A reminder, a little light…should you need it


cave light

I have no words of wisdom or advice. And certainly no words for judgment.

I have words to tell a story, but those I am not in a position to give, nor should I try to. As for what I can give, there are no words.

So this is a bit of a riddle.

A gift that is not a gift. I’m just a stranger who isn’t a stranger, pointing to something in the distance.  A reminder of a little light glowing there, far far away, even after what seems like a thousand years at times, and at times only a few moments.

If you need it, you will understand.

You see, I didn’t know what it is like to be utterly unable to even consider a gift…to look at it…let alone take it.

And then I found out.

It’s not a matter of choice as I always believed. It’s not a matter of withholding effort, courage, trust or love even. It’s simply a matter of being completely stuck, frozen in place. The slightest movement, a mere thought or hint of a feeling are too much. Stillness is the only option. And in this stillness, there is of course inevitably a rejection of anything and everything that shows up…good or bad.

It turns out that good things are much worse than bad ones. Negativity can be ignored, but any kind or loving offer that is by default rejected creates guilt. And guilt leads to resentment, and the stillness is seriously disturbed, and everything becomes excruciatingly painful.

In another post, some time ago, I wrote...”Perhaps that was the lesson…to learn not about light, or more words…but about silence.” 

And that was indeed my lesson…about silence, about absolute stillness.

But the lesson doesn’t end there of course.  The very reason for it is to teach us how to go beyond the stillness. And understand what makes it possible to become unstuck and unfrozen.

The answer is not in words of wisdom. It’s not in the deliberate acceptance of gifts offered by others. It’s not some grand epiphany. It’s not in faith, optimism or courage (although all these are helpful).

Remember Borges’ poem…

“…The prison is bereft
Of light, its fabric is incessant iron,
But in some turn of your confinement
there could be an oversight, a cleft.
The path is as fatal as an arrow.
But in the cracks, God is stalking.”

That. The oversight. The cleft. God stalking. God in the form of something left as a reminder, for when it might be needed, even if we can not believe, or accept it for a long time.

That reminder is a tiny little light that still glows in the distance. It doesn’t seek to save us. It’s just there. And, given the nature of light, once it is eventually seen, even unintentionally, it automatically becomes a gift received.

There is an oversight in every confinement. Finding it is a matter of time…the right time.

Through that tiny crack, in the distance, we see it. Not an intrusion but a presence. Suddenly, a little light that requires no effort to be seen and yet can’t be unseen. And IT is what makes it possible to step beyond the stillness.

It is such a simple, beautiful thing. So just remember, even if you don’t believe or can not look, that it is there.

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