Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Eleventy One


A peculiar house sits at the end of the block--a low ranch made of long flat limestones with lava lamps sitting near the front windows and a vibe that doesn't seem so Third Reichish, or Third Shiftish, as is quite common around here. Last February, on a cold winter's night, I strolled past, noted the three lava lamps in their fluid movements through the sheer drapes, thought, "Wow--hippies in Miamisburg, Ohio," and then just happened to look at the house number, which is 111, though it sits on Twelfth Street.

The number seemed significant somehow. A friend and fellow writer has told me on a number of occasions that the occurrence of a triad is noteworthy. When I got home, I noted it in my journal, but didn't say anything else about it. I've walked past that house a number of times this year, and each time, I look at those numbers, wondering what they might mean, but never enough to continue thinking about it to the end of the block, where I turn at the corner and start making my way home.


The past few months have had two very different but distinct edges to them. On one hand, it's been a time of significant personal growth as I've had to come to terms with what it means to trust my intuition, to realize that my underlying beliefs have me living in a hateful and belligerent universe rather than a loving and balanced one. With a number of cliffs and drop offs coming into view, as I've wondered what the next step will be, I've kept hearing my inner guide telling me, "Just relax and learn to listen through the noise of your anxious thoughts," which is "the other hand." Overall, I think I've done an okay job handling this dichotomy, but I've had moments of sheer panic and outright despair. Each time, I trace my steps back to four years ago, when I left Minnesota to begin this adventure in California, where the adventure began with the disintegration of everything I thought my life was--a disintegration that continued until I thought there was nothing else that could possibly fall apart.

As I've wondered, wondered, and wondered still again where my life is headed, I've thought about 111, and on occasion, it has occurred to me that it just might mean January 11, or even January (20)11. But I can't tell you how many times I've tried to patch such premonitions and signs together into something and only wound up with a quilt of disappointment. In moments of despair, the darker side of myself laughed, scorned such ridiculousness, but always with a hint of fever and desperation, as if despite his cynicism, he held some vague hope as well that perhaps 1/11, whatever it means, just might mean a new start in a new year.


After a joyous time with my family over the Christmas weekend, I swam in the dark matter of doubt and fear, wondering, again, what my next steps should be, especially after paying bills and wondering how it's all going to fit together. Mom was giving me a ride home, and I happened to look at a mailbox that had the number 888 on it. It immediately reminded me of my friend's idea of the importance of triads. I thought again of 111. 

Later, I took a walk around town, trying to air out my head and return myself to a state of equilibrium. I wound up at the cemetery--a place I often go because I know the people won't bug me too much, though I haven't gone there much lately. As I was heading toward the place where I'd come in, I noted a line of cars coming in for a burial. I've noted a reluctance of drivers in this area to share the road with pedestrians. I didn't want to face potentially angry and grieving drivers on those narrow cemetery lanes, so on two different occasions, took turns that would eventually lead me to a different entrance and out on the main street where I'd never have chosen to walk because of the noisy traffic.

As I walked down the busy street, I looked up and saw the street sign, "Eleventh Street." I stared at the sign because I'd noticed that sign before and since it has the words (Eleventh) rather than numbers (11th), I'd often, because of my mild case of dyslexia, read it as "Elveneth" Street. I looked at the sign, thinking of all of the various permutations of the letters, even throwing something about Elvis in there for good measure, but never thought about it more than laughing to myself for my own jocularity. It wasn't until this morning, the next day, that I realized how the synchronous events of a death, a burial, and the timing that had me, on two occasions, avoiding funeral traffic and eventually ending up out on a street where I'd see the sign ELEVENTH.

Last night, I did a meditation based on a book I'm reading by Martha Beck, where you reach into your own future and try to get a bodily sense of what is there. It's complicated, so I won't go into it, but by all accounts, it really seems as if something is about to happen. I'd really appreciate that, but I've learned enough to know to detach. Whatever the case, I'm going to start living as I would if 111 means I've got about two weeks before something significant happens. At the very least, living as if it is true might help me know what to do if 111 and the other interesting connections to it are nothing more than a random occurrences. Whether January 11, 2011 (11111) is an important date or not, I'll blog about it.