Thursday, January 26, 2017

As if the sun

And now, dear friend, before I close, I want to say something about the understandable fear and worry you so painfully and gracefully confess. The sheer brevity of our lives — the very brevity that makes beauty possible — demands we take the longer view, that there is no new thing under the sun, that what seems an eternity here is but a fleeting moment elsewhere, and that both places are within you. We come, we go, and we remain, all in the instant. I saw a gravestone once, in a small country cemetery, with these sweet words inscribed:

Who knows the dreams that lie here buried?

To which I would fain here add:

But you, my fellow man, traveling companion, and friend.

The chatter of daily events is so much wind in the leaves. Guided by love, the wise one listens, but he does not try to solve the wind. He sees the events as opportunities to go more deeply into himself, and discover where he might have helped such things come to pass. At the same time, he is aware of the beauty in him and around him, and in and around all things.

But what of the immediate consequences? I hear you say. What of those who will be made to suffer by these horrendous acts of selfishness and ignorance? What of all we have to lose?

I can only reply, that you will be most useful not when you are fearful and angry and outraged, but when you know yourself so well that love for all is your only motive. You want results. You want to see them here and now before you die. I say, let go of the results, because without love and self-understanding, you cannot see their beginning or their end, or their myriad consequences. What seems better now may be worse later; what is terrible now may be better later. And so you must also let go of better and worse, and hold to love. You must take the “I” out of all your actions, and let your actions rise effortlessly as prayer, and trust that they will find the proper heart and home. For “I” may dream of helping millions, and yet forget the lonely neighbor, or the homeless man sleeping in the abandoned doorway. “I” is busy, “I” is oft times blind. “I” is an agenda, even if only ever so subtle. “I” says, Let others know what “I” have done. It’s as if the sun, in its slow, inevitable march toward death, were to grant its light one day, and withhold it another. But it can only give. And so must you. So must we all. And it is in giving that we live forever, and are ever new.


Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

DNA Quantum

Ancient demons plague us,
have burrowed deep inside us.
They hide within our bones,
twist and curl between sinew and flesh.
They live inside our hearts
for they are ancient.

Old enemies who torment us,
enact their mischief through us.
We can see their evil clearly
and the harm they cause is known.
They are deep within our bodies
and only when we die do we escape them.

We all know what is good and right,
but despite ourselves cause pain.
We are selfish and thoughtless and angry,
greedy, dishonest and vain.
It is the work of ancient demons,
primitive and base, with ancient names.

But they show a modern face,
though have been among us always,
these demons that plague us,
living deep inside our mind and blood.

An ancient enemy that calls our soul home,
lifted with us from the mud,
an ancient enemy with an ancient name:

Copyright 2005 – Evolving: Poems:1965-2005, Gary B. Fitzgerald
Copyright 2010 – New and Corrected Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

Honest words may not be kind,
kind words not always honest.
A wise man does not argue,
he who argues is not wise.
A wise man accepts knowing little,
he who knows much can not be wise.

Lao Tzu

William Michaelian said...

Many thanks for this, Gary, as always.