Meet You At the Top!

 

“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.” Rumi

My friend Yummy (bet you guessed this isn’t his real name) popped by for a visit this weekend.  Yummy and I first met many years ago when we were both involved in the same play.  He was an actor and I was a costumer.  Sizing him up, literally,  I was whipping my trusty tape measure around his various parts.  Chest, waist, hips, head, neck, sleeve length…  I had finished up and Yummy still stood there expectantly. 

“Don’t you need my inseam?” he asked, guilelessly.

“No.  Sorry to disappoint.”  My smart-assery has a mind of it’s own and sometimes these things just fall out of my mouth.  Luckily he laughed loudly and at that moment our bond was formed.

After he left the fitting room, Janice explained to me that Yummy is the Reverend at our local Anglican Church. 

No no no!  A man of the cloth and I make jokes about his enjoyment of having his inseam fondled?  

“Excuse me, Janice. Could you lend me a hand?  I seem to have something lodged here in my mouth.  Oh wait, it’s my foot.”

That moment, while a bit fluster-inducing at the time, was serendipitous.  Had I known in advance that Yummy was a minister I would have treated him in a completely different way, maybe bowing, calling him “your eminence” and trying not to make eye contact.  Meanwhile  I would have been nervously guarding the real me for fear of incurring wrath, judgment or whatever the 21st century equivalent of burning at the stake might be.  Preconceived ideas are a bitch, aren’t they?

Instead I accidentally let my true self shine through and being received with humor and acceptance allowed me to trust this man, despite his cloth.  Our friendship has grown and blossomed over time and even though I was away for 3 years and we didn’t have any communication at all, Saturday when he walked up onto my sunny front porch and sat across from me in the rocker, our conversation picked up like no time had passed at all.

I complimented him on his column.  He writes  for the Daily Townsman here in Cranbrook, and I have often found myself shouting out loud while reading his teachings “YES!  EXACTLY!  THAT IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SAY!”  His Christian teachings are progressive, all inclusive and centered in love.  If you ever wonder what Jesus would do, you could simply watch Yummy and you’d get a pretty good example. 

During our conversation I was explaining (okay, complaining might be a better word here) how I feel like the Christian churches have stolen Jesus for themselves and how it pisses me off that such an amazing teacher could be used to create divisions and exclusivity.  I then paraphrased the Hindu saying I picked up on the wide wide world of web somewhere: 

There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesn’t matter which path you take.  The only ones wasting time are the ones who runs around and around the mountain, telling everyone else that their path is wrong.

Surprised, Yummy asked me where I had heard that saying, then went on to explain that he uses the same saying in his teachings quite often.  But, Yummy takes it further.  (this is awesome… you’re going to love this…)

Yummy explained that at the base of the mountain our paths are so far apart we can barely see each other, if at all.  But as we climb that mountain the paths get closer and closer until, when we reach the top we are close enough to embrace. 

It is so beautiful I want to cry!

And the dogma pushers, the judgers, the fundamentalists?  He simply says “God Bless You” and leaves them to their path. This is a page I will most definitely take from his book.  Because who am I to judge what stones make up their path?  If they need to believe that I am wrong in order to feel they are right, then God bless them.  If they trip on those stones, then I wish them a gentle landing.  I know I have tripped plenty on my own path.  I mean, really, aren’t I just as guilty of judging them for judging me? 

And when we meet at the top of the mountain I bet we hug each other and laugh about the crazy journeys we’ve taken and all of the trips and falls along the way.   Until then, I send love to ease your path so that whatever your journey, it will be smooth.

p1_united_we_stand31

 

Metaphors Be With You

sunrise-dawn-wallpaper-landscape

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”  Rumi

Once upon a time there lived a Princess and a Dragon.  The Princess and the Dragon worked side by side for many years, creating a Kingdom that was both vast, beautiful and affordable.  The fields were abundant, the skies always blue, and the Princess and the Dragon liked and respected each other very much.

But then came a scourge upon the lands.  The Dragon began to singe the Princess with his fiery words and terrible silences.  The Princess became sullen and bitter and spoke unkind words behind the Dragon’s back.  The Dragon built a huge wall to divide the Kingdom and refused to give the keys to the Princess.  This made the Princess very sad and angry.  She pelted the wall with insults and taunts and rotten produce.  It was an unhappy time in the land of Everafter.

Things went from bad to worse and one day, in a fit of rage, the Dragon cast the Princess out of the Kingdom, forever banished, never to return.

She cried and cried and then when her self pity turned to rage, she wielded righteous anger like a sword and Lawyered Up.  Thus began the Epic Battle of the Princess and the Dragon.  It would be the fight of her life, or so her American Prince would tell her, one from which she could not back down.

The Epic Battle waged for a long, long time, neither side willing to give an inch of concession.   Accusations flew like cannonballs, and the siege of  “I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG” set in, keeping them at loggerheads for many years.

Weary of battle, the Dragon and the Princess finally agreed to allow the great Magician, Merlin to help them find peace between them.  The date and time was set and the two met across the battlefield from each other.  Merlin began the task of arbitrating a deal fair enough that they would both be willing to compromise.

Grueling hours  were spent under the blazing sun as Merlin rode back and forth to each camp carrying messages, offers, counter offers, threats and pleas.  Neither the Princess nor the Dragon would bend their positions, both righteously waving the flag of “I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG”.

The afternoon waned.  Despair that peace would never be found swept through the Princess.  She sat alone in her camp waiting for Merlin’s return.  In the quiet moments the thought arose unbidden:  “Out beyond  ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field.  I will meet you there.”  At that moment she released all of the righteous anger that had held her hostage.  It was time to let go of the hurt and the need for revenge.  It was time to stop judging the Dragon.  It was time for peace.

Her anger rose in a bubble above the Kingdom.  The Dragon looked up from his camp across the battlefield and saw the iridescent bubble rise and rise and finally burst open, sending sparkling light across the sky.  A fat tear fell from his eye.  Merlin captured the magic of sparkling light, mixed it with the Dragon’s tear and created a Treaty of Peace that both the Princess and the Dragon were happy with.

The Kingdom rejoiced!  Peace once again reigned and the people sang and danced in the streets.

As for the Dragon and the Princess?  The Dragon lived in the Castle and continued with his fine work.  The Princess moved on, finding great creativity and job satisfaction in other lands.  They wished each other well and enjoyed their separate peace.

Lessons learned and morals taught, the people of the Kingdom now understand that forgiveness lives in the willingness to release judgment, for “being right” brings bitter comfort in a war torn land and “being kind” brings magic to span any chasm.

And,  they all lived happily ever after.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.

I will meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

 the world is too full to talk about.

 Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi