Wednesday, 28 November 2007

A backward glance

Rain, thoughts of streams and visions of floods washed silently through me as summer matured and shortening days began to search the horizon for signs of autumn. Memories backwashed and eddied into slow-turning pools of superficial pondering, there to settle into a deeper meditation. Raindrops and falling leaves have since smoored the trains of thought that flickered and flared throughout the previous months, leaving them to smoulder, and enabling their further transformation in the moist warmth of contemplation’s womb.
Such is the quiet within which I have wandered since last I made a conscious visit to this, my chosen vantage spot at the very edge.

I had thought my reflections may lead me to something I had not anticipated, and unsurprisingly - as anticipated - that is just what happened.
I had assumed that whatever that something may be, it would in some way increase my awareness of the journey and clarify the meaning of steps already taken: shine light on the road that has brought me to where I am today. I had also assumed that such clarification would somehow indicate more clearly the direction of the steps I have yet to take, and, though having learned that the destination will not be fully revealed during this life, I had anticipated a clearer view of that which I hope to approach.

It is a source of amazement for me that I am able to repeat those same assumptions and anticipations, when on previous occasions I had thought to have learned that while the one may be granted, the other, at least in the way that I envisage, will not.
We are unable to fully comprehend our present until we either step from it or stand while it passes us by. Once we are able to look back at it, and so long as we have the eyes to see, we are able to begin an interpretation of what had confronted, confused or captivated us, and to weigh the consequences of whatever actions we took or failed to take.

If we are travelling in the right direction, the light is always before us.
‘The Lord preceded them … in a pillar of fire to give them light …’ (Exodus 13:21)
As our belief increases, as our trust and our faith in it grows, we see it more clearly and the increasing brightness gives the impression that we are drawing closer to it. We are indeed approaching but the immeasurable void between us is not one of physical distance but of awareness and understanding. It is so great that any advance on the scale of cosmic awareness is as nothing, and is even less in the all-encompassing mind of God. From our puny perspective however, that same advance is a potentially stunning leap into a level or form of knowing that we could not have imagined beforehand. That shift in our knowing brings a corresponding shift in our seeing, our hearing, our feeling and our thinking. It is the combined effect of all of these that makes the light suddenly seem so much brighter. Every such moment brings us closer to an understanding of just how far we have to go, and how very far we are from appreciating how embryonic that understanding really is.
The light increasingly dazzles as we progress, but with every step we place our present moment behind us, in a place where - if we turn our minds to look – that same greater brightness illuminates the path we have taken in ways that reveal what we were unable to see while stepping upon it.

Why is it that, in spite of past experiences, we slide ourselves out of that astonishing but fleeting understanding, and back into a blindness which we ourselves control? We become so sure and secure, and then so accustomed to our newfound clarity that we forget we are already in a dimension beyond the imaginings of our earlier years. We surely know that this has not ended: that this can happen again and again, each moment taking us further from where we are today and toward a level of truth of which we cannot begin to dream.
We remain oblivious to what we do while creating what feels like absolute conviction. From what has been demonstrated as an unpredictable sequence of steps, and an unconquerable lack of certainty, we conjure new blueprints and dig new foundations on the supposed solidity of our pride.
Even now the grains of sand gently tumble between our toes, and with the world asleep, one can almost hear their smiles …

‘We wander the dunes in dead of night,
no pillar of fire, no guiding light.’

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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