Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Messenger - Part 2

For more context - please read "The Messenger - Part 1"

The following was written on the intention hike that my vision fast group went on a month before the actual vision fast. The idea was to meditate and think about what it was that we wanted to get out of the vision fast, what it was that we hoped to gain. We could choose to write or not. We could also choose to just hike through the gorgeous hills of Garland Ranch.

I walked around for a little while, and eventually decided to sit beside an old wooden fence between the lower part of the ranch and the mountains. While I was sitting, I started to see everything around me as part of an analogy of my life. This text came to me as I sat there, and I probably wouldn’t have thought much of it over the course of time, but what happened during the vision fast that came a month later was so incredible and amazing, and such a validation of everything written in this text, that I almost have to conclude that this text was truly part of a vision, and that what happened during the vision fast (which I will write about in the next post) was, perhaps, the closest thing to an absolute miracle that I will ever see in my life.

15 May 2004

I walk down a path of my own choosing – searching for depth - searching for clear guidance – searching for truth. I’m searching for the clear words being spoken by the inner voice that has never lied or led me astray. The inner voice which has screamed at me from deep within – the inner voice that I have listened to when it was convenient and ignored when it was condemning me. I realize that the depth that I seek is all around and within me. I just need to claim it.

I look around and I see beauty in everywhere in this place. I see depth and purpose, and I realize that in this place I see myself. The vision ahead of me is a glorious one – full of life, vitality, diversity, and mystery. It is wild and relatively untouched by the predictable, linear, boxy forms imposed by man on our existence.

The whole scene is an analogy to my life. It is built upon a sea of yellow grass swaying in the breeze… a swaying that marks the passage of time and the continued presence of old life, representing dreams, ideas, and ways of being or thinking whose times have passed, but whose presence is still felt. Their presence still adds a valuable contribution to the whole picture. Empty seed pods speak for, and bear witness to the dreams and aspirations that were brought into existence at an earlier phase in life. Some of those went to produce new, short-lived grasses of their own. Others did not mature into anything but seeds.

The yellow grasses of the old paradigms are just as important to understanding my depth and future direction as the new life springing up from the ground, the strong trees reaching their arms towards heaven, and the hawks who soar above it all, free from the grounding influences that some would call reality. Gravity is our master, but it is a master that the hawks and the eagles have tamed and taught to perform tricks for their pleasure. Our reality is their playground.

The grasses of past paradigms vibrate with the winds of time passing over them. Like cilia or a sort of natural seismograph needle, they vibrate and sway in a frenzied dance carried out by personifications of the old memories they represent. The vibrations create a chord of voices which sing to me. They sing of different things, and if I listen closely, I can hear each individual voice. The whole makes up a high-pitched chorus.

Some sing of happy days filled with golden sunshine, lush green fields, june bugs, river banks, ocean tides, gardens, forest clearings. They reminisce about the days when their younger, grassy shadows fell on the waters of a pond in the evening as the water striders danced on the surface of an underwater world, appearing to the inhabitants of that space to be soaring beyond the restrictions and limitations imposed upon them by their reality… just as the hawks and the eagles appear to us to be doing in our microcosm of land, sky, and gravitational forces.

Whether the barrier is the surface tension of the water, the means of attaining the oxygen needed for existence, or the means of using gravity to go where we want or need to go… what actually constitutes a barrier is all a matter of perspective. Our barriers are nothing to other forms of life. Their barriers may be invisible and meaningless to us. We all occupy the same universe, and yet we all live in different worlds.

I want to fly, but surely I don’t need to fly in order to exist. I might die someday because I wasn’t able to fly at a moment when that ability could have saved my life. Nobody will call me a failure because I wasn’t able to fly at that moment. That doesn’t change the fact that I want to fly. Wanting to fly doesn’t make me more able to fly. Depending on what my definition of flying is and how willing I am to adjust that definition – that desire might just lead me to something which, while not the flight of the hawks and eagles, is the equivalent experience for my wingless form to achieve.

