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Andrea di Bernadetto

The doors to the world
of the wild Self
are few but precious.
If you have a
deep scar,
that is a door,
if you have
old story,
that is a door.
If you love the sky
and the water
so much you almost
cannot bear it,
that is a door.
If you yearn for
a deeper life,
a full life, a sane life,
that is a door.
~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I no longer care whether the world is an illusion or whether it is real. Whether God exists or does not. Whether I reincarnate or come to a full stop when this body dies. I no longer care about being spiritual or being enlightened. I care only that I live as the open hand in the midst of that which offends me. That I surrender my self-righteousness when it rears its tight fist. That I meet you in tenderness without needing to take care of you or please you.

I am no longer scared by dark feelings, because nothing is dark when it is fully allowed. Sadness, regret, loss and despair … all these are children of the One Life, and all are welcome here. Each one of them comes home to my heart and kisses me gently before it is gone. Nothing is denied and nothing stays.

I am no-thing and I am every-thing.
I am both the dream and the dreamless.
I am the unbroken amidst the broken.

~ Amoda Maa Jeevan

We are tortured and twisted by the idea we have of the “future.” We all have an imagined future, something we hope for. It could be a future relief from today’s stresses or even eternity with virgins galore, but living in “the now” is impossible for most of us. Those who manage to install themselves in the marvelous present are more likely to be poets and artists. Those folks take our focus off the future rewards we construct for present suffering. They show us we’re already living in Paradise, if we just look and open our hearts.

The best artists show us our souls as they show us the dance of life.

Now we are living through a moment when millions of people are asked to stop their spinning and toiling and just notice the world. We are given a stupendous world after all, a world that is begging to be seen and loved.

Is that too much to ask?

The seers and sensitives have always been in the minority, at least in our culture. In some cultures everyone is some kind of artist. Our society divides people up into strict categories. The poetically minded folks get short shrift, at least until they die — but even then their names live on in a cultural afterthought for most people.

What happens when all the money changers are suddenly useless? Well, there will be a hue and cry, evidently. They will want to get back to the only life they know. They may be slaves, but they feel like useful slaves, and in our system these folks keep the wheels turning.

But that system is a house of cards that just collapsed. None of the experts and mechanics who are charged with keeping the system running knows what to do, other than charge ahead, regardless of the death toll.

And over there the artists are calling for us to pay attention to the God-given beauties we were too preoccupied to notice. They can’t help themselves, the artists, because that’s their nature to be calling us back to our deeper roles in the world.

So, let’s stop and celebrate the magical world we live in for a moment, and let’s thank the guides who pointed it out to us. There are things waiting to be discovered in and around us. We are undiscovered territory living in an undiscovered land.

Now is the best opportunity we’ve had in a very long time to learn what we are and where we live.

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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