don't be afraid...
i have loved you
for a thousand years,
I'll love you for a thousand more..."
In many ways, this post...and the over-arching insight shared...unfolded like a flash of light, in its entirety, within a moment. And in other ways, it has been growing and evolving for about two decades...experience-upon-experience. Almost as if Love, starting with one drop of color, layer-by-layer, gently placing one brushstroke upon another, until a painting took form. And suddenly, there is depth, texture, beauty, and vision.
I don't know that this image is fully layered, and ready for framing...but I do know that it is my truth...today. I am sharing it because it is where I am at this juncture in my understanding of Life. I don't claim it to be true for anyone else. But, since this blog is where I chronicle my evolving sense of spiritual being, I am writing it down. If you're interested, here's one more chapter of my story:
I was driving the River Road some weeks ago, when Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" came on the radio. It's message seemed to weave the colors I'd been gathering for many years, into an image that felt deeply true.
I don't know that it's important to relate all the specific experiences that have contributed to this image...or if, to be honest, I really can. But it's the image, itself, that means so much to me.
A fragment of a sentence from Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, has been lodged in my heart for 20 years, or so. I've had remarkable insight from pondering it. And others have come like a flash of light. But, unlike other insights that have inspired and instructed, this one feels like it is indelibly written on the code of my spiritual DNA. And this encoding feel unlocked in a new way today. I don't think it will be a surprise to regular readers that the phrase is:
"As a drop of water is one with the ocean..."As I said, I was driving home along the River Road, thinking about dear friends who'd been married for decades and a recent conversation I'd had with one of them. There was such a sense of peace about the time when one (or the other) of them would pass on.
His sense of Love's eternality was so clear, strong, and confident. And that evening, as I thought about our conversation, I was just so grateful for each lesson about marriage, love, constancy, persistence, and grace, I'd learned from my relationship with them as a couple.
The sun was setting in the west, and there were storm clouds in the distance. I could see the streaks of rain falling. And because it was a warm evening, there was a layer of fog beginning to lift from the surface of an eddy across the river's breadth.
Suddenly it became so clear that the river, the clouds, the fog, the humidity in the air, the falling rain are, all, one. The only thing that insinuates they are different, are their "forms," and all that defines those forms is level of density. They are all made up of water. And more importantly, I began to see that the essential elements which constitute water...hydrogen and oxygen...when bonded, and experienced as water - river, rain, cloud, steam, fog, ice, even my body (which is 91% water)... is never altered by the form of their expression.
Water is always water. Steam is not different from rain in its make up. Whether the water is visible (as ice) or invisible (as humidity in the air) it is still water. It is still H2O. And water, is in a constant cycle of changed form. Condensation, visibility, release, evaporation, condensation are the rhythm of its being. Water evaporates. Water condenses. And at each state, or stage of its life, it has function, usefulness, purpose. It's form may change, but never it's purity, or identity. A molecule of water appearing as a cloud, then rain, then river, is still a molecule of water whether it is flowing through the Midwest and carrying barges as the mighty Mississippi, or being skated on by a graceful athlete.
My friend's relationship to his wife was never defined as a relationship between two "ice" molecules, and dependent on that form to be mutually experienced. Their relationship is that of simply two water molecules, each completely whole, as the full and infinite expression of the conscious essence of the Godhead, bodily expressed. Because one might be visible in any given moment as "physical", and the other not as condensed - or visible in form, that doesn't alter the fullness of each one's identity as the present manifestation of God's being...Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love...expressed as conscious being in countless spiritual forms.
And the lovely part about water, in its constant cycle of condensation and evaporation, is that even when the water seems to be embedded in mud, sludge, or even pouring from the lips of a golden fountain in the king's palace, when it evaporates it doesn't take any of the silt, sewerage, dust, food coloring, toxic waste, or gold dust with it...it continues on its cycle of being as pure water, clear water, only water, still...never-the-less...water. This makes me feel a bit more fearless about the challenges I face. They will not cling to me as I evaporate. I will leave behind the dust, or embellishments, of personal sense, just as water, that evaporates from mud, orholy water, leaves behind anything but it's purest, most-essential, self...H2O.
This was so clear to me the other day when I ran into a friend who'd attended the school my girls attend, only 35 years earlier. He was reminiscing about how, when he was in high school, he and his friends would fish in the little pond near the school. His affection for Laskey pond was so genuine. But as I listened to him, I realized that there is nothing about what now represents the pond, that is the same as when he was here. The water has evaporated and been replaced countless times. The boundary banks have eroded and shifted over the years. All that remains are his memories of a small body of water steps from the school.
His affection for "Laskey Pond" is for his memories, not the pond that currently sits near the headmaster's house. This is not any different from what I can "me." Even without metaphor, our bodies are water...but even more, every cell of our bodies are completely recycled every 7 years. The "you" you remember from childhood, has nothing in common..physically...with the you you see in the mirror today. So what is carrying a scar, a beauty mark, a skin tone forward. It is thought...memory.
If this is the case, why would I ever want look back towards the image of my younger self...with all it's history...for a model of who I should be, today. I just need to be me, the reflection of the one, and only, I AM, right now. Pure, clear, fresh, new...never old...always new. Not younger, or returning to a better version, but new.
For me, there is so much more to this metaphor, and it's unfolding wisdom. It speaks to my awakening heart. And today, it is helping me understand something new about the eternality of being, as never contained by, or limited to, a particular form. I am seeing that being is defined only by its indissoluble relationship to its Essence. Water is always water...H2O. I am always man...the unalterable, infinitely expressed "I AM" of being. And each spiritual "I AM" molecule represents, for me, the unbroken bonding of all the divine elements...Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love...always to the infinite measure.
Whether I am visible, or not, is of no consequence to my being...I will condense, and evaporate, in infinite cycles of usefulness. But my consciousness of Love...the purest form of relationship I can have...will be alive, within me, for eternity.
In the light of this insight, I will never, everfear, or even "see death" again.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
I'll love you for a thousand more..."