Maybe the hawks and eagles wish that they could swim and are jealous of humans, who can both walk and swim. Maybe they’re perfectly content just being hawks and eagles, doing what they’re meant to do, and living in harmony with their purpose. Maybe they’re blessed by not having the power to destroy the nature that they are a part of. Maybe we can learn to be as human as the eagles are eagles. Maybe we can learn to be happy within our role which has been defined for us by nature. Maybe we can take our perceived limitations and turn them into our playgrounds. Maybe I can learn from the hawks and the eagles.

There are old truths that beg not to be forgotten. The grasses form the shallow sea in which I’m walking, a sea in which I’m grounded at the moment, a sea that is constantly reminding me of where I’ve been, what I’ve done, as well as what I have not.

Amidst all of this yellow, swaying, vibrating chorus there are trees, bushes and shrubs. Ideas, plans and dreams that have grown and found what they needed to take root, flourish and form over time into healthy, green, sturdy, more resistant, more permanent members of this area. These represent the consistent ideals that I have held true to over time and the areas of my life that I have given proper attention, and have provided with the consistent nutrients needed to ensure their survival. Some might not be as vibrant as others, but they are more hearty. They are also likely to be around for a longer period of time, and to play a more influential part in the overall scheme of what is to come in the future than the parts of my life that are just a memory, whose time has come and gone.

At my feet is a newly sprouted seedling. It sways in the wind. Amongst the memory grasses of the past, it stands firm and proud. It demands to be differentiated from the ghosts of the past. It speaks to me.

It says: “I can be anything. I can become one of these grasses, something that you’ll look back on and learn from. Maybe you’ll be happy you found me, and maybe I’ll become yellow with time… just a reminder of what once was, swaying in the wind with all of the other reminders. I could become a perennial flower, or an annual flower, or a bush with thorns. I am a stem cell in the world that you are creating. I have the potential to become whatever you make me.

Treat me with respect and honor and I may just become a strong, tall, sturdy tree – reaching my branches to heaven in exaltation of the glorious reality that we will create together. A tree that is a resting place and a departure point for eagles and hawks – and a tree which shades the waters of the pond where the water striders defy the barriers of the world beneath them.

Time, patience, love, nurture, boldness and courage are needed in order to nurture me if you ask this of me, but when that time has passed, when that effort has been spent, when that nurture has been given, when that honor and respect have manifested themselves into the final majestic form that I have the power within me to become, you can rest in the shade of my branches, on the banks of the still waters of the pond, watching the whirligigs, the minnows, and the reflection of the leaves swirling down slowly until they land gently to float on the surface of the water like the clouds which float above you now. I can show you what it is for you to be as human as the eagles are eagles. I can help you to fly in your own way.

So I say to the seedling that this sounds like a grand idea. I say that I want to fly. I say that I am tired of my limitations and my reality. I ask what I must do to fulfill my part of our pact.

The seedling leans towards the sun, over the mountains ahead… It speaks:

“Look behind you. Behind you there are a few tall trees and a lot of yellow grass. Look ahead of you. Ahead of you there are hills. Daunting hills… but in them there are waterfalls, shaded pathways and mysteries to uncover and marvel in. Every plant on those hills is green. Everything is playing its part, working together in harmony. It’s a challenging climb – but the journey is worth the effort.

Take me with you on your journey to the top. I’ll be with you as you struggle. I will be an inspiration to you when you tire. I’ll stand firm when you lose your footing, and will help you to stand and walk again. I’ll grow and you’ll grow as we go on our way together towards that summit. We can give each other that impetus that we each need to become what we know that we can be. When we’ve reached the top of that summit, I’ll be ready to make roots and become what I was meant to be. A pillar of strength in your life, a reminder of all of your efforts and hard work, and a place of comfort and rest.”

I ask the seedling: “Why have you come to me now?” The seedling responds: “I’ve been right here all along… you came to me.”

There is a fence, a wooden structure, a man-made invention between the grasses and trees that are behind me and the hills and lush, green expanse ahead of me.
It is a false barrier. I am taking the seedling and climbing over the fence. The next time that I see the yellow grass will be from the summit of the hills, where the eagles and hawks are flying.