Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Waters of Life

In my morning reading from The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo,[1] I found a connection with another of my morning rituals, the review of Facebook postings from my friends. 

Raven Dana had posted a You Tube item about a waltz composed 50 years ago by Sir Anthony Hopkins, a well known actor, but which he had never played.  Sir Anthony had asked the also famous musician/conductor, Andre’ Rieu, to play it, which he did.  I found the waltz beautiful, intricate and emotionally uplifting. [2]   My own tears of joy flowed at the thought of how music graces our lives and how it can bring us into harmony with the “Song of Life” itself.

I’d like to quote the passage from Awakening in order illustrate the author’s discovery of his own “waters of life.”

I was traveling in South Africa and felt very tender one morning, when my friend Kim came upon me as I was weeping.  She asked if I was okay.  I told her it was only the waters of life splashing up my shore.  Later that day I found her near tears and checked in with her.  She said, “The river’s now in me.”
We looked into each other and realized that we all share the same river.  It flows beneath us and through us, from one dry heart to the next.  We share the same river.  It makes the Earth one living thing.
The whole of life has a power to soften and open us against our will, to irrigate our spirits, and in those moments, we discover that tears, the water from within, are a common blood, mysterious and clear.  We may speak different languages and live very different lives, but when that deep water swells to the surface, it pulls us to each other.
We share the same river, and where it enters, we lose our stubbornness the way fists wear open when held under in the stream of love.

At times in my life I have been criticized for the apparent easy expression of my emotions through tears.  It used to bother me that others did not seem to understand what I felt, or how it was not a symptom of some unknown weakness.  Rather, for me, there was a mystical sense of connection with all that is as it became apparent in a specific event or piece of writing or even within a movie.  I think this is what Mark Nepo was recognizing through his tears.  There are those special waters of life that well up within us in those moments we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to let down the barriers of our stubbornness so that stress, inharmonies, hurts or whatever else may trouble us may be let go.  In letting go we once again can thrive.  In that moment we are open to the deep joys of simple things that have gone unnoticed.

In a “perfect world” we would always be open to the oneness of all life and our particular oneness in that life.  While the world—as Creation—may indeed be perfect, our expression within that world of potential does not always rise to the occasion.  I am grateful every time I feel that rise within me.  I increasingly find more to enjoy in life and less that is uncomfortable or troubling.  Long way to go, but I think I am on the path.  At least the path I am on is increasingly rewarding.

May you also find yourself in the waters of life!

[1]  The Book Of Awakening, Mark Nepo.  Large Print Press, A part of Gale, Cengage Learning