Yesterday, the day began so warm, the heat already palpable. The bright sun illuminated the dust on my dresser and the silvery filaments of spider webs, spiraling midair, mirroring qualities of my inner housekeeping. Now, it’s deep into the night, the air is fresh and cool, and above there are a million stars. The moon is a few days from being full. I love summer nights. My heart feels the immediacy of mystery on these bright summer nights; sitting quietly on my porch I offer hospitality to the unknowing. Dust and webs aside, graciously I invite, “Forgive the mess, and linger awhile.”
Existence has its own way, smiling at innocents who think they have control. In this moment, the only moment, I have no control. I don’t need any. In an inner dialogue, I whisper, “I have you Beloved, truly all I need.” My trust in this runs deep. The next breath will come, and so will the one after that. The one that does not come will leave me in total peace with silence.
The sky expands. In darkness I see there are more than a million stars – there are millions upon millions. Sitting here, I am so small – a tiny particle of dust in the grandeur of the universe. I am a silvery, shimmering, smiling, crying particle of dust, reflecting a miniscule facet of glory – absolutely right in size and shape for the reason I exist.
What is this experience of “I,” of this person I call myself, Meredith? This has been a source of wonder from the earliest recognition of self awareness in childhood. Perhaps it is the greatest variable in my nature. The character and quality of “I” is sometimes a feeling of alienation, at other times of communion with life. I move on a continuum of self-deprecation to profound self worth. At times this feeling of “I” has been a prison bounded in captivity by habitual thoughts and feelings – circling, tapes that wind, rewind and run again. At other times, emancipated, this “I” is my own hidden treasure. This “I” is an eye, through which God sees.
In the deepest shadows of night, when there was no moon, no stars, and the unfriendly air was chilly and everything was dirty and disgusting – in that dark night was there a god to see? For a time I doubted…and then the cleaning began. Some unseen hand within began the polishing in the seat of my soul. As Rumi says,
An unsuspecting child first wipes the tablet
and then writes the letters on it.
God turns the heart into blood and desperate tears;
then writes the spiritual mysteries on it.
Internal resources seek light. After the tears, I seemed to find resolve to move and flutter, scratch and tear a hole in the papery screen covering this darkest room. Reality teaches by means of opposites and contrasts, wrath and mercy. With wet wings and compassion I saw the sun rise for the first time. The imperfection of the world is what gives birth to the sunrise, to the reality of love – an unconditional love that loves even this imperfection.
Imperfectly and hesitantly I have been riding into the unknown. Traversing has been tumultuous – like riding an unruly horse I have hung on, grasping at a wispy mane with my fists and a moving torso with the length of my legs, clinging to an uncertain security. Getting bucked off is sudden, painful, humiliating to my ego. This falling has happened over and over again; learning to ride the undulations of existence is at times painful and frightening. Trembling is a part of being human. Rumi says,
Look at yourself, trembling
afraid of non-existence:
know that non-existence is also afraid
that God might bring it into existence.
If you grasp at worldly dignities,
it’s from fear, too.
Everything, except love of the Most Beautiful,
is really agony. Its agony
to move towards death and not drink the water of life.
One day I know I will let go – let go of fear, of trembling, of resistance. Perhaps that day is soon. Though the horse is appealing – strong, beautiful, compelling, the horse is an illusion. Finally it will dissolve as fantasies do. I feel and note the particles, like dust on my dresser, fragments of the illusion falling away, resting, glistening in the new day's morning sun, smiling at me. I feel the intimacy of love, unconditioned immanent love, warming me in this light. This love, without control, without fear, without knowing, wraps me softly in her very own light.