Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pearls on a String

I long for companions on this journey.

I long for people who care as deeply as I do about the work of ….of……of…..creating and re-creating the world according to the imagination of god.

From somewhere there is planted in our DNA a seed, a picture, images of how life might be if we lived according to the wisdom of the sages.

I’ve caught glimpses of how it just might be. Like pearls on a string, I’ve experienced moments of peace and wonder and the glory of grace abounding.

·      childhood wonder as I wandered thru the woods, played along the shore, dove under water to see another world alive beyond the streets and sidewalks I tread

·      extended family and friends coming together to sing and laugh and tell stories and feast

·      the satisfaction of creating an event, with a team, that lifted the hearts of a whole high school community of students and teachers – celebrating the hidden talents among us

·      the sweetness of sharing vulnerabilities with another skin to skin; the excitement of passions stirred together creating a hunger and a grasping as if this white water river might actually be contained, bottled, and sold

·      the sharing of carefree good times with friends who make me laugh and shed the self-judgments of insecurities to discover that in being known and loved there is a security deeper than my own defenses could ever create.

·      wandering in cultures strange and discovering what is common to all

·      working hard together to meet our bottom line needs on a common project but for a cause greater than the bottom line. Celebrating a Thanksgiving table with diverse cultures, sexualities, faiths, young and old, and using ritual to capture the unspeakable essence of what binds us

·      the way a birth brings the joy we thirst for and how it gathers us like wild beasts at a watering hole to drink deeply

·      and how death stops us still to see what we take daily for granted

·      and perhaps my favourite - when a person’s courageous path through the death of ego results in a re-birth of hope and purpose inspired by the source of life we call love of neighbor - re-discovered in the love of self deeper than awards, achievements, or honours might ever bring

These priceless pearls of course are strung on the string of suffering that is living. Spoiled nature, broken hearts, the sting of betrayals, the wounds of innocence lost in the mud of disillusion, failures of spirit, failures of generosity, failures of solidarity when most needed.

This string of experience is a long, long, line that sustains poverty in a world where self-judgments and self-hatred turn to blame, anger, revenge and all the petty desires we each and every one know. How my need for control causes me to twist my better nature, shrink my boundaries of care with rationalizations, and confine my resources to what’s good for me and mine.

And yet.

All of those pearls on that string make me hunger and thirst and search for more. Even if it means risking more failures, more betrayals, more spoiling of the safe status quo on the plateau where I now live.

I’m searching for companions who also want to jump into the whitewater raft and risk losing it all for the thrill of adventure, for the price of my life, for the hope of experiencing once again those moments of Kin-dom. Those moments that ring true like a bell. Where we experience how god imagines us to be, where god urges us to go, where god’s presence is so full and present we can’t help but sing and dance to the beat our of hearts desires meeting.

Or is god even more present in the suffering? When there is no evidence of grace, no trace of mercy, no hope of solidarity, no justice, healing or hope. Where we look and fail to see evidence of a divine creator. Isn’t that where god most is? Where god and our ancestors watch and wait for those whose own empty broken hearts intuit - and cannot resist - the call to create, to re-create the conditions in the clam shell that produce pearls.

I’m searching for companions because I’m too scared, too weak, too selfish to go it alone. 

Will you come along? Will you wait for me to catch up? Will you share your pearls? Will you risk telling me of broken dreams? Who might we bring along? Who might we meet? 

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Allan, this is one of the most profound of your "wanderings". It is a joy to read, and what a vivid image on which to string your wisdom. The point that leaped out at me most is the question about suffering, and how it could be/is an necessary part of the vision you are glimpsing. Who will dare to name this and live it fully? They are the ones you seek.