Friday, October 12, 2007


I'd like to explore this idea of separateness for a moment, if I may. For me, there are entire days that I am overtaken by a great sadness for the little boy I have never met nor heard of somewhere in Africa, in a town where I have never been who I imagine is staring into the eyes of a boy not much older than himself telling him to kill his own mother. I'm sure the psychologists would have something to say about this but I share this with you now because I think the important thing about this sadness is to turn it into a catalyst. To use it as a tool or teacher to drive you forward in the world. To drive you to action. If this boy does not concern you, perhaps there is a boy in your town, or your family, or perhaps this boy is you. We can talk all day about the thought and intention of things and I think this aspect is important but I believe we were given these bodies for more reasons than we could possibly know. They are magic. And magic must have a purpose even if that purpose is only to exist. And existing is such an amazing gift, isn't it?

Connecting and feeling connected to this boy in Africa or, as we drive across farm country in Ohio, to the land and the farmer in his plow, this often is not my difficulty. But to the people in this RV, this is my trick. This is where my challenge lies. How, in the quiet moments when I am all alone in the back do I trust that I am still a third to the twosome that sits up front laughing about something I may never know. Or when, yesterday, as I traversed off to light a candle for Asa Coon, the boy who killed himself in Ohio after injuring 4 others, I found we were lighting three. I liked to imagine one was for Asa and all those who have been labeled evil in our collective history, another for the children who would return, eventually to the school as well as those injured, and the third for all those who have not yet been recognized as Love. For all the boys and girls who harbor the pain and, with no clue how to direct it may one day find an outlet that hurts those around them, that they might see this little light, or even feel it on some level as an acknowledgment of hope. I think it was Stephen Post who wrote that after the atrocities of 9/11 someone asked Mr. Fred Rogers what we should tell the children and he replied, "Tell them to keep their eyes on the helpers." I do not believe lighting a candle, or names etched into a monument or prayer is focusing on the terrible acts of war, or the terrible acts of evil doers, or even death. I believe these little acknowledgments are of the beauty, the hope. And that act is no more or less natural than say a tree which could be said to also be an acknowledgment of the beauty and magic that exists in our world, or a child, or a smile. David Spangler spoke a bit about this in our interview with him. Why this need to transcend this lovely and painful business of the earthly world? How can we question God? And it was the Gospel of Thomas that said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is here on earth."

I am fond of describing the experience of Hello Love using the metaphor of clothing. As we walk through our daily lives we put on all these layers that cover our "bodies" and it is in the moment of hello love that we find all the rest falls off and we stand there naked and connected to the entire world. I practice, in part, so that I might learn to walk through the world always in this way. I find that at a certain emotional closeness my own "clothes" come flying back on. The clothes of doubt and insecurities. Perhaps it has something to do with a belief that I don't have something to offer... Something about self-worth? Something about self-soothing, and being all right inside no matter what is going on outside.

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