We perhaps do get solace by self identifying as artists. When in fact our inner experience is more like, “I feel. I see connections. I am human.”
Years later, after he had gained success as a Teacher In Truth, he happened to meet her at the Organic Foods market. She was about to purchase a dozen plump organic mangos and he was carrying his bag of flyers, handing them out to random strangers.
Before he recognised her he had already reached out his hand about to place a flyer (“Meet me in the field where we will discover silence.”) on top of her pile of mangoes, when she cried, “Stephen!”.
He was tempted to run, but she held him with her gaze. “I want my innocence back”, she hissed.
The mango seller looked alarmed. “Anything I can do to help, miss? Is this man bothering you?”
“I’m fine, Thanks for your concern. He is an old friend. Or I thought of him as such.”
The mango seller was by now serving the next customer. Stephen was shuffling his feet.
“Some people write to make a living; others to share their insights or raise questions that will haunt their readers; others yet to understand their very souls. None of these will last. That distinction belongs to those who write only because if they did not write they would burst… These writers give expression to the divine — no matter what they write about.”
“Would you have me forego my own path, my own inner light, for yours?” he replied.
“No, no, no, I only meant that you are missing seeing …” She paused.
“Seeing what?” he asked.
“Seeing what I see”, she laughed.
He took her hand again and closed his eyes. “I see my way and it goes where you go.”
She snuggled herself closer into his body. “I see that too.”
A wandering drunk called out, “Get a room you two!”.
“Good idea”, they replied, in unison.
“You look in the mirror to see yourself, You look at art to see your soul” – Oscar Wilde
It was the end of the Eighties and he was tired.
Every woman he met, it would start off well and then inevitably, after a few dates at the New Age self discovery functions he would ask her, “Do you love me?”
And she would reply, “First ask yourself. Do you love yourself?”
And he would hum his little namaste song and grin and go within.
And find no answer.
But then along came Searna.
On new years eve, as the eighties were turning into the nineties, they were strolling on the esplanade where the market people had set up their stalls. They had enjoyed the palm readings, especially the bit where the dreadlocked reader had announced they each would find a reason to walk together some more.
He turned to her and asked, “Do you love me?”
She grinned and looked straight into his eyes and replied, “YES! I do.”
He took her hand and they continued their walk. Fireworks began rising above the bay. He began to whistle his namaste song in reggae style and she joined in….
Somehow the tiredness was fading away.
“Life is this simple: We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or fable, it is true.”
— Thomas Merton