Cosmology, Reality, Religion, Spirituality


Kris Leigh House 1 Xmas Deco 001Not too long ago, I supported my writing and storytelling habit by working at a nursing home, designing activities to promote the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of those who called this unnatural place home. Slowing down each day as I arrived, adjusting to the speed of life inside those doors, was an incredible learning experience, while working with residents with Alzheimer’s brought its own humbling lessons.

The layout of the place was unique. It was small, intimate, from the outside appearing like two longish white ranch houses, identical, facing each other across a green expanse. The perfectly centered gazebo carried on the surreal illusion of balanced perfection.

One beautiful soul drew me even more than the others, so sweet and precious – she reminded me of my grandmother, always a lady, down to her freshly applied lipstick and pristine penciled eyebrows. And – get this – she used to be a pilot. Of course we connected! Bless her heart, this beautiful woman never knew where she was, what day it was, where her family was or when they would return. It was my job, along with the others, to keep her happy and smiling, reassured, as she lived in her world. It did no good to speak to her about reality – my truth meant nothing to her. To connect with Miz Mamie, as I’ll call her, I had to go completely into her world, and speak the words she needed to hear. It took time to gain her trust, to calm her fear, but finally she grew to know my face enough to wave and smile each time I’m come in the door.

One day as we walked down the hallway together, she happened to look out the window of “my home” where she was “just visiting” – and saw the other building, carbon copy of the one we were in. Sparkling in the sunshine, it looked inviting, a home made to order. She drew me to the window, excited – look, look, look at that beautiful house over there. We should go visit.

I agreed with her. It looked lovely. I’m sure very nice people live there, and they might even have a cake coming fresh out of the oven if we arrived at tea time (3PM, for those who are interested). Why, yes, we’d do that someday. But right now, let’s go play some music, shall we? Remember how we love to sing together?

We started down the hall again, and then I stopped in my tracks. Even now the memory of the thought that swept through my mind feels overwhelming.

This is exactly what happens when we look for God. We look out the window of our soul, gazing across that open expanse, and see the most beautiful things, the most welcoming places – out there – out there – out there. How wonderful it would be to visit. To claim that space as our own in some small way.

But the truth is, what we’re seeing is a mere reflection – a carbon copy of you. Of me. Of us together, peering out that window, arm and arm, in love with each other. As someone once said, like the nose on our face, our eyes can’t get any closer without the image appearing to move away – because we’re all the same thing. All the same beauty. It IS us. We are IT.

Such a beautiful memory. Such a beautiful woman. So grateful to have shared that moment with her, and for the teaching she inadvertently shone into my world.

© 2015 Front Porch Rambles, Mary Batson
All rights reserved – especially the one to fly.

Cosmology, Reality, Religion, Spirituality

God Is

Prefer listening? Morning thoughts on dirt and the divine, if you don’t mind a little thunder and rain and traffic noise…

I don’t think God is anything like we think It is. He is. She is. I don’t think God is as perfect as we’re afraid It is – as we’re afraid we can never be. I don’t think God is as hard to please as we’ve often imagined, as we’ve tried to make Him and Her out to be, like the parents we tried so hard to satisfy, until at least some of us finally gave up and decided to just be, exactly as we were.

I don’t think God is only in the chapels and cathedrals where we try to capture Her. In the robes and relics we use, trying to show how very special this idea is to us. Don’t get me wrong. God is there – for God is everywhere. But as long as we only see Her in the beautiful places, the mountains, the meadows, the morning stars, we’ll only get half the picture.

God is in the darkness, too. God is in the pain. God is in the dirt, the drivel, the dreck, all those aspects we try to drive out and ignore in our search for something we can put on a pedestal. God is in a rusted-out lawnmower in a weed-filled sandlot just as much as She is in a stained glass window or a satin cassock. God is in the grief as well as the glory, the loss as well as the gain. What is it in us that makes us want to cheat ourselves of the full picture?

Why do we rush to open the door for Spirit, only to close it when He’s halfway through? We reject God’s darkness like we reject our own shadow: Not mine. Not mine. Not mine.

How must that ache inside Her heart, I wonder? When all He wants, all She wants, all It wants – is for us to love. To turn around to our Father-Mother-God-Creator and for once in our small-minded existence to see all, to accept all, to love all, and to finally, just once, to say Thank You. And really mean it this time. For everything. Not just bits and pieces.

I think God sometimes comes to our doors like the little ragamuffin child down the street, tears making tracks through dirt-stained cheeks, flowers hastily picked from our own front yard clasped tightly in one grubby little hand: An offering of hope, a cry for mercy for the baseball in our hand and broken window in our mind. Do we see God then? Or do we let our anger, our pain, our shadows, our vasanas, take over and block this glimpse of glory from our view?

What say you, friend? Where will you see God today? I am grateful for those moments of clarity when I can remember that God is in all, God is in everything, God is in you, and God is in the mirror.

Namaste, sweet soul. May we all remember.