The Willing of Peace

6 Jun

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One of the most amazing plays I was able to see in NYC was Warhorse and it connected to me in a way that no play really ever has. When the music began, and an Irish soulful voice echoed in the darkened theater, I was suddenly sliced down to my core, into a tender softness that I hope will never leave me. I tried so hard to push away the thought of giving the essence of this experience away in a “wish you could see this” moment. But I couldn’t. I thought of my former husband and I wished he was there to see it with me. The ability to make a gift of a moment has been my blessing and curse, all of my life. I stopped because now there is really no one to give  it to but myself. Do you think that’s what this is supposed to teach me? Giving away too many experiences to others and enjoying life through their pleasure is over. I am no longer a reflective mirror. I have to shine.

And in that almost holy darkness, I was captured by a puppet named Joey, his ears, his subtle movements, so correct, so delicate. I believed in his reality, willingly trusting an exterior illusion, and able to be vulnerable inside this armor of muscle and bone and blood I have built around me. My will to believe intertwined into the creation of this animal spirit. And as this joint road of connection and empathy spread out before me, I felt whatever pain there was, Joey would understand. His sacrifice which played out before me showed a truth, that we will our peace into the chaos of living. Our hearts, our souls, our wishes mean nothing in repose. We do not find peace. We will our peace into this madness of shadow and suffering. In his legs, there was the promise of strength to hold pain if I couldn’t hold myself. In his head, his neck, there was promise of protection if I could not hold on. In his loyalty, there were glimpses of a permanence that we all long for, a shining moment of happiness that won’t ever change.

The lingering lesson from this display of love and brutality, humanity and the Divine? How can one love an animal so much? Because in loving him, we can safely love ourselves through his intercession. We reveal our own vulnerability, raw and unbroken, when we love an animal so fiercely. Even in our blindness, we feel the call of self. And in this illusion of heart and soul, of empathic connection, the voices which rose around me like lost ancestors reminded me of the essence of my purpose, a reason to be open, to keep going, to exchange the pain of an emotional bruise for wisdom because the light never dies.

Up and away like the dew in the morning,
Soaring from the earth to its home in the sun,
Thus we would pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered for what we have done.
Only the truth that in life we have spoken.
Only the seed we have sown,
These shall pass onward when we’re forgotten,
Fruits of the harvest and what we have done.

In my struggle to be fully human and to understand the Divine, I am reminded that the truth within this life is in the be-ing, in the do-ing, in the love-ing, inside.

I turn into self…and shine.


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