Monday, December 28, 2015

The dark side of Love

Love spreads its wings and casts a shadow

To Amos Oz

She lay barren in the night…hopelessly calling unto death.
She lay listless, hoping to seduce death into believing, she was ready.

Then suddenly, she got hungry. 

Mary was that way. Her wick was short…both for patience, for focus, for desire.  During the day she was a patient at Londonberry Psychiatric Home. At night, she lit her wick and just for a flicker, she was brilliant.

She got up and walked over to the small refrigerator in her dorm. As she opened its door, light flooded in and lit the shadows all around her. She was accustomed to them as she walked in darkness, being born under the moon´s shadow. She reached in for the left-over hot-dog, she had started eating, earlier.

She hurried the door shut. Mary was reluctant to light. Her slight figure was more elegant at night. She was a shy and somber young lady…At daytime, just a profile. At night an enticing black hole. 

She went back to bed.. and continued bemusing the fact that she had so much to give..but no one to give it to, and chewed her tough hot dog.

Her ideas were so short that despite their depth, despite their intensity and fathomless desire, they seemed trifle. But her life was built on those fleeting moments…on the broken pieces of her shattered light…that glittered every now and then.

Replenished, she stretched and spread her wings. She only unraveled them, under the shelter of the night. She actually sat up and expanded her chest, as she unfolded the weight on her shoulders. She was majestic as she cast her shadow under the moonlight.

Where would she go, tonight?
She took a deep breath as she inhaled a hail Mary, invoking wind under her wings..

Whom would she love tonight?

“I’ll just trust the silent call that beckons”..she thought to herself, as she actually stood on the window sill, preparing to let go.

Love is a type of madness. Letting go like that, fearlessly trusting the gaping abyss of all, unknown. It requires generosity to take the leap. But Mary was fearless that way. She felt she had nothing to lose.

Every night she would go through this ritual before flying off to someone in need. It was much more than prayer.

Tonight, she envisioned a nearby hospital. She flew in the pediatric ward´s window and hovered over the sleeping children. One was awake. He was a seven-year old with severe burns.

“What happened, baby?” she asked tenderly as she flew down by his bedside…

The little boy just stared. He seemed to have been expecting the visit, but was heartless. He had been playing with his brother as they prepared festive fireworks for the town’s patron saint. They went off in his face. They also reached his heart because he felt nothing. No fear. No excitement. No expectations. No hope. No pain.

He too, wanted to die…but he didn´t know it, she felt.

They didn´t have to exchange words. The shared memory was gruesome, enough. She took him in her arms and cradled him in her wings. Suddenly she began to sing. The notes echoed from heavenly orbs moving to destiny’s partiture. Every stave had a tune, deep in rhythmic repetition. It seemed almost like a soothing mantra, rocking the boy to sleep.

She prayed down ointment as she sang, endearingly spreading it to soothe his wounds.

She enveloped him in her wings, all night. Then she placed him back on his pillow, listless.


Back in her bed, she curled up, tucking her wings ‘neath her covers, just in time, before the morning nurse walked in with her pills. Shadow-time.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

What is righteousness?

There is nothing more radical tan fighting for righteousness.

Yet how can you target it, when everybody’s perception of righteousness, is subjective?

Righteousness honors life. It dignifies man, flaunting the full meaning of dignity, as it ignites inner light.

Despite its cost, you stand tall when you do what is right, whether recognized or not. You can still look people in the eye; shed a tear in outbursts of compassion; flush at public recognition. Innocence is repaired in righteousness, shedding the lurid shadow of guilt that tags you, forever bringing you down. Righteousness makes living, less burdensome. It keeps you humble as it stands, unreachable. It keeps awe and wonder alive, when choosing to do what is right.

But how do we know what is right? How can we recognize it as an option, as we choose our path through life?

Righteousness stems from good will. Though ‘wishful thinking’ is not enough to generate a ‘good’ act, it motivates good intention.  In itself, the subsequent act may not have a ‘good’ result but, if the intention behind it is ‘good’; if generated before the act´s consummation (a priori), it appeases the soul. Good acts stem from peace.

Wrongdoing comes from turmoil. It re-acts aggressively or defensively, instead of responding to conflict, from inner peace. It justifies ‘bad’ acts, after they have been done (a posteriori). Though the motivating force behind it, be not consciously directed to doing wrong, the need to cover it up defensively, justifying its intention, is in itself reflection of guilt. Guilt stems from wrongful intention. Whether the deed, in itself, is right or wrong, is hard to judge. Its effect may, in fact turn with time, or have hidden benefits. It depends on the significance given by those, affected.

Righteousness is constructed, both by the doer and by those affected by an act. It is not limited to a person or an act. It is the pulsating living force, that motivates life. It has movement of its own and is, therefore, unattainable. Nobody owns it. Its movement is released by ‘good’ will. Volition, both creates it and destroys it. We recognize it by its movement. It is alive; it cannot stand still; it cannot be possessed. Nobody is the owner of right. We can only travel on its back as it drives life, on. Resisting it is death-prone.

We choose righteousness; both, to do right, and to receive it. It does not come from judgment.  It is a choice. If we receive acts graciously, we can turn wrongdoing into righteousness. Gratitude is the grace that receives wrongdoing and its after-effect, into goodness, reverting its negative flow.
Righteousness is identified by its movement. It gives peace. If an act done, gives peace, it is right. ‘Good’ acts can only be generates from this inner peace. It is not about right and wrong, but about equilibrium.
Keep it simple. It is the flow of life.