Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Please Call Me By My True Names

There has been much to think about recently.
Therefore, there is much to write about.
Where should I even start?

How about the response to my last post...
Redemptive, to say the least.
I honestly don't know if I could put it into words accurately enough.
All I have is "Thank you".
From the absolute bottom of my heart.
Thank you to everyone that read and responded and even passed it along.
You have no idea how healing your actions were- done in response to my action of speaking up.

I feel older than I did a week ago.
Saying I feel like a "different person" would be inaccurate because I feel like the exact same person, just further along.
This is what life is supposed to feel like, isn't it?
Constant growth.
It's just that I allow myself to be distracted so easily that I allow that growth to be stunted.
By things that aren't necessarily "bad"; there is just no life in them.
That is something I have been evaluating a lot recently:
What has life in it?
What has death in it?

I wrote this in an email earlier today as part of a back and forth discussion between myself and a fellow Nomian on C.S. Lewis' essay "The Weight of Glory":
"...The one thing I do want to touch on is the mistake of calling those things "fun". Because though they look like it, they lead to death. And I remember hearing that as a child and thinking, "Sure. Death. Right. Because sin is why we go to hell. That's what that means." No. No no no. That is not at ALL what that means. Death means death. In every sense of the word. It means not being fully alive. And that doesn't just mean when your heart stops beating and your mind powers down. You can be full of death whilst still breathing..."

And at times when I am most confused and low, I hear it:
"Remember, Beloved, death has lost it's victory. Death has lost it's sting."
Death has no business being a part of my life. My LIFE.
Only that which is true is beautiful.
Give me only what is true.

I went to Philadelphia this past weekend. I saw someone I had not seen in two years. My heart has been completely restored and healed. And I have let go. That is all there really is to say about that.
Also while in Philadelphia, I had a whoooole bunch of conversations with Lindsey- as per usual. A great many where we became incredibly frustrated with one another at some point because we see a few details of the same things different ways. Every time, she was trying to make me understand something that I either couldn't grasp or didn't want to admit. Usually the latter.
I was in Barnes and Noble today reading some more of a book that I had been reading during my time there with her called "Being Peace" by Thich Nhat Hanh. I came across this and understand so much of what it is she was trying to say to me.

I will let it speak to you as it will.
If you would like to know how it spoke to me, ask me. I would love to tell you.
Blessings to you, dear ones.
You are so very beloved. Learn to claim that over yourself at all times.

Please Call Me By My True Names

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow 
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second 
to be a bud on a spring branch, 
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, 
learning to sing in my new nest, 
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, 
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, 
in order to fear and to hope. 
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and 
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time 
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond, 
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, 
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, 
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks, 
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to 

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to, my
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names, 
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once, 
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names, 
so I can wake up, 
and so the door of my heart can be left open, 
the door of compassion.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

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