I’ve been thinking a lot of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave recently. Imagine prisoners tide up side by side in darkness placed in front of a blank stone wall. The prisoners can turn their heads nor move so that they can’t see one another. Behind them there is a fire and the captors have people walking in front of the fire with puppets so that it casts a shadow upon the wall the prisoners stare at. Any sounds and talk, these prisoners believe come from the shadows in the wall. This is the reality they live in and they have no knowledge of people or the captors behind them. One day they are set free and have to crawl through a narrow tunnel to an opening into the outer world. When first reaching the outside they see the light of the sun and it’s blaring and painful because they’ve only known darkness their whole life. It hurts their eyes and burn their skin, so they retreat back into the comfort of their darkness into the only reality they’ve known their whole life, not understanding it’s been an illusion. However a few realize there is something more outside and decide to go back into the light. Over time their eyes adjust and the sun feels good. They realize in that moment that the shadows they thought were real were only replications of what is real under the sun while some stay in the darkness, those who go outside can finally live free. What I believe is the reality can hurt when you live in the comfort of illusion for so long, but eventually the light of reality is the only way to live a life beautiful and free.
I picture Mother Earth Smiling at peace, With all her strong and robust human babies at ease, As her fur and feather babies could finally set back into their long forgotten homes, Playing and feasting on her sustenance as they please, Her lungs clear of wheezin’, The breeze clear of poison, Her eyes closed this season, Repairing, repairing, As the human babies sit humbly wait in’. Hear her voice? “Go to sleep dear children, You’ve been driving, and working, Tromping and rampaging, Going and going, But be still a moment, And let me get to my sleep in’, Catch my breath, but believe me, Cuz I’ve been giving you all that I have, And my bones so tired, And my heart so heavy, And my mind so foggy, I just need a minute, Before you can come back to play.” Dahhee
Have you ever considered how a flower just pulls into itself all the goodness, the compassion, the love, the thing that makes you hum with mouth closed and lips pressed together softly, slightly upturned, with the riches of the earth to make it grow vibrant and beautiful and fragrant, always present just so it can pass unto us the beauty of more than pleasant aesthetics married with life producing pollen that attract the ever busy buzzing bee which sustains life?
I feel it real,
The approach of the
Coming together of the
Likes and the unlikes
With great acceptance for the
What it is that it is going to be,
Or already is,
But the anticipation is
Is trying to describe this thing with
Words which is yet
to exist yet in
Or any vocabulary
Because what is happening
Right now just did and never will again
And the what will in the next minute
Will for the first time,
And so I want to cry sometimes
Because something must pour from my head,
To stain this moment and the next and all the more beautiful ones to come with each breath I take
Until the moment I have no more concern to think about.
And with the tears, I will write
But with gratitude,
That everything that transpired until this moment is
I was lost, but now I’m found.
Amazing how grace can touch upon us in the middle of anywhere:
surrounded by metal vessels colored like eight count Crayolas containing heart beats,
Alone in the center of the still slate beyond the expense of time,
Set in a comfortable distance like two souls without hosts,
Or in the warm crevice of another as one eight limbed, two crowned majestic being.
Have you ever sat with eyes wide open staring directly at the object right in front of you, whatever that may be, and gasped at how real life is the moment you allow yourself a fifteen minute break outside of the cloudy pondering of the mind.
We are here in this new place and all the ancient trees and sky and sun stare upon us like amused parents, watching how clumsily we skitter and fumble like Bambi,
I’ve been working with children for a decade now, whether it’s teaching piano, writing, book clubs, test prep, or even just playing with my friends children and now my own. “I love my students! I love children!” Have become one of those mantras that spills out of my mouth without even realizing it. Something about their inability to lie, even when they think they are, makes me admire them just as candidly. The way they cannot help but be themselves has me feel at ease around them. I can make goofy faces, speak like a muppet, and not have to suck it all in around any child. Even the most personal things to me such as play the piano or even shed tears is easier to do around children.
I’ve realized recently that when I try to play the piano in front of anyone besides children, my leg shakes so uncontrollably that my heart vibrates rather than beat. I don’t know how I was able to perform when I was younger or when this condition started.
To go off on a tangent, I have started this blog because I really just wanted to write and get over my fears of exposing myself to people. One day as I was taking a shower, since this is the place for many of my epiphanies, I said “Fuck it!” which is also another mantra of mine and I say this positively. Why should I fear people seeing me, hearing me, knowing me, when all of my passions and ironically jobs are just that. However there is something more personal when I expose my creativity and not just teaching. So I started this blog as a way to write where people can read me as well as write in all honesty whatever it is that I’m thinking without fear of being judged because “Fuck it!” I have this life and I love it and fear has never really been the reason behind the secrecy.
A couple nights ago, one of my beloved precious students passed away and I wanted to stop writing because I didn’t want people to know what I was thinking or maybe I didn’t even know what is appropriate. I didn’t curse God like I did a few years back when my best friend passed. I didn’t feel acceptance and a little relief like I did a couple years back when my 94 year old grandma with cancer passed. I have no anger, although from experience I might be speaking to soon. I just feel sad. But the word sad doesn’t even rightly describe it. When people use cliches such as “My heart feels heavy!” I get it now. When people say any of their extremities went limp, I get it now. When people talk about their head spinning or a numbing, I get it now. There really is no other way to describe the hurt and pain I felt when I learned of the sweet little child’s passing.
Is it ok for me to speak in public about something so personal? “Fuck it” I don’t know, but I have been trying to write each day, and these thoughts sneak in and I have been accepting them with tears. When my son asks, “Why are you sad Mommy!” All I can do is answer the same way he would, “whaaaa! I just am. Excuse me for a bit but I will be ok sometime. Promise.” And he accepts this. I look at him and feel grief for any and all parents who have to go through this because I honestly don’t understand it. I don’t know what to say or if I should say anything at all. All I can accept is that I will be plagued with hard tongue biting thoughts, but I have to keep moving, keep doing what it is I do. I know the pain will subside and even today, I got to practice and guide yoga on the sand on the beach. I want to say that even with the grief, I am still capable of feeling blessed that this life is here and I can enjoy the fact that I live in a beautiful place where the sun loves to shine down on us. I took many moments to give thanks, to acknowledge beauty, and send out a prayer for the sweetest little girl who is now on a different journey, though I will not assume anything more about the unknown. Bless it be to everyone!