The very thing that seeks to kill
is a teacher in its own right.
cancer shuts down organs
but opens the spirit to the light.
gratitude for the present moment
and the loving relationships therein
rise to one’s consciousness
filling the heart with love again.
make a friend of a killer
and you’ll be surprised
of the joy it avails
and the glorious sunrise.
I have a friend who comes over every week or so to take me through a yoga lesson. I walked into this commitment skeptical that my body could do it– my bones feel like old pipes, my veins streams of red, often stagnant, the waters drifting listlessly.
We’ve been doing this yoga thing for a few weeks now and something happened this morning during our session. I was lying in my back, sunlight pouring freely through the window behind me, splashing playfully on my face. I’d close my eyes and the sweet pink nectar of the sun washed me clean of all guilt and fear. I was being cleansed by the warmth, the pure love, the very light of forgiveness itself.
It was the light of youth, the light of playground trips as a youth, the light of laughter, the glow of the beating heart of God.
We are forgiven and live in heaven on earth. There are no transgressions that the light cannot pierce. The light breathes inside us, and sometimes it just takes a window and a little willingness to see that.
We are asked to accept that we know not when we perish, nor do we know what we are born into upon death. We are asked to accept the values of others when they conflict with our values. We emerge from our mother’s womb a stranger- our whole story is written while we were in the warm heaven of that womb. Then the arms of our mother hold us and gaze upon a new life, a life whose days are written out for them by the power which holds our hearts in its womb, our bodies. The power which does not relent in its love, should we claim it.
My overtures toward peace have been dismissed through an over-written letter, the essence of which is: “I don’t give a shit,” and “my pain trumps reconciliation.”
I get quiet by the eastern water and consider what is in my power. And the question arises: “what do i really want to happen between us? Why do I call out to her?” I don’t have that answer- I only have the knowledge that God is leading me and the next sentence is in his book, not mine.
The rain was slicing through the stiff cold air, leaving the streets of my childhood home drenched in the tears of the roaring sky. The wind screamed as I looked out of the window of my youth; trees breaking, cars bobbing in the sorrow of the sky.
This was my dream the other night– the home of my upbringing was under siege and I was frightened. I was a child again, and I was facing all the fears and lack of control that came with my childhood. Shadows of ghosts moved in the mist.
Freud would say the house represents the body, and the storm represents the cancer. I was just a frightened little boy in the dream and now I am a frightened man, looking out at that world through that window and hearing the screaming winds of mortality call out to me while I find the quietest place I can within me and call out to my heavenly father that the winds subside and that the sunlight of childhood return to my heart.
I am on fire– my thirst for God and his loving grace has never been more present.
Recently I was in a place of hatred. An older sibling would not return my calls – there is a long history there, of which the details I feel are unimportant for the purposes of this blog – and I felt this blockage which stood in the way of forgiveness and love. I would pray and get quiet by the east end water, seeking acceptance of her actions. But my heart was as turbulent as the waves in front of me, unceasing rolling anger.
I knew that I could live long with this type of anger in me; I consulted with my sponsor who directed me to hold off on writing a letter because I was not clear on what message I wanted to send.
All I felt compelled to share in a letter was my anger and confusion at what I perceived to be a selfishness in her which transcended my ability to forgive, given that I don’t know – due to cancer – how much time I have left.
I went to my father with this dilema- he helped me draft a letter, the heart of which was this: “Can there be forgiveness and love between us from this point forward.” Peace. It wasn’t that i needed a relationship with her, but closure.
So I sent this letter and – this is the miracle of it – as soon as I dropped it in the mailbox, I felt overwhelmed with a sense of the peace of God.
The next time I went to the east waters to pray and meditate, there was only gentle sunlight caressing a peaceful sea.