I feel sorry for whomever it is keeping me company-- keeping us company-- as an inner presence, as our best invisible friend, on our way through our life. That is the presence that keeps giving us tips, hints, nudges... that works to wake us up and turn us toward the light, and we keep doing the Adam and Eve thing, listening to the wrong input, ignoring the right ways of doing what needs to be done. I apologize all of the time. I don't know how it works, if they draw lots, flip coins, pick a number... or how our Riders feel about being along for the ride with us, but if we all come back as Riders-- as mute/nonverbal Riders-- with someone else doing the driving and making the choices while we scream soundlessly and point uselessly in the opposite direction, I hope we remember how we treated our Rider and note how it's all coming back to roost, shaking our head and wondering where it goes from here.
We are birthing one another here, growing each other up, waking each other up, helping each other find our life and live it. To know what needs to be done and do it. That's all there is to it. What are we missing? What are we not seeing? What are we ignoring? In the rush to find our way and have it? The trick is to forget finding our way and having it. Our work is to see what needs to be done and do it. In each situation as it arises, all our life long. "Nothing to it but to do it" (Maya Angelou). Listen to the woman! Do what she says!
We are here to bring ourselves forth, to bring ourselves to life, to birth ourselves into the life we are living, and to assist others in their own birth process. We are here to give birth to ourselves, one another and the entire world. The way to not do that is to concretize the metaphor. We are always factualizing our symbols. The Right To Life as an anti-abortion movement kills life in the name of saving it. It values the actual, literal, life of a fetus over the symbolic, metaphorical, and even actual, literal, life of the mother. Some anti-abortion Catholic priests rail against using fetal tissue in medical research that gives life to thousands of people. They kill in order to save. The symbolic/metaphorical aspect of giving birth, of bringing to life, makes mothers of us all. We all are, each of us is, eternally involved in birthing ourselves and one another-- in terms of waking up and entering fully into the wonder/joy of being alive to the fullness, depth, height, breadth of life on all levels, in all dimensions. And we do that by dying, metaphorically/symbolically, again and again in growing up against our will, in waking up against our will, in being living examples of the spiritual truth that going with the flow means swimming against the current and going against the grain. The paradoxes, ironies, contradictions, opposites, dichotomies, contraries, polarities... of life have to be recognized, embraced, lived, suffered, borne, danced with and affirmed with every breath and heartbeat. Life eats life. In order for us to live, something must die. And we have to sway "Yea!" to life as it is-- to the way of things as they are! Which is, itself, a kind of dying in order to live. In order to be who we are, doing what is ours to do. We sacrifice ourselves on the altar of our own becoming every day. Growing up is waking up is dying, dying, dying again and again all our life long. Those who don't do that die a different kind of death, and are even more dead in a "Leave the dead to bury the dead," kind of way, than those who do it, bearing the pain/anguish/agony of being alive and paying the full price of being alive all along the way. Metaphors and symbols have to be living, vibrant, throbbing, vital referents to truth that cannot be said, explained, told, defined. We live to die, we die to live. "Death and resurrection, Kid. Death and resurrection!" It is our place to understand what this means, and live it out, consciously, intentionally, deliberately, each day, all our life long.
We are here to live well and pass it on. Living well comes down to doing what is ours to do and what needs to be done in each situation as it arises with the gifts that are ours to share all our life long. We live to find our life and live it, and pass that on to everybody who comes our way, helping them to find their life and live it. Part of finding our life and living it is knowing/noticing what symbols/metaphors attract us, attach themselves to us, call our name, keep popping up, won't leave us alone... These are our helpers, our aids, our guides. Our place is to be right about what our symbols/metaphors-- which choose us more than we choose them-- are referring to. What do they have reference to? What do they stand for? What do they mean? What do they mean for us? One of my symbols is a keyboard, another is a camera. Both are about seeing and saying. I'm here to see and to say what I see. So, I am to do that consciously, intentionally, deliberately, with awareness and grace, compassion and kindness. Gerard Manley Hopkins said, "What I do is me/for that I came." He said that to all of us, for all of us. Our place is to know/find what is ours to do and do it. That is why we came, what we are here for. That is living well. Passing it along is helping/assisting other people in knowing/doing that themselves. Another of my symbols is a stream on the way to the sea. Streams are everybody's symbol. We are a stream on its way to the sea. "The stream doesn't force its way, the stream finds its way," is an old Taoist aphorism about living in, and abiding by, in accord with the Tao, the Way in our own way, as only we can do it. What is The Way? What is our way? We live to find out-- to know and to do-- these things. For that we came.