Thursday, December 16, 2010

8. There is a sacredness

There is a sacredness in the curling of an apple's parted skin, the quiet revelation of innocence. There is a sacredness in not waiting, and then in learning to wait.

It is sacred to listen to music. To sing and to dance on the bus as it carries people home, twirling and catching yourself on the bar only moments before falling. It is sacred to smile at a stranger-- to look into their eyes and to see that they are happy because you are happy and you are happy because their eyes are shining.

There is a sacredness to being so fed by the universe that for a little while you forget to eat. There is a sacredness in eating more chocolate than your stomach can process in one sitting because you are hungry and excited and not paying attention to the bag-- and in letting that be fine, in knowing that irregardless you are still even more than okay. There is always space for gratitude.

It is so sacred to sit with a new... someone, a person who is not quite a stranger or a lover or a friend but somewhere in the ridges between all of these things, and to make music, together, sitting side by side. It is sacred to learn something new, to ask questions, to not know and to allow others to witness your not knowing. There is a sacredness to being vulnerable.

At the same time it is sacred to protect yourself from being harmed. It is sacred to see that someone might hurt you and to hold out an arm to defend yourself-- not in combat but in love, love for yourself who is worthy of respect and dignity and of protection of these sacred things. There is a sacredness, too, in getting hurt, and even more so in the learning that comes after feeling pain. But this is a sacredness that can only arise with an attitude: that every thing-- every single thing-- is an opportunity for reflection and growth. And in knowing that, you realize that the universe is always and only conspiring to make you a better person. Then you realize that every bad thing that has ever happened to you-- and every good thing, too-- has been a gift presented to you in the form of a mirror and a guidepost: To show you who you are, to show you where you do not and where you so very much do want to go.

This is all very sacred. And so are you, just as you are-- healthy and wounded and perhaps in the process of being healed. Wearing too much makeup or none at all and maybe still with some pimples even though you are twenty-three years old-- or sixty-eight, even-- and maybe feeling like a kid in a grown-up's body or a wise old soul stuck in this vessel of youth, wanting so badly to just sit and contemplate all the beauty in the universe but instead finding that you are compelled to keep moving, that growth and change happen even if you try to avoid them and really doesn't this just go to show that you're not able to-- nor is it your job to control things, least of all this great big glorious thing called Life, and that perhaps this is the most sacred thing of all: It doesn't stop; it doesn't stop; you cannot make it stop.