July has been a hard, sad, beautiful, wonderful month, culminating on the 31st in a low swing down the way of physical and emotional exhaustion. Early Monday morning after a restless night of frightening dreams, I learned of the violent death of a very dear coworker and friend. I carried the weight of it all day, felt the sorrow growing heavy in my heart as I smiled and served pancakes and politely thanked each person to be led my way. That afternoon, when I finally made it home after hours on end of hard labor for little pay, I let myself in, closed the door behind me, fell down to my knees and wept.
Broken hearted, I wept for him. I wept for his children. I wept for all and for myself. I felt the deep, true nature of compassion fill my being and let it overcome me. I felt it wash me clean.
After the collapse, I sat for meditation. I kept my drishte through the tears. My thoughts were soft and quiet, but visions of my friend's face -- of his artful, goateed, gold-toothed grin -- would briefly shine, twinkle, and fade.
And isn't that our very nature? The true and only purpose? To shine, twinkle, and fade. To be a brief, ethereal adornment against the backdrop of a sweeping, endless sky. To be bringers of light and pure, essential goodness in a vast expanse of shadowed dark. If yes, then to die is not to die. The light still carries. Glimmers of his spirit shine on just as brightly in my heart and mind, the nature of my being being not separate from that self-same sky.
I used the clarity and strength I gained through meditation to connect, commune, and wish him well. May his reabsorption be peaceful and his spirit ascend.
Tuesday, depleted from the previous day, my tender heart still throbbing and my intellect quite numb, ancient trauma surged and forced its way onto a poor, unwitting friend, resulting in a long, exhausting night of war stories, more pain, and eventual collapse.
Last night, as we turned the page to a new month, bathed in the light of the auspicious moon, I felt reborn. The elements aligned and the eyes of strangers sparkled as we passed under the soft, sweet lunar glow. I felt the thread of suffering which connects us all not as burden but as enormous strength. I realized that to hide my pain is to relinquish my hold on this lifeline to which we all so desperately must cling.
So let's play a game to help pass the time. You show me yours, and I'll show you mine.