Today, on the darkest of days, December 21st, I had a dream.
It came in that slowed down space
between sleep and wide awake
where seconds seem like minutes and minutes like hours,
maybe that is why I remember it so clearly.
I was standing unnoticed outside of the capital building, mid-day,
in Washington DC, on a grassy area just outside of a black metal fence
protecting the building and its inhabitants,
amdist others entrenched in their individual pursuits.
a security guard mechanically looking this way and that
at nothing in particular, a young mother pushing her sleeping child in a
blue and white covered stroller, a couple of men with grey green veterans hats
pointing this way and that and peering at a trifold laminated map.
and then something welled up from deep inside of me
an awareness that pointed to a previously unrecognized voice
that had been framing the last several months of my first waking breath
with feelings of insecurity, paranoia and unworthiness.
this awareness was previously focused on the political news of the day
and how awful such and who and where and what was
and now it turned its attention to something inside of me,
a being not me, and not other than me,
that could now be heard as though some unseen signal was tuned in
on an FM radio channel in my mind.
the voice first crackled, then with more focused attention, became clear.
it was spouting a manifesto directly aimed at the part of me
that most needs acceptance and nurturance,
statements meant to keep that fragile self cowered in a corner.
suddenly in this generic scene’s silent solitude, the wicked voice erupted through me
and I spoke, voice echoing widely as through a megaphone:
Blessed be those who would rather die than be humiliated
They shall be universally loved.
Blessed be those who do whatever it takes to be victorious
Collateral damage will be meaningless to them.
Blessed be those who harvest and consume without ever planting
Their weighty might shall trickle down to nurture the lowly sowers of seed.
Blessed are those who offer iron fist protection to the insecure
The cold comfort of their grave will be like a finely leathered living room.
Blessed are those who succeed solely on their own merits
The commodity of celebrity will promote and protect their brand.
Blessed are those who live in steel certainty
For they will never be wrong.
Blessed are those who eternally defend, attack and deny,
They shall escape persecution in their own name’s sake.
and then I fell to the ground and looked around.
everyone had stopped, staring directly at me and all around my knees and legs
there was what appeared to be a broken mirror about the size of my torso
split into tens of pieces, and I reactively began to put them together
like a puzzle with linear spaces in between parts.
an older veteran gave me a piece of cardboard from the side of the road
that looked like the roof of a makeshift shanty,
the young mother offered some glue, and
sliver by shard I arranged the mirror mosaiq
and then hung it from my neck facing outward over my chest
using handcuffs from the security guard
the wicked voice was still present but subdued
and with it there was a humility, like springtime soil, that spoke through me:
Blessed be those who are persecuted,
for they shall be set free.
and I stood and began walking about the outdoor mall area
as witness for others to see themselves in the broken mirror mosaiq,
and nodding heads and simple acknowledgments revealed that they now knew
it was their own brokenness they were seeing.
a moment later, a flash of light split through my eyes and
I was awake.
a sweet cool comfort gripped me and has not let go
as I see that my view of the wickedness “out there”
has a partner inside of me
and that this is part of the human condition.
and I will not return the violence by trying to make the voice go away
an eye for an eye will only plunge me deeper into the darkness
and only through embracing the whole
will the hours of light ever extend.
It is what it is.
it is not what it seems
and for lack of looking deeper,
we have misunderstood.
Then, with full awareness of our
we can hope to approach
in simplicity of presence
right where you are
no reservation required
or travel of any kind
calm your body first
look and ask
watch it respond
enjoy your breath
to every existing thing
in crisp constant
stream of thought
We Walk Together
You come to us as parent
You arrive as child
shared by all
we walk together
in deep gratitude
leaves and grass
which remind us:
although we move apart
we never walk alone
The heart of the veiled universe yearns for you:
full moon on a densely clouded night
wind-blown seed nestled in frozen soil
an infant’s sigh after midnight feeding
attention lies elsewhere
you remain uninterested
in the fragility at the center of all things
with limitless inclusion,
the security of known illusion
still the gentle wind whispers:
it does not have to be so heavy
the weight of what you think you are
release and abandon
your firmly rooted explanations
like a wispy white dandelion seed
for you are the seed
sunshine, rain, leaf and flower
the infinite love in everything
waits eternally for your arrival