I often hear the voice of the Divine and find wisdom in unexpected sources. An overheard conversation between a couple in passing. A single line of something I’m reading or a song I’m listening to. The way someone might shoo a mosquito off the shoulder of a complete stranger without their knowing.
Or the old black man with the foul mouth and the fixed smile who writes my load tickets on the dock where I load my truck. He is a lifetime docker, worn and broken. His hard life shows on his face.
We are talking about the long haul I am about to make. The rate I make on this haul is minimal. I am enthusiastic about neither prospect.
Okay, I’m bitching about it.
He just laughs, stops what he is doing, looks me in the eyes and says “Take your time, enjoy the scenery, look at those azaleas, watch the birds and the trees, it pays the same either way, you might as well enjoy it.”
That’s my advice. Those are my words coming from his mouth. I am stopped cold. My frustration dissipates. The Universe has spoken directly to me through this man and I am grateful.
The message received, I take a deep breath and smile with this gift and continue on my way. Taking my time. Enjoying the scenery. The day passes peacefully.
The Universe is always talking to us. Telling us to be patient. To breathe. Telling us it cares. That we are loved.
Image: “Finding” by Mario S Nevado
that undefinable thing
we all feel
but can’t really touch
since it slips through our fingers
and escapes even the tightest grasp
though it can carry a kiss for thousands of miles
and the flavors of the world with it
both to land on our lips
though it sings with the limbs of the tree
that sway in union with its ebb and flow
or even feel
though we feel its weight
and pressure as it pushes us down the street
or vacuum as it pulls on our clothes and hair
yet it spins the colorful blades
of the pinwheel we carried as children
the one we blew on with thrill
as it resounded with our breath
and distorted the sounds we would make
like playing cards
clipped to the frames of our bikes
that clacked in the spokes
of its wheels
to help us imagine
we could ride just fast enough
to catch it
put it in a jar
and release it like a tiny whirlwind
to turn the pinwheel
that still swirls in my mind
and with each rotation
I learn a little more
from the spiraling trail
that blends the colors
of its seemingly
into a dance of light
and the flutter it makes
like the wings of a chaos butterfly
that, with just the tiniest influence,
creates a storm with each turn.
With each flutter.
With each spin.
The beautiful dance continues.
It is a dance between us and nature.
Here at the edge of the world, where men reach into the the sea with heavy line and glittering tackle attempting to join the massive Oneness of the ocean by removing from it those that truly belong, I find a sure and sudden calm as if sedated yet awake and aware. Fully aware.
I have spent so little time in my life by the ocean though I have always heard its call. A gentle tugging. It is the lure, I am the fish, and it is trying as hard to be a part of me as those men standing on the edge of this expansive pier are trying to be part of it.
In 1917 Rudlof Otto wrote Das Heilge, which appeared in English in 1923 as The Idea of the Holy. He suggests that while the concept of “the Holy” is often used to convey moral perfection It also contains another distinct element, beyond the ethical sphere, for which he uses the term “Numinous” and defines it as “non-rational, non-sensory experience or the feeling whose primary and immediate object is outside the self.” (Thank you Wikipedia)
I won’t go into the whole Jungian psychology surrounding the archetypes and Numinous because I believe I can sum it up in this one example: An artist creates a sculpture to give form to something that has taken life inside him. What he feels is Numinous, the influence of something “other” than himself. Years later I see his sculpture and literally feel the spirit he has put into the stone looking back at me.
This is the Numinous Experience.
I look into the ocean, this beautiful and powerful creation of the Divine, and see it looking back at me. Calling me. Reaching into me and igniting a spirit within me which I release onto the page of this blog where it lives and, hopefully, reaches into you and ignites the “other” that lives within you.
Life is truly a spiritual experience if we allow it to be.
Image by JMGreff at the end of the Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, AL