Saturday, May 23, 2009

You Are A Wave

There is this notion, and one that I quite like, that if you are feeling the desire for some outside guidance you can simply open up a bible, randomly point to an area on the page and the words contained within will speak to your need.

I have tried this in the past and it has always been right on. It's kind of like reading a fortune cookie or your horoscope. The contexts are so broad that you can fill in the blanks to suit your needs.

Or is it?

Tonight I tried this with the writings of Joseph Campbell (Follow Your Bliss is his phrase, not mine). Good 'ol Joe - or the universe or my higher self - brought me this quote:

The eternal principle, which never was born, never will die: it is in all things: it is in you now. You are a wave on the face of the ocean.  When the wave is gone, is the water gone? Has anything happened? Nothing has happened. It is a play, a game, a dance. 

- Baksheesh & Braham

The past few weeks have seen glorious celebrations, finales, joys & challenges.  The story goes on.  Thank goodness.

When I was young I used to write to my maternal grandmother every week and she, in turn, would always faithfully write me back. I still have her letters safely tucked away with my mementos from childhood.  One particular snippet which has always stuck in my memory (for some reason) was about the innocuous task of washing windows.  I remember thinking that washing windows was the ultimate waste of time.  Windows just get dirty again.

As I grew up I began to realize that washing windows was important. Why? Because if the smallest task is considered extraneous then is it a far leap to thinking that bathing is unnecessary because you'll just get dirty tomorrow?  Or getting up for work means nothing because you'll be doing the same thing tomorrow morning?  Or paying bills, seeing friends, making love, laughing, praying, smiling, etc.  It is all important.  Perhaps not equally important but part of a universal whole that fits together to bring a sort of... completion.  

I rejoice in the prospect of waking up tomorrow and once again driving to church to sing with the choir, mediatate and give thanks for the blessings in life, to go to breakfast, to see those that I love dearly, to ride my bike, to wash my dog, to dust, to check my email, to nap, to eat dinner, to cherish, to talk to my mother and to listen to music. 

I am the wave.

I am the water.  

I am grateful to be part of the dance.

Picture from Wave by Suzy Lee.


Dumdad said...

Hear, hear! It is good to be reminded of these things.

MOM said...

What a wonderful post! You brought back alot of special memories! I could always count on you to help me.You are such a special son and friend; you are always there for me! I miss Grandma too! Love ya. MOM xxxooo

Arielle Lee Bair said...

This was great. Really excellent, Gary. I'm glad you shared this, because it is something that I needed to hear as well. The illustration by Suzy Lee is wonderful... and your words in this post... just perfect. I like your posts of reflection. I'm grateful to be part of the dance too. :)

Anonymous said...


What a beautiful post. Life is a dance. We are so busy with work & life-we need to stop for a minute and appreciate all the beauty around us!


Barbara said...

I love the image of life as a wave that hits the shore to then recede and prepare to come again. It is rather like a never-ending dance and for each of us the dance is uniquely ours.

It would be interesting to discuss this concept with your kids and see what they have to say about it.

Steve said...

Fabulous! I'm speechless! :)

Reya Mellicker said...

This is of course beautiful. Of course. YOU are beautiful and you seem better able to remember that beauty than many others. It's one of the things I love so much about you, your connection to divine beauty.

Just before Steve posted a link to this on FB, another friend posted this quote:

Let me be still and listen to the truth. I am the messenger of God today, My voice is His, to give what I receive.Some days the divine wisdom and love feels "closer" than on other days. Thank you so much for this, you beautiful beautiful wave!

Much love,

Kate said...

That was an excellent post. I just happened across your blog this evening. I took a vacation day today and it just kind of flew by. I was frustrated that I had so many things to get done on this "day off." So instead of enjoying the process, I was complaining about it. Your post set me straight. Thanks; )

Kellyann Brown said...

When I taught middle schoolers only, I would sometimes say, "I am the drop of water that carved the Grand Canyon, you do not hear me, you do not see me, but you will feel where I have carved."

TimWicks said...

Nice Post Gary. Particularly like the wave metaphor.

Gary said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. They have really deepened my understanding and pushed me further in my thinking.

DD - Life is so amazing, all of it. It's like the lottery saying we have in America "you gotta be in it to win it". Good or bad we are 'in' life and that alone is a blessing.

Ma - The letter was about grandma and grandpa going to great grandma's house and washing her windows for her. Grandma was lucky to have her mom around for so long. If grandma were still here I would gladly wash her windows for her. Come to think of it, don't you need me to do some painting?

Arielle - The wordless children's book Wave by Suzy Lee is so simple and beautiful. I know you are stocking up on children's books so this might be a good one to add to your collection.

Lynda - My thoughts exactly. The fact that I am surrounded by children all day makes this quite easy. They are constantly noticing the beauty around them.

Barbara - I love the bit in the Campbell quote that asks "has anything happened? Nothing has happened." It builds perspective. It is like - get over yourself and your drama and enjoy the ride.

Steve - Thanks! How sweet of you to post this on your FB page. I am flattered.

Reya - Your comment made me think of how my mom and dad always say that I was the happiest baby they ever saw. Content and appreciative of everything. I think from an early age I have been filled with inner happiness simply from just being here. I wonder if this means my past experiences (prebirth) were so horrible that I can appreciate this experience more or if I am tuned into the beauty of life for some other reason. Who knows? Will I ever know? But I do know that I am glad it happened this way.

Kate - Welcome and thanks for commenting. I know those 'day off' scenarios. Best not to beat yourself up. Everything seems to get accomplished in time.

Kellyann - I love that!

Tim - Yes, Joseph Campbell is full of quotable quotes.

WAT said...

Okay. This morning, I was pleading, asking God for guidance to change my current job situation into something more fruitful and rewarding and I opened up THE GOOD BOOK and randomly hit on a passage that said blessings were coming my way and that I would be rescued soon! THIS SO MADE MY DAY!

"Or getting up for work means nothing because you'll be doing the same thing tomorrow morning? Or paying bills..."

Um, I still think this part of life means nothing. LOLOLOL!


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