Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunshine Angel

It started with her smile.  Then her voice.  The way she spoke: animated but soft, words broken by laughter.  Her smile that was full and not just for those she knew, but also for complete strangers and all.  

There is that point where you have everything to gain from someone, that you know nothing about them and so all there is left to do is ask questions.  Ask questions and try to steal as much time from them so you can ask all your questions.  And to ask questions to learn as much as you can to get to know them.  If you get that time.  If you get to know them.  The more special they become, the closer you get, step by step, until it is too late.  You have fallen. 

Then it was her eyes: delicate and deep, able to draw your absolute attention when she stared into yours.  It made me feel naked, that all my tricks were worthless and that my charm could only be in being honest.  That was her stare: an honest look that bared down on the soul only to hold it and know that is nothing between each soul.  

That day it was warm, we all knew it was going to gradually get cooler and cooler, transforming shirts to sweaters and shorts to pants.  We found our spot on the beach and listened to the waves crash.  There was a sloping tree that stood over the water.  It was narrow and steep but called to us.  It wanted to be climbed and at the end of that climb there was a perfect spot to rest, right above the water.  Hours went by and a few of us made our attempts at that tree.  Only a few steps taken.  Each time I watched on, eager to try myself, and eventually I would only to fail.  More time passed and the sun moved further in the sky.  My gut came calling.  The tree beckoned.  When was the last time my legs had my trust.  Lefty still wasn't the same, still couldn't run, and tired after a full day of walking.  Righty dumbed down, keeping its pace to balance the two.  They haven't felt the same since the crash.

For a moment I stopped thinking.  I need not think for my legs and for my feet to find their way.  They work alone, knowing the ground more than my thoughts and more my feelings.  I swear they move on their own and so I let them do exactly that.  I got up and started to walk towards that tree.  The sandy surface turned to smooth tree bark, the slope grew steeper and my legs climbed.  Step by step.  Not a doubt to their thinking, straight narrow path.  I could hear the others call on, hoping to see one of us make it.  I wanted to say we were going to make it but there wasn't a thought in my mind.  Nothing to say.  We reached the top, we were in the leaves and perfectly right over the water.  The sunshine shimmered over the water's ripples and as I continued to stare at those ripples I could see a purple glow with touches of orange and deep blue.  I had never seen such colors from shimmering ripples but neither have I been able to stare at them from just above on a low-hanging tree.  I sat at the end and cleared my mind of thought so more.  Nothing, nothing, nothing.   Not a thing.  A speed boat in the distance raced by and then came heavy waves.  The surface below my feet changed rapidly, the waves crashed with intensity, and the tree and I stood still.  Nothing could touch us here, in this moment.

Not the smile, nor the eyes, and not even how beautiful she is, breath-taking, yes, and like no other, of course, it was beyond that and the origin of those qualities.  What drew me in, what caught me from the start, what I wanted to learn more about, where all my questions and query stemmed from: was the love at the center of her being.  I had been listening to the phrase, Love everyone, speak the truth*, for the past few months.  That phrase has been deepened, See beyond the face, the behavior, the personality, the dress, past, and beliefs, and there is love at the center of everyone**.  But it takes me time to see through all those layers and it takes them time if at all, to welcome me to that warmth at the center of it all.  She was different: it was right there with nothing to hide and it was shining.  

I'm not the person that can get away with calling others angels.  Nor am I the person that could I tell them to shine on.  But I was taken by the radiance of someone.  Someone that is kind and caring, that accepts you, that needs no story, no explanation, that is there to be honest, and there to be there.  And that each moment with, that ticking of time stops, and all I want is for this or that day to become endless, letting the scenery change but not the company.  I have much to learn and far too many questions, but I hope I have more and more of your time.

*The instructions given to Ram Dass by his guru, Neem Karoli Baba.
**Paraphrased from Duncan Trussell interpretting Neem Karoli Baba's instructions to Ram Dass during a conversation with Dr. Chris Ryan and Joe Rogan,
Second photograph by Helene Goderis taken on June 15th, 2014.

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