When I walk the streets and see the faces of people, I am seeing the faces of all the friends I have ever had. All of the history I have ever had with one person, is a history I share with all human beings. Every face is beauty of the deepest intimacy…
Every thing about them is held out like a timeline, and it is all known in an instant. I feel that I could walk up to any of them, put my hand on their face, and feel all the love I have ever known for any human, to the core of every being.
Last Saturday, I went to the funeral of a man I had never met, the husband of a friend I see only infrequently and then mostly we shut our eyes and meditate. I knew Donald was an artist, a sculptor. And I knew he and Brenda had fought his cancer for a long time. But, from the moment I stepped towards the chapel I fell into discovery.
“Oh, Donald was black!” … I hadn’t even known him skin deep.
He was 80, a Guyanese expatriate, father, grandfather, uncle, story teller, life-long friend, teacher, and connoisseur of the stupid.
I read his poetry and was blown open:
What is there at the heart of the land?
What is there at the kernal of the nut
inside the buried bones of all those devils we know
the angels we wished to have known
the lines of muddy canals we didn’t swim in
river-water pelting down from the backdam…
What a man to find now that he is gone!
“Why is it my friends and I seem to share our families only at funerals?”
“Why do we wait until it is too late?” This was the thought that brought the tears.
On the drive home, the words above of Takuin came to mind.
Last week I had been trying to remember, trying to figure out why they seemed so familiar. Now, I began to see.
They say that Awakening is remembering, remembering who we really are.
They say that Unity is seeing oneself in all of Creation.
But, I wonder how does that Unity actually feel? What is the experience? What is it like to actually live that consciousness?
Scott Kiloby says, “Oneness. Is that like spreading butter over a piece of toast?” He rejects this “sameness” and goes on to point out that a whole body has arms and legs - all these little details.
Adya switched the word from Oneness to “intimacy” and something clicked with me.
Yes, that makes more sense.
It is intimacy that Takuin speaks of with such depth.
And I remember now, there are those times when suddenly I see a mere acquaintance with such intimacy. As if with new eyes, instantly and effortlessly, I know them as a child. I see them as adult. I see them deeply and with such seeing love immediately arises.
Remembering that, knowing that such intimacy is possible and that usually I miss it, tore my heart wide open at the funeral of the man I never knew.
My God! WAKE UP! … well…
Turns out, Donald Locke loved the opera.
Acknowledging this love his family played the duet from Act One of Bizet's “Pearl Fishers,” two men singing of their friendship.
The music says it all, without a single word needing interpretation.
We all know this.