Now most of the time people see their own needs and feelings and worries as being more important than anything else. These things assume giant proportions. Life is full of ogres, if you want to think of it that way – problems and doubts battling against each other, making a din in the night. And yet the best things often slip in silently: unaccountable changes which send you in a new direction; a reaffirmation of your life’s purpose; inspiration. A new baby, someone who needs rescued, love – all suddenly become more important than the things crashing around in your life or in the world hitherto.
As surely as there are stars in the sky these things are all signs of the heavenly, being at work in the earth. I’d like to be able to say this without sounding pious. It’s just a fact of the way the invisible works into life that small purposes become great. And in this sense human beings are completely ‘membered into’ the divine. It’s just a fact, as sure as you have a birthday every year or wake up in the morning.
I sometimes wonder what wakes people out of depression or hopelessness. It’s this: the very, very thin shaft of light which rays down from the heavenly into your daily life. It’s the only thing which can make you lift your eyes or reach up. I believe the prevalence of depression in our age is due to the extinguishing of this ray of light. We’ve been educated out of belief. We’ve been dis-membered from the divine.
A certain part of this is the life of the deceased. In past ages people had no doubt that their ancestors or friends who had died were reaching down and influencing them or helping them. All this has been cast into the shadows of superstition. But to my mind this is the most invisible truth of all – that the non-physical world becomes your field of life when you die and the agnosticism and atheism of people on earth become a terrible grey shadow, a dense barrier of superstition.
I can only say this because I feel the best part of myself also walks in that invisible field of life. It’s there where inspiration is received, where a sudden, slight ray of light becomes a huge affirmation, where life’s changes are, for a time, coated in the aura of meaning.
I’ve said this before. Whether or not the things I say have value doesn’t depend on me but on the extent of the ray of light weaving through them.
West of Life
I look for the smallest coppery star
that shines its truest currency above -
no silver and gold deflecting pure light
from the spaces waiting to receive it.
There is music in a thin crystal stream
where giant rivers drown out peaceful thought;
a slender breeze captured in the morning
may lead where trade winds have no mind to go:
not the noise of the crowd but the low need
murmuring in its misshapen surges.
Castles left unbuilt when a child is born;
battles lost so a man won’t die alone -
and love – love which would change a planet’s course
in the dizzy stars, shaming them silent.
Is it a small thing that leaves a ripple
in the corner of the vast universe
if by that wave a life is washed ashore?
I’m for those unaccountable changes
which are a vision of heaven on earth -
but most of all for the choosing of them.
Smallest of all the voices of the dead
which flood and brim where no one ever sailed -
if sunlight carried sound, or snow, or thought
inside thought, it would be their way of speech.
That, after all, is where I am myself,
in language never mortalized by words:
what else is inspiration but the touch
of the dead as they pass into the light?
And is the brightest part of me not there
in the land west of life and west again?
Best wishes, today,
Pictures: Authors unknown
©Jay Landar 2013. All rights reserved
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