Ageless Wisdom, Decomposing Dahlias and the Color Gray

“Do not pray to the Lord for the removal of sufferings. Pray to Him to grant you power of endurance and patience to bear all calamities. The more troubles and adversities you get, the stronger and firmer will be your faith in God. They will mould you into a divine being. Welcome them.”
-Swami Sivananda
Well thank you Swami!  How very timely of you to offer your divine pearls at the feet of the masses.  The masses of alarmed citizens right inside my very own self for starters.  People!  Tell me this quote is not the most perfect place to rest your weary heart and mind these days… So much change.  So much internal pressure and external imploding wilderness.  A woman friend recently asked me how thirty is treating me thus far.  I took a rapid introspective sweep and my answer came strong and quick.  I told her it’s quintessentially awesome AND it’s requiring all of the inner strength that I have cultivated for the last thirty years (not to mention the seven gazillion other lives I’ve trickled through) to navigate these recent chapters.  It’s true.  Though my existence feels like drunk wrestlers trying to dance ballet, I must confess that I have never felt so much deep strength, courage and rooted self respect.
Honestly, I have spent many years frolicking in the shacklicious bondage of suicidal persuasions.  I’m still here to tell the tale because I have always known better than to think that it could really be that easy.  Death ain’t the end, folks.  Like Amma says, it’s more akin to a period at the end of a sentence than some final plummet off a screeching cliff into indifferent, eternal darkness.  Our souls are holy, trail blazing paragraphs spiraling through the vast, ingenious mind of the All Pervading Scripture.  I’ve always known that if I took my own life, I’d create a less than savory karmic mess to reckon with later.  And that’s not on the menu for this High Priestess of the Cosmos.
Let’s just get straight on this whole issue of karma why don’t we?  The poor word has been beaten to death by ignorant though well meaning new agers… but essentially, karma simply means action.  Action is energy in motion.  And once energy is in motion, it causes ripples and reverberations all throughout creation.  And that motion inevitably has effects.  Each of us IS the universe.  So the effects exist implicit in the action, right within our very Selves.  Can ya dig it?
But back to the whole suicidal thing~ from my vantage point here in present time, I’m actually pretty stoked about all that unsavory time I spent writhing and flailing in utter darkness because it did just what Swami Sivananda said it would do.  I have endured and my faith in God is bottomless.  And topless.  And spilling all over this world trembling on the precipice of something unprecedented and full throttle auspicious.  Mould away, oh All Pervading Light Sculptor!
The sun never came out today.  I take it back.  After dinner I was sitting on my bed and my gaze drifted out the window just in time to see a distant beaming wash of golden light falling on my backyard neighbors’ roof and a cedar tree nearby.  It was an overtly holy moment.  But other than that, the sky stayed gray all day long and my body never thawed.  Neither did my heart or mind.  (Until I started writing, that is… writing is usually a surefire way for me to fall back in some strain of Love, no matter how unflattering the amorous flavor may be… at least its Love’s spoiled step-child, or Love’s ex-husband’s maternal grandmother’s butler’s best friend from college.  What I’m trying to say, is that even when my writing process is arduous and my emotions are thick as jungle mud, I still find my heart here on the page.  Always.  All ways.)
Speaking of gray… This morning in the swimming pool, as I was doing my kicking laps I fixed my gaze skyward at the deep, steely blanket of woolen gray and I thought to myself, “it’s about time that I make friends with gray.”  Normally gray is unbearable to me.  It’s a light and life decimating monster.  It’s in the club with rotten eggs, hate crimes, germ warfare and putrid breath.  But I dare myself… I dare myself to strip and peel gray to its very core and discover a unique rendition of Heaven.  I dare myself to listen acutely to the music of gray and fall in love with its ever-sultry song.  Not to sound too franchise enlightenment, but without gray… Do you know what I’m about to say?  Without gray, colors would not taste nearly as intoxicating, revelatory and evocative.  You know what I mean about franchise enlightenment?  I guess another word for it would be “cliché”.
On a distant but related topic, the dahlia bouquet on my nightstand is chasing death at a rapid clip.  They’re only a week old and already the petals are withered at the tips and being accosted by the color brown.  As I write this, in my mind’s nose, I am smelling the swampy biting stench of their decomposition.  I keep looking at them and fantasizing about retiring them to the compost bin.  But instead, my eyes wander captivated about their contrasting scapes.  They are transformation in action and the implicit sacred beauty therein.  They are a head on collision between life and death.  Hmmm, maybe they are to flowers as crones are to women.  Why is youth so prized in our remedial culture?  The elderly get sequestered to special homes where few people have to deal with them… As if wisdom is akin to the Styrofoam packaging you pulled off after you ripped your new, state of the art microwave out of its box.  At the first sign of wrinkles and varicose veins, we toss ourselves and one another into the smelly compost heap to finish rotting.   What could be more ridiculous?!  Okay, on the count of three, let’s pull our collective head out of its communal ass.  Three.  Two.  One.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. contoveros
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 06:32:42


    Gray is the color of most newspapers. The ink, anyway. Yeah, you could say it was black, but take a closer look. Same with test papers. And most books we read.

    I’ll give you 10 to 0ne odds that the color of the letters you’re reading right now are more a shade of “dark gray” than “light black.”

    Suicide. Not unless you got a good lawyer who could convince St. Peter to let you through the gates. That you were coerced, or that you prevented a far greater crime from happening with your action. Such as throwing yourself on a life grenade. (OK. I’m sorry. I guess there is no such thing as a dead grenade. We’d call that a dud, wouldn’t we?)

    Now, for that Ageless Wisdom. I read the same damn thing in Kabbalah. That the Creator sends us alleged “misfortunates” for us to draw closer to the Love that we are all connected to from birth. It’s like character building. “This will improve your character,” the man in charge of your firing squad said. Or, “Whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stronger.” Like to be strong enough to kill the creep that came up with that one!

    Just wanted to get my two cents worth in. You can keep the change.

    michael j


  2. Amy MacLeod
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 09:18:44

    With Michael J’s wisdom on the front line, I’m delighted to sandwich you with my declaration: I said thanks to the Universal Beloved that you have decided to kick the hell out of franchise enlightenment and poke a hole in grey.

    I like you being here. I love you and your presence. You help turn monotone turn into a full fledged orchestra.

    Love, Amy


  3. spirit2go
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 13:05:55

    yeah, ‘this is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you’………………


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