Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bread & Butter

Patience, Understanding, & Support as Ethical Values

I landed a quarter of a mile from the jump school. The closer I got to earth, the faster it rose, and I plummeted straight toward a pine. With some frantic tugging of the guides, I managed not to land in its crown. Nonetheless the tree reached out its arms and caught me: the parachute swept across its slower limbs and snagged enough to soften my fall, but still I landed hard against the ground – feet, knees, hips, shoulders. I was home.” Janisse Ray, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

Because I was born the third of triplets to loving parents, I have always had some conscious sense of “support” and understanding. Throughout my life family and friends (teachers all) have shown me how they support me as a human being – my family in our creation itself, a nurturing environment – food on the table, shelter, comforts of “home,” however far from our birthplace, encouragement every which way, to grow. We heard lullabies to sleep, laughed, ate, did homework together, played in sand, mud, and water, smelling fruit, wood smoke, dust, rain in the air. Just the other day I looked through old pictures and remembered our older brother pulling the three of us in our red wagon, all of us busy building in our sandbox, Dad on a sunny day filling tin tubs with water for us to play in.

I think about how fleeting sensory impressions can be – billions of moments lived, like stars, or leaves, or lights flickering, to be forgotten if noticed at all. A friend reminded me the other week that nothing is “lost and gone forever.” Knowledge gained supports me as I use it.

My appreciation grows for the reality of creative energy and what it means to be “energy creating matter.” My nieces and nephews, others’ children, my own memory as a child and beyond into other swirling worlds of images, are all infinitely real to me, and valuable. As I think of my child-self, and I remember the whirls and twirls, the hard earth beneath my feet, the dust rising, the way the rain felt as it fell hard and soft on my skin, soaking my hair and making it heavy, much more – I realize how lasting impressions of life can be, and how beautiful. A rain shower is not only dirt or skin deep.

What better way for me to know the true value of patience, understanding, and support than to begin to remember why it takes the patience of a mother to love her child utterly, without condition, and why “Eve is the mother of all living.” Creation itself, as energy constantly in motion, lives the patience inherent in change. It also takes the patience of a father, guided by a mother spirit within, and by the love that comes with creating, to make physical life what it is – my view of “bring home the bacon.” Roles intertwine and change – love is cooperation, compassion, communication, strength, courage, unity, faith, trust – all of the ethical values creating together as designed.

I am the intelligent design of us all, as male, female, and spirit. I am a woman, today. My family supports me in every way to be a responsible human being, which includes keeping in touch, acknowledging our mutual love and the physical ways we show it - communication, food, knowledge, learning, guidance of the “Golden Rule,” money, compassion, an interest in our life, our health, individual goals, passions, even when we have not held the same beliefs. I remember a slide from a Spiritual Philosophy seminar years ago which read – The spirit supports the soul supports the physical. What does support mean to me? Acceptance of love, of life, encouragement, interest, the relationships that make life, learning, faith, trust, love, the nurturing of growth. True friends support me, too. While learning that “no one is a stranger,” true friends are also easier than ever for me to identify, when I honor my senses and think with love that reveals the truth without sentimentality, or doubt born of old fear. Energy is real, and my memory and “new” knowledge of us as energy and matter reinforces the fundamental laws of nature, including human nature, which strengthens the bonds of change and makes the courage of life and growth more real to me than death and loss.

These gifts of love have all shown me the path to learning to love, beginning by loving the self I am. I was born a perfectionist – according to my Dad, who has always been patient and supportive with me. I have spent a lot of time scratching and shaking my head, feeling the palpable nature of the world and people as I experienced them, wondering where I began and they “ended.” Learning Spiritual Philosophy has given me the tools to recognize patience and know why patience is an essential quality of love, and life – if we don’t have patience, we will, some day! But what memory recall will this take and what form? What we might have lost will require even more patience, and more creative force and support than I can imagine at this moment. We must learn to recognize what patience it has taken for us to be created (beginning as chemicals forming, interacting), to create, to evolve through history - to rise and fall as Romans, to stroll and speak to crowds as Greek senators, to share feasts and toasts and dialogue as philosophers, to wonder at the sense and sight of the moon and stars, feeling their rush and force, as astronomers, to stroke our growing bellies as mothers with breasts full with the milk of life, to endure a star-spangled death with the heartache of another moment gone, the joy of tears and laughter. Everywhere is the structure and discipline of support, the inherent creative love there to be acknowledged once we change our thinking to know we create together, internally and externally.

Awakening brings the satisfaction of understanding, and an appreciation of the scope of our entire human history, our Universal mission.

My own spirit energy is patience personified, literally, as my mind feels its way along the path of learning, gambling and squandering its thoughts as well as gaining polished pearls. When I have been sad, mad, sick, scared – always hope has appeared, in some form that I could recognize. When I have laughed and celebrated, I’ve felt it so deep I know there is no end to joy. No one is kidding when they say it isn’t easy to change a mind! Each way I think of all I have felt and experienced in my life, and with whom, I come back to the sense of never being alone, and how even depression itself was a gift to my mind to show me I was ready for a new beginning. Each moment in memory shows me the pattern I followed to find the thread, the umbilical cord which connect my heart and my mind to the spirit’s infinitely creative support of life in all forms. We are after all a complete nervous system that knows itself! We are all creators together. As I support myself, I love – food, air, water, the currency of life - and I support the life of all I love. Be responsible. What better way to learn, what better gift? It’s perfect, and I’m grateful.

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