We are indeed the blind leading the blind. Is there time to see before we die?
Dear Reader: Those who are sensitive to such things; the reference to "blind" above refers strictly to the idea that we choose not to see, not that someone is actually blind, as my mother was in her final years.
The powerful quote that makes up my headline is from renowned Jewish Reform rabbi Chaim Stern. I'm forever struck by how people from various religions have a way of interpreting and rewording some of life's great lessons. The one that made up the headline above was sent to me by my closest friend, and I looked up the author.
The truth of it burned me right to my soul. Stern died at seventy, the age where I am FINALLY beginning to allow myself to take in the miracles. I've had access to life's miracles, as do we all, all my life. I've only truly recently been willing to allow their beauty to touch me in new ways.
I've read many books which point out that the fact that you and I are even alive is a miracle beyond miracles. Yet we take such things for granted, and even march around being angry about the various inconveniences of life, utterly unable to see and enjoy the ongoing, daily miracles which surround us.
Perhaps more than most, I've had the chance to see things that others only see in books or movies. While that barely scratches the tiny surface of All There Is, such experiences have left me so gobsmacked in appreciation for the world we inhabit that I am irritated no end by our species.
We continue to rape and pillage the world and each other without understanding, or even bothering to try to understand, the extraordinary miracles which surround us.
To that, then, a post a friend sent me yesterday:
All day, every day. But I digress a bit here.
You already know if you're "too busy" to be fully in life, so focused on to-do lists and productivity hacks that you might well die in your traces long before you take time off to go see your world, your kids, grandkids.
If you're around my age you remember this:
I've had this story in my head -forever- that there will be a time when I can get to X, whatever X might be. By now, as I am halfway to 71, many of those things didn't get done, like finishing my pilot's license. A few spectacular ones did, like the gift I gave myself to do adventure travel. There may be more where that came from, but it sure took me a long time to get there. Six decades, in fact.
The point is that we can kick the bucket long before we see what surrounds us.
We often do, so enmeshed in our doing-ness that the everyday miracles are pushed aside for "progress."
Days pass, and we vanish, largely without a trace.
USAA, the insurer for us military types, just sent me a pitch to "ensure my legacy." What I'm supposed to do is put serious money into making sure that my funeral is a very big deal, that I get buried in some monumentally fancy way, so that everyone will remember me.
Let's unpack that.
The sad fact is that if you're not a Mandela or a Jane Goodall or the like, only those closest to you will remember you. For the other eight billion and counting, you didn't even exist for them, in much the same way those hundreds of desperate migrants were just blips during the Titan submersive disaster.
My legacy, such as it is, is right here, right now, in whatever way I choose to live, in whatever way I choose to serve, in whatever way I partake in the burgeoning, breathtaking miracles given to all of us. Like, breathing.
Life as an example first, to yourself, then to others. How to be in life, swimming in the miracles, willing to be in utter awe of them. Not a bad idea, that.
The whole idea of legacy, for this writer, is steeped in ego. There are a few who leave one, good or bad. The rest of us, well, we have choices on how to live our lives.
When I let go of the sucking need to be seen, to be important, I have a chance to live among the miracles. See more of them. Appreciate the living, breathing, walking, talking miracle that I am as a human being.
Perhaps more deeply, the more I realize that I am indeed a miracle, perhaps then I can also appreciate that everyone else is, too, as is every single living thing on this earth. We all might learn to treat each other as such.
Perhaps that's the Buddhism I study. Perhaps not. Buddhism has taught me to notice. And to be humbled by the enormity, the endless, unspooling, sheer extravagance of what surrounds us. To wit:
We walk among miracles. Most of us are utterly blind to them, so busy cutting them down or blowing them up or killing them off. Poisoning what we can't see.
However, we ourselves are miracles, too. It might not feel that way at times, but the moment you came into the world and took a breath, you were a miracle of Creation.
I never felt that way before. I'm beginning to understand it now. With that understanding comes the ability to see more.
The Universe's gift back to us for having shown up was our Earth, so full of miracles that if we'd only choose to see them, we'd be living them every moment of our lives.
That's a miracle worth seeing.
Dear Walkabout Saga Reader:
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