I’m right here

11/22/2022 0 By BuddyCushman

I guess I can say I’ve been something like “hung-up” on the word “Here” the last few months. The idea behind the word, beyond the dictionary. A few months back I sat down in a meditation meeting in Ocean Beach, about six miles from this keyboard, and I’ve certainly rejoiced in both my boogie boarding times in the Pacific in Ocean Beach, and sharing the poetic parts of me up at an open mike. Anyway, that Monday night in the meditation meeting, I was asked to say a few words and what I said – after 20 minutes of quiet sitting – was I was struck by where I was – in OB in California in a church – when not long before I was in Portland, OR with an entirely different life. I referenced The Talking Heads – “Well, how did I get here?”

Walking down Sunset Cliffs Boulevard after the meeting’s end it came to me that “Here” was much bigger than a zip code or place on a map, a small room the other side of downtown in Golden Hill – San Diego. Here was divorced and mostly alone, here was living something close to a surfing dream, away from most of the rain and all of the snow, here was nearly all my “stuff” back in a garage in Portland, my sons in faraway states – all the things of my life, making up my life, here including what feels like a sacred dive into Zen. This morning I was thinking about my “Here” today, which is way, way different than even two months ago. My life is bigger. My heart feels bigger. Opening. “Here” then is not “Here” now.

It’s interesting – this vast playground of “Here” – to my goofy mind. And I was going to say that the title of this piece, which has an “ET-ish” quality to it, doesn’t have much to do with ET. And then I thought about ET placing his hand on Elliot’s heart, looking all the way into Elliot’s eyes, saying “I’m right here.” And it came to me – that is it. That’s the “Here.” That’s exactly it.

The Zen roshi John Tarrant says when you take everything else away – everything else in the world – all that’s left is love. Signs on lawns say – “Kindness is everything.” Recently, someone asked me, “Where did you come from?” It took me a few weeks to hear the question the way it was supposed to be heard – “Here I am.”

This morning, I’m right here. Here I am.