I was brushing my teeth…in typical solid oral hygiene stance: head lowered, feet hip distance apart, bent at the waist over the sink, in front of the bathroom mirror. I glanced up, for no reason in particular, at my outline and then promptly rolled my eyeballs. On account of the now-dried water speckles on the mirror I JUST cleaned last night….the handiwork of Hubs’ and his always-too-vigourous morning routine. Is “speckles” even a word? Must verify. Later.
What caught my eye next were a trio of small coalesced holes on the right shoulder of my sweater. And I was taken aback by an immediate pang of sharp sadness. Wrapped in transluscent bittersweetness. Wrapped in gossamer rose petals of compassion. Wrapped overall, in a weird sort of maternal tenderness. I say “weird”, because this was a part of my own consciousness, feeling these feelings usually reserved for others, for myself. There was something so vulnerable about that girl who is me, in the old sweater with three coalesced holes. I felt such overwhelming tenderness for her.
I’ve been processing a lot over the past weeks. So much about myself, my life, my path, my career, my destiny, my loves, my choices…and it was, of course, the dark side of all of these which came to the forefront. Coalesced, like the three holes in my sweater, into a giant ball of gooey manure. An entirely apropos image, incidentally, since I’ve spent a large portion of the last month trying to avoid stepping full on into fresh cow dung (or sometimes dog, monkey, goat, human, or a delicious variegated combo, dung) on the streets of India and Nepal.
All of my angst was confronting me in a way which has only happened maybe twice before in the years I’ve lived this life. And this was the most fierce of all….perhaps because I was (am) so aware of time running out to get this shit right this soul-trip around. I came the closest to saying damn it all to hell, I don’t need this bullcrap (a term to which I was introduced by a self-acknowledged redneck patient of mine and for which I now have authentic fondness)…..but I DO need a drink, or a joint (if only I knew how to smoke ‘em, maybe I could just not inhale like Bill Clinton?) or some of those good drugs I’ve previously forgone….anything to quit hearing all those thoughts and voices and feeling all that self abnegation and angry or sullen outer condemnation.
In serious desperation, terribly weak physically and very disillusioned, the weight of dreams not realized crushing my chest, hot tears in residence just behind my eyelids, hopes dashed, prayers unanswered….the only thing upon which I could focus was a dumb, stupid will to not break. Maybe because I knew if I did, I might never come back together again. Somehow, I made it through. Not just somehow…..I know how. I reached for the hand of my Teacher, in a way that I’ve never had to prior. Not God, mind you, my Teacher. He promised he would come, he did. I know this now, as part of my experience….not my faith. If for nothing else but this, this dark night of the soul was worth it.
And so there it is. I am still here, I will keep trying. I will live in this ball of humanity that is called me, until such time as the soul of my Essence is called Home. I will do my best to face and meet the challenges of life as they come. I have never felt, or said, that I was anything more than a human being trying as hard as I can to really BE. To truly feel, to love, to endure, to persevere, to deliver. The world is already filled with plastic saints, plugged with Holy Water…..I’ve no aspirations to be one of those.
Hey…bling, bling. bling…I’ve just had a eureka moment: HUMAN …”hue”-light, “man”-mind, “BE”-the hukam, the command, “in”-dwell, “g”-GOD. Can I live in such a way as to discipline and illlumine my mind, bring its considerable darkness to light (by way of the guru, the Teacher) and for God’s sake, forget all the illusory bullshit…oops, bullCRAP and just dwell in G-O-D?
And so I say to the girl that is me, in the old sweater with three coalesced holes: you are okay. You belong to Someone who shall never, ever let you go, who sees YOU as you really are and who shall never condemn you, period. Now, try not to condemn yourself. And maybe go buy a new sweater. But keep this old one…..as a reminder of a conversation well begun and very well ended. Wrap yourself in it, from time to time, and let it teach you, again and again as needed, how to keep your faith in the darkness, until the light shines again from within.
-Siri Amrita Kaur
I am a field of awareness. Any thing beyond that is identification with form...