Where, oh Lord, is the touch of your love, which sparks life from the process of living and calls hope from the mundane? Where, oh Lord, is the breath of your presence? Come to me, I pray. Live in me this day, and help me, help me to be.
I cannot hold my own attention. It slips through my fingers it drifts from my grasp and I do not even notice it’s leaving.
I try to go to the hill, but there is a fog. I turn to the well, but it is not there today. I am lost. My heart tightens and I bite my lip in resolve . . . but I am aimlessly wandering, hoping to find some anchor for my thoughts, for my soul this morning.
Finally I stoop to look as closely as I can at the earth, hoping at least there I can find a foundation. Beneath my feet I find a stone floor – a patio or dais, knit together in perfect synchrony, each piece fitting in the other’s curve, forming a floor of many stones, each fit to one another, but without mortar. It is the stones themselves that hold the floor in place. It is broad and solid and firm and flat. No missing stones, no grass creeping up between the cracks, just one great expanse of articulated stone. It is beautiful, but what does it mean?
‘Must it mean something?’ The voice beside me is quiet and welcoming.
‘Surely, since this is a meditation, surely it holds meaning for me.’
‘No doubt it does,’ the voice agrees, ‘but must you pick it apart to find it? Why not just dance?’
The figure to which the voice belongs, begins to spin and dip and sway across the floor. The movement itself conjures up the music, so the notes follow her feet, rather than vice versa. I watch her dance the song into being and as she does she peoples the dais with other beings who begin to dance as well. I am swaying, self-consciously in the corner, wanting to join in but much too much aware of myself to really manage. Dancing requires a flowing out of self, and I, in my insecurity, am holding myself as tightly as I can. ‘What If I make a fool of myself?’ I think, and in the thinking, do so.
Others, though, seem to be able to release themselves to the moment. Seem to slip easily into hope and connection. Seem to find their song as they dance it, rather than look and look for the song, in order to dance. I feel very awkward and self-conscious. Finally, I notice that no one else is so concerned about me. They are dancing the song in sweet abandon and leaving me to fuddle in the corner on my own. They do not think me awkward . . . they do not think of me at all.
As long as I do not connect, no one will notice my inadequacies. I can fuddle in the corner and not blunder in a way that will interfere with their dance . . . but I can’t add my tapestry to theirs. My thread ends up a ball in the corner and not a piece of the blanket of life. That is no good.
I read the label on the blanket. ‘This is woven of natural fibers. The slubs are an intentional part of its beauty and not a flaw.’
Goofs and missteps and weaknesses . . . these are part of the beauty?
Yes. I reach my hand out to the closest dancer and she pulls me into the dance with strength and kindness, I am wrapped in the sound of the song and in the rhythm of the steps and find that even my faltering adds nuance. Oh, I hope it is true.
‘Hope is good. Hold on to that.’ The voice whispers in my head and the figure nods at me and smiles. I hold tighter to the hand of my partners and dance on. And dance on.
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