Note: This is the third part of a story circle that Cameron Garriepy helped me start. Please check here for Part I and here for Part II. Alternative versions can be found on Cameron’s site.
As I made my way through the world, following the line, I saw many people. The young and old were stretched out before me and I could see them all. People of all colors passed by and created no more stir for me than the trees and the rocks. Of course I saw the lame and the ill, the rich and the poor, but their plight was their own and I took no stock with them. If any one of them had seen me, even glimpsed me from the corner of their eye, there would have been no recognition for I was no long with them. I was on my path and as different to they as the stars to the streams.
But once, I stopped. I do not know why. As I stated before I had long since given up on noticing war and strife. Had ceased to even care about it or the self-induced famines and pestilence I passed. These were all man’s own doing, and I wanted no part of it. Had no part of it. But once, that once.
I was walking near mid-day in a valley of shade amidst leaves and oak when I saw a girl down by a creek. She was all alone and I could not remember how far back I had passed the last village or farm house. Although I was no expert on the area, I did not believe there were any roads or worn paths nearby. She was in my place – the quiet away from places, and her presence called out to me. To this day I don’t know why.
As I walked closer I could see that she was young and looking towards the water of the slow moving stream. Perhaps she was fishing I thought, or reading some book of romantic poetry away from the taunts of brothers and sisters. But even then, even still, I knew she was not. There was a stillness carried on the air as assuredly as the smoke and wind had carried the heat of battle. As markedly as the stench from cities carried far out into the virgin countryside.
I hastened my step to draw near her side. I knew there was no noise I could make, no sound I could utter that she would hear, no one noticed me any longer. But as I grew close, she lifted her head and stared at me with pale green eyes. I stopped. The feeling of no longer being in movement rushed over me and I grew light headed, but her eyes pulled me back down. She was pale skinned with long hair stringing down around her shoulders, but I could not lose sight of her eyes.
Continue reading “A Line Runs Round The World – Part III”
If we throw out all the creeds, dogmas, and names of the deities and only concentrate on what is left, might we not come to find a true religion of hope, love, and charity? This struck me a couple of times in the past few days. Once was during the morning’s sermon at my church. And yes, for those of you who may be bewildered, Unitarian churches can have sermons. Anyway, this sermon was on love and inclusion. One of the things that struck me was a statement that, “we find enemies when we ourselves feel weak or unsure.” That really hit a cord. Yes, this can certainly be taken on a national level, but I won’t go into that here – at least not yet.
What I really thought about was my personal relationships. Many of the people I have bad feelings toward are not bad people at all. They can’t be. They have nice friends and families and live fine lives. So perhaps the reasons for some of my feelings come from the fact that something about them makes me feel weak. Or points out insecurity in myself.
Now, if we take that further and look at why some religions are so venomous in their attacks on others, we may find the same thing. An article in The New York Times yesterday talks about the shifting faiths of the American people. What would make an organized religion feel weaker or more threatened than members leaving the ranks? Perhaps by looking at those people or groups that we dislike or even hate we can find out what our weaknesses or vulnerabilities are.
Finally take that a step further. When we now those problems, when we have found what it is about the other that triggers those distasteful feelings, it is then that we can rise above them. We can move beyond those problems to find our commonalities. We can move beyond the dogmas, creeds, dress, and dance to find that we are focused on the same thing. For example, what do most major religions care about? Be they Eastern or Western, the core of most religions is love, good works, care for the family and community, and the importance of world beyond one’s own self. Concentrate on those things, and maybe we won’t feel so threatened. And if we feel less threatened, maybe we will have fewer enemies.
Yes, fortune cookies can be funny, especially when you place words like “in bed” on the end. But every once in a while they tell you some that makes you stop and pause. I don’t go to oriental restaurants that often, so I don’t get the cookies but a few times a year. When I do get them, I tend to save the little messages if they are somehow relevant or interesting. Don’t tell me that you don’t try to find meaning in fortune cookies or your horoscope! Everyone I know grasps for good news wherever they can find it.
Anyway, I thought I would post two of the last fortunes that have been bestowed upon me. The first one is amazingly pinpoint for a person who was an English major, lover of books, and a struggling writer. As you can see in the picture, it read, “You are a lover of words; someday you will write a book.” OK, I do ignore the lucky numbers. But man, how cool is that? A voice from beyond telling me a bit about myself and then giving me encouragement for the future.
And even better, given the grumbling post I wrote the other day, and my current efforts to make a go at freelance writing and marketing, the one I got just a couple of days ago is very encouraging. And it doesn’t have teriyaki fingerprints. It reads, “You’re at that critical point. Make that last push.” There are all sorts of thins going on in my life at the moment that this could apply to, from personal issues and automotive wranglings, to office problems and personal development. I just hope that by doing one thing like buying my new/old car that I don’t use up all the karma available in the prediction.
Like I said, sometimes you take strength and comfort from the most unusual places. And at the moment, I am pushed forward by fortune cookies.