Meanwhile, the wind blows, incredibly. The sun rises – seen or unseen – and moves across the sky, incredibly. Water covers most of the planet. Effervescent laughter is remembered. The vast silence of the world helps quiet the noise of your mind. The great emptiness fills you up and calms your heart. Do not be too eaten up by your own life.
The face of the stone lion who surveys the back yard has turned white due to weather and time, two things I understand very little of, being neither meteorologist nor physicist. I only know that he reminds me of a Celtic warrior painted up for a fight, milky streaks spreading through the dark copper of his mane.
A stone lion is the best kind of lion to have, for he requires no meat and will never turn on you. Being stone, he looks no more tired than he did when he entered my service all those years ago.
I admire his dignified silence, and wish I were more like him, so unaffected by weather and time. Maybe then the sun I’m sitting in wouldn’t feel like it had to work so hard to beat back the gloom of eventuality.
For the moment, though, I somehow get hold of the slippery fish of acceptance and wrestle it in close, effort in one hand, surrender in the other.
For the moment, he comforts me, ever gazing at the garden before him, neither its conqueror nor its servant, a snail passing before his feet like a tourist visiting a monument.
May my heart light my way. May it come into a place not unlike the narrow line that exists between water and fire, a pocket of stillness where both forces are within reach. Then I could learn their ways, how to call on them, how to let them enter me, how to recognize which one is called for. Then I might discover how to refuse nothing, yet also how to hold on to nothing.
May my heart find peace. May it find a way to be supported by the great net of life – the embroidery of things – and not lose itself in the intricate mesh. Then it might remember to bow more readily, honoring what support it has already found.
Having lost my way many times before, may I more easily recognize those paths and not start down them again. May I light my way instead of losing it.
We cannot wait for things to be different, for things to be perfect, for things to meet our requirements. We cannot wait for everyone’s approval. We cannot wait for the certainty that everyone will like what we have to say.
We cannot wait for ourselves to feel less afraid. We cannot wait for the coast to be clear before we step outside, because the coast will never be clear. We have to take the risk. We will be criticized, misunderstood. Still, we cannot wait.
Transformation means loosening our grip until we let go completely.
May there be an empty space in my hand, where every night a bottle – or some other means to an end – used to be.
An interstitial space between the speck of matter that is me, and the net of endless galaxies, as a minnow to a whale.
Of course the wind will still blow from the north, and I’ll still be listening to the broken record of myself,
but maybe a sound like running water will become loud enough to drown out my thoughts, helping me pay less attention to their static.
Maybe a sound like meat and vegetables frying in a pan will help untangle the knot of my mind’s dialogue, clothe my hearing in the fine silk cloth of meditation.
Helping me to accommodate change, to look willingly at truth with clarity of vision.
To encourage, if only for a moment, a little acceptance.