This strange prayer poured out of my heart the other night:
“Let me be the one to give love to the world again. Allow me the privilege of sacrificing everything so that Oneness can never be denied. Give me the burden, the struggle, and the turmoil of being a light in this darkness. I’ll do it. No one else seems willing…so lay it all on my shoulders and let me heal the world.”
Of course, as soon as it was done the ego kicked in:
“negro, who do you think you are? how are you going to do that? take yo ass to sleep.”
I don’t know though…
Until now, I have been in a state of reluctant acceptance in regards to being in the middle of the decline of civilization as we know it. I tell myself “It’s happening, there’s nothing that can be done about it.” Maybe so. But don’t I have the responsibility to create a peaceful, loving, and functional world? Maybe I need to band together a few others who have decided not to wait on a savior, or hope the system somehow magically fixes itself, or just wait out this lifespan and leave it for the next generation to handle or perish, or plan an elaborate escape plan involving tropical islands…
Maybe I can be the person that gets people to see themselves in other beings. Maybe I can give the world an emergency injection of Love and Presence that’s right on time to avert us from catastrophe. Maybe instead of accepting this decline I will start shouting at everyone, “not on my watch!”
Instead of allowing strangers to complain about the weather, or politics, or mass killings across the globe, I’ll stop them in their tracks and remind them of the beauty inherent in all things — beginning with what is inside of each one of us — and then I’ll challenge them to be the difference they want to see in the world. I’ll be the guy who you cannot walk away from without hearing a kind word or receiving an authentic gesture of acknowledgement.
I will no longer reluctantly accept the madness. I will confront it within myself, within my home, within this community, and I will take it with me wherever I travel in this world.
This is a lot of myth left to unfold….I better get moving.
Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?
Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms?
Who comes to a spring thirsty
and sees the moon reflected in it?
Who, like Jacob blind with grief and age,
smells the shirt of his lost son
and can see again?
Who lets a bucket down and brings up
a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?
Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,
and opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there’s a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.
Chase a deer and end up everywhere!
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow one drop.
Now there’s a pearl.
A vagrant wanders empty ruins.
Suddenly he’s wealthy.
But don’t be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.
Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes a moment
of feeling the wings you’ve grown,
— Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi