How long has it been since you have gotten a letter? Letters have gone the way of the dinosaur. When I was a child, the postman still delivered letters to our door in a brown leather pouch. Everyone knew his name and he was a trusted friend. I even remember my grandmother’s icebox and watching the iceman deliver a block of ice for it. When I was very small, I opened her icebox and took out a stick of margarine and took a healthy bite of it. Was I surprised!
Then we moved to our first house (we had been living with my grandparents). The war was over and my father bought his first car, a black Studebaker. Polio hit and the neighbor across the street ended up in an iron lung. It was a frightening time.
But I experienced life as all children do, in essence. I watched my grandfather water the flowers. I smelled the earth and tasted water from the hose. I delighted in watching snapdragons release their tiny black seeds as I popped them open. I stepped in chicken droppings as my cousin and I played in the backyard. We bathed in a tin tub sans clothing and though it was heaven.
Now people don’t even email much. The postman drives a jeep and waves hello, but I don’t know him. In face, since living life as a spiritual student, I can say I don’t even know myself. I remain a mystery.
Why am I writing this? Because it is what I do and who I am. I am open to typing words that might be of use to someone else. Someone who is beginning to know that they don’t know. Someone who measures life in a different way than they did as a child and would like to regain their essence life.
This is a slow and unremitting task, forged by the fires of suffering. But not mechanical suffering. Conscious suffering, the kind that Jesus went through on the cross. We must die to our ideas about life because they cause us so much pain. We must bend low to rise high. I don’t know anything more important than that to do. But there is a fly in the ointment. We of our own selves can do nothing. Waking up is an act of waiting. Who knew?