’s also become the most addicted to her. He describes to me how he stands there and when his face begins to hurt and the muscles in his brow pulsate as his tear ducts gush. Instead of giving into the squint he holds his eyes open even wider with his fingers. This impresses me. I admire the faith he’s bringing to the experiment. There is no doubt in his mind he can completely heal his wounded eye. His certainty bolsters me. In the presence of his clarity I can see more clearly my trepidation. I know the sun-gazing has emotional effects, I’ve been experiencing them first hand. But will it manifest into my physical reality? Can the sun heal my gums and really make Brett fly? I don’t know. But Brett does seem to know, and that’s comforting. When I’m around him at least I can see what certainty looks like. And it looks amazing from here. 

As a consolation prize to Brett’s absolute faith, at least the conditioning I had earned in those first few weeks of gazing has quickly returned to my eyes. I can stare for the entire four minutes and change without the harsh struggle I had when I began again after my six day cloud sponsored break. Its as if the sun and I are making up after a fight and we finally achieve some peace. Only the fight was all in my mind, I realize, now that I’ve grown accustomed to the suns raw wattage again. The sunlight never changed, never wavered. The clouds interfered because they represent my inner clouds, keeping me from seeing things clearly. As above, so below. As within, so without. This ancient morsel of divine revelation unearthed in the tomb of Hermes seems to keep popping into my mind as I travel this road with the sun. It is revealing to me that every moment of life and every molecule of matter holds within it, inherently, guidance and love for us; it is a reflection of what is occurring within us, just waiting to be understood by us, for the benefit of, well, us. 

I have felt that invisible hand of guidance more clearly since beginning gazing. Maybe the sunlight just makes it easier to see the meaning or the lesson in something. Or maybe I’m so thick headed that I just need a little more nudging than most so the universe is being less and less demure. I mean, last week the universe sent me a message through an inebriated party goer I’m calling my drunk angle to stop drinking and eating junk food. I imagine that was a wild last resort. Then today as I’m leaving my house to head to my mechanic, the first of two random strangers interjects themselves into my life for no apparent reason but to deliver me another universal pick-me-up. The second angelic message of the day was delivered a few hours later as I was walking back through the park to pick up Summer from the doctor’s office. 

This morning I wasn’t feeling like my jolly self who likes to make eye contact with everyone and smile bright at strangers just for the hell of it; I was feeling tired and preoccupied. As I approached Summer I was going to have to pass right by this man standing on the front edge of his property and smoking a cigarette. My mind started one of those rapid fire debates with itself that can cover so much ground in the time it takes to light a cigarette that my preoccupied head was spinning even faster now. The subject: do I make eye contact with this guy and say good morning, or do I keep my head down and bustle to my car. My mood wanted the latter but the former was my habit, thus the great millisecond debate began. I finally chose to avert and bustle, so I pulled my laptop bag closer around me and shored myself up to ignore neighborly pleasantries and brush straight past to my car. “Good morning” comes a cheery unexpected development. 

Was he talking to me? Nobody just randomly greets each other in Los Angeles. That was my unique thing, and frankly I wasn’t in the mood for it today. But I knew he was addressing me. 

“Good morning” I forced, trying to pick up the pace without being rude.

Then he fired another shot, “have a great day.” 

I found myself perplexed by this unsolicited friendliness but in spite of myself I was softening. The hint of a smile graced my face as I meagerly offered “you too, man.” 

Then his last interjection, “happy Monday.” 

It was as if this was the hail Mary pass from the Universe saying “this is the time of your life, Brian, snap out of it! So you are exhausted trying to manage your thriving medical marijuana collective. Look up every once in a while and see what that provides. You’ve got it made buddy.” 

I shrugged this off with a half-hearted agreement to myself to be more thankful, said “happy Monday to you too,” got in my car and took off. 

While Summer was in for her check up I took a walk through the park nearby with a final destination of the local Starbucks for a chai tea latte with non-fat milk and light ice. At the edge of the park a flock of birds was gathered on the ground a few feet away. For some reason they caught my attention and I commented to myself about their beauty. And somehow I knew I was not to take my eyes away. So I just stood there in the middle of the street watching them. Without warning they took flight in a swirling pattern around me and rose in a spiral of majesty into the sky. “Look up more” I feel the universe or my higher self encouraging me. I took a few more steps and then a symphony of baby birds erupted in playful song as they flew into each other and chortled. These birds were tinier than billiard balls and could only manage to fly a few feet off the ground. Or if they could fly higher they were having too much fun down here at my level to even bother. Am I pre-disposed to notice these things more now because of the sun-gazing, I wonder as I make my way toward the caffeine. I guzzle it, it’s delicious.

On my way back through the park a few short hours later, I don’t realize this at the time, but my head is down again; I am deep in thought. I am playing over the million issues I am facing with the collective and working myself up into a silent mental tizzy when unexpectedly the universe reaches out to talk to me through another fragment of itself. This time the fragment is a homeless woman, another angel from heaven, wandering in the park, lugging her mental illness with her and nothing else but the clothes on her back. “Hey don’t look so sad man; be happy,” she speaks with a surprising authority in good-natured tones, beaming a smile you can’t fake. This homeless lady was happy, and she wanted to spread the good cheer. I looked up from my imaginary universe of anxious thoughts and replied without meaning it “thanks, you too.” And I kept walking. But that last message from the unrelenting universe shifted something inside me. 

I felt like the girl in every romantic comedy who played hard to get because she wanted to be wooed. Finally the hot guy pursues her one last time and with just the perfect amount of fervor that is sincere but not desperate, and she finally melts in his arms. That was me just then, relenting, cracking a smile, and cracking open. It only took moments before I was chuckling. Then as I crossed the overpass back to the mechanic shop I was wandering the park laughing to myself out loud. If not for my nice leather laptop bag and slightly cleaner clothes, from a distance I’d of looked homeless too. The universe is telling me to be happy. Okay you’ve made your point. Don’t you usually resort to mystical and cryptic symbols, I asked the Universe. Like Jesus with his riddles and parables, or by shaping tea leaves in the bottom of a cup, or with symbols, or songs, or happenstance that turns out to be opportunity, isn’t that more your style? Always subtle, always slightly obscured from view. 

“Yes, normally that’s right,” I sense the Universe reply flatly, “but that hasn’t been working so well in your case so I thought I’d try plain english.” 

Well, I appreciate that. I feel a connection to the earth and myself growing as the temporary worries of the day drain away like scum down a drain. I laugh heartily, like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman in the fancy restaurant when the box snaps down onto her finger. Joy fills the empty place that worry no longer occupies. You make a good point, Universe, consider the message received. 

SIDE EFFECTS: When you get up to about five minutes of gazing the universe starts sending very direct messages.

BENEFITS: When you get up to about five minutes of gazing the universe starts sending very direct messages.

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.

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