We were sitting in the cemetery the Preacher and I seeking shelter from the summer storms and taking refuge in our friendship, sharing our fears, our desires, our troubles and our hopes. Consoling and being consoled.
We are entering our golden years he and I and neither of us knows what the hell that is – or is supposed to be or mean. Neither of us knows. Clueless we are yet open to the Dharma we pray. We do however, know the fears of growing old and we are familiar with those sad lonely scenes of going broke, dying penniless and possibly toothless and being buried in some pauper’s plot like the one’s we were sitting on up at Greenmont.
You know, we have had this conversation many times he and I and it is always the same. Which isn’t the point. Listening to each other is the point. Learning to listen from our hearts and sharing from our own undefended heart. It’s a ritual of sorts. I guess. Or like Mr. Potter’s realization as to why Ron had to be the one to use the sword and kill the Horcrux in the locket. Because “some magic just works that way,” Dumbledore often said while rambling on about the goodness in Harry’s heart.
We were propped up on soft grass surrounded by old Birch trees with their trunks scarred and their branches jagged and thrusting and it was peaceful. There was a stillness about us – the Preacher and I – and the dogs Kenda and Akitsu picked up on the energy and lay watchfully nearby. Once more we had come to the resting place at the end of every story and we sat in silence watching the summer light dancing. And then I remembered.
I remembered a moment – a slice of time and the evening light was also dancing. I was sitting on the deck feeling abandoned and lonely. My partner had raced off to help her parents and was in another world physically and metaphysically. I’d had a Dharma interview and the teacher had mirrored my heart so that I could understand and experience the knowing of resting in abiding love for myself and see that this energy we call love is our original face, and understand that this energy is what we all are. As we sat she asked me to describe my experience of this mirroring. “Golden there is a golden light burning through me……” I also re-remembered feeling squishy and uncomfortable with what some part of the mind kept saying was too much like a Hallmark moment and sentimentally syrupy to boot to be real….to be my truth. And I guess at that moment back then I could not accept that the golden light and the heart of gold was the truth of my experience. That moment had faded back into the Unconditional. But now it emerged in this moment, sitting with my friend and his dogs him mirroring me and me his – it all made perfect sense! I was blind but now I could see!
Of course! It’s the golden heart of our compassion we hold for ourselves – for each other – for all others. I remember hearing that a guy named Jesus once said something about being “hungry and fed meat, being thirsty and given water, being lost and taken in, given shelter and clothed, tended to in body and soul?” All this time that energy and power of compassion and love – all the stuff I felt missing and lacking in myself and ardently seeking in others – was here all the time. Only we don’t get to choose when or how we get it. How old we are or if we can profit on it.
Three years ago when I sat with the teacher and she mirrored to me her fierceness and the deep Metta with which she holds the Dharma and herself, I did not understand the meaning of these truths. I was not ready. I needed to learn to hold my self in compassion and to practice paying attention to my truths and the various ways of their expression. This is, I see, a life long process.
A work in constant progress. For then as now there is a cynical part of my Ego laughing at the very idea of me having a heart of gold. I mean come on dude!
But in that moment with my friend Branson, I experienced his light and my light dancing together and we were golden…..and that’s my truth and I’m sticking to it.