Yesterday evening we told stories. Having had a friend pass-on, we all got together to reminisce. Oh, and how the stories flowed. There were several common threads that appeared in our sharing, in that evening of eulogising, of laughing and weeping.
Our dear friend kept us all on our toes. If he didn’t think something was right, he would tell you. He certainly kept me on my toes. Did he ‘go overboard’ with his promptings of what was correct? Probably! But, in re-telling these stores we discovered that his ‘pedanticness’ was borne out of a sense of justice that came from somewhere else and from somewhere deep where love resided, and entered the world of the material our of a genuine desire to encourage and help others.
‘Humans are the storytellers of God. There is something that exists inside all of us that can make an interpretation of everything we perceive. We are like God’s journalists trying to explain whatever happens around us.’ Don Miguel Ruiz
Our dear friend was a physically small guy, not tall, at all – a smidgen under five foot infact. But, when he walked into the room, you knew it – his shoulders would sway, his steps were slow and taken with grim determination, and for one moment you could be forgiven that a tall, muscular Olympic wrestler had walked into the room. That was his presence. A small guy, and yet a big guy: something deep within him expressed a confidence from Beyond.
Our dear friend was an avid football fan. Sadly, not the team I support, and I used to say to him, ‘Don’t worry. Nobody’s perfect’. To which, with a lightning response, he would reply by saying, ‘But some of us are closer than others, Tadhg, but you’ll get over it!’, and say so with a partial wink in his eye. His wit and humour we’re…..umm, unique! He was passionate about living life to the full, of ‘diving deep’, and there was an energy that came from a distant place.
Ofcourse, our physical bodies are important, and we should do our best to look after them, but there is more to each one of us than meets the eye. Something deeper. We (re-)discovered that yesterday evening. There is an inner call to a sense of justice and action, an energy and confidence from somewhere else, and passion and love etc that doesn’t originate (just) in the physical. There’s more.
‘He who looks through an open window sees fewer things than he who looks through a closed window.’ Charles Baudelaire
In telling our stories about our dear friend, it became apparent that for all the good points we recounted about him, and some of the lovable, unique ‘flaws’, he was a real human. And, being human is good.
In telling our stories of our dear friend, it became clear that there is an inner life: the life of the spirit that continues. Something deeper than the physical.
‘In the depth of my soul there is a wordless song.’ Kahlil Gibran
Interestingly, for those whose theology includes ‘the fall’ of humanity, my favourite mystic, the Lady Julian of Norwich, wrote that the spirit never fell; that your spirit and mine, is in Bliss and ever turned towards the Life-Giver.
That being so, the ‘real you’, the True Self is absolutely beautiful (or handsome, if you want to use that word as an alternative), extremely powerful, and good. And, where there are differences between the spirit and the body, we are encouraged to work through flaws, of action and reaction in the physical realm, knowing that within each one of us there is Something More! A treasure hidden in clay vessels.
‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’ 2 Corinthians 4:16, The Book
Ofcourse, we can live purely in the physical, materialistic realm, we can live life on ‘the surface’ like a pond-skater – one of those insects that ‘skate’ across the pond (and so, aptly named), or we can – by using our thought, using imagination, by meditation etc) good deeper, inwardly, and benefit. Then, like a diver, we leap from the pool’s edge and dive deep, maybe into the unknown, but the deeper we dive the greater the potential to really live, really experience life, and find ‘treasure’.
‘In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. Abraham Lincoln’
Having reminisced about my dear friend who has passed-on, it begs the question about how serious, how passionate and how ‘deep’ we take out beliefs, our ongoing life-stories whether we be a (Celtic) Christian, Druid or some other kind of spiritual sojourner?
How committed are we to what we believe? There may be no easy answers, but it could be that for all of us, there is room to go deeper, still, by taking the next step. What will others say about us? What will our eulogy be, after we’ve moved on? These are positive questions, as we live ‘in time’ and so can do many things – right now! So, dive deep, dear swimmer in the great pool of life – into the sacred space of the interior, and then dive deeper. What is manifest and visible, starts in invisible places. Imagine how life could be?
‘But human beings need deepening places, too. And far too many never have any. Think about your deepening places’. Madeleine L’Engle