The little children shall

It had to happen. The children needed to lead. The time of decision was approaching. The time of no turning back. The final test.

Ragnarok wasn’t a precise term, but it was sufficient enough to make people take notice.  Armageddon, the Second coming – the Rapture. Whatever, as long as they took it seriously. As long as they remembered, passed it down from generation to generation, so the idea was set in them, like DNA. It wouldn’t do for them to forget.

But the children – they were the ones we had been waiting for. Not us. That message that came through the Hopi nation wasn’t for us. It was for our children.

But not all of them.

Conservation of matter works with intelligence and ability too. It turns out there is only so much to be handed out. So instead of it being averaged out like it had in the past, it was sharply skewed now.

They  first noticed all the children with autism, with Asperger’s, those on the spectrum. How could they not?

But the others. They are only now appearing. They were among us all along. The bright-eyed ones. The awake ones. The leaders, the visionaries, the inventors.

They were created out of the same stuff as the loners, the suicides, the school shooters. They had the same chance to pass over into the darkness, the danger. Both had the same level of aspiration and anxiety. Both had the same level of craving and desire that are standard issue with all humans.

But the heroes, the saviors, were the ones who had learned to delay their appetites – not to do without, but to shave up. they learned that the best indeed came to those who chose to wait.

They were not born with this ability. They did not have any more “will power” or “discipline” that the other children, the lost children.  They did not have greater IQs either. But somehow they chose the correct path, the slow but sure one, the one that leads to hope, and more importantly, they stayed on it.

The fast way, the quick way, the instant gratification way was the easy love, but the slow quiet death.

They weren’t especially unloved or ignored, these shadow children, these suicides, these school shooters. Some of the saviors were also from broken homes, homes with just a mother, or even just a grandmother. Some of them were equally bullied at school, equally lost and confused.

In many ways they were the same, made up of all the same ramshackle, tumbledown stuff of any normal childhood, the same despair and grief we all experience in isolation, all feeling uniquely alone, unfairly overlooked.

The bright ones, the awake ones, were different in that they chose to not idolize their lack and loss.  They didn’t identify with it. They didn’t name themselves “divorce” or “ignored” or “poor”. They worked with what they had, no matter what it was. They made a torch out of a spark, and used that flame to light the path.

The others fed on their pain, growing it in secret, nursing their injury (the same thing the others used as a stepping stone) and growing it day by day, into a pearl as large as an ocean, a chasm as vast as a canyon.

They grew their pain (the same pain) into a weapon, a feeling of frustration, of being-owed, of an account balance fallen short. They forgot (or never knew) that their pain wasn’t special, wasn’t personal.  Or rather, it was personal, because it was part of being a person.

But they took it as a special unspecialness, an intentional slight, a deliberate attack, instead of as a challenge, a choice.  They could have chosen to rise above, to fly clear of the debris and dirt of the world. They could have chosen to ignore the noise of all kinds that swirl around, but instead chose to allow it to infect them, chose to see it as an attack instead of an opportunity.

The ones who will lead us now, the little children, they will be our healing, if only we will listen to them.

We too have a choice.

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Quotes about silence and solitude

“But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.” – Alan Watts

“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary seabird that opens its wings on the steak. Let me sit here forever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.” – Virginia Woolf

“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts; and when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound becomes diversion and a pastime.” – Kahlil Gibran

“All the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their chamber.” – Blaise Pascal

“You rest now. Rest for longer than you are used to resting. Make a stillness around you, a field of peace. Your best work, the best time of your life will grow out of this peace.” – Peter Heller

“There is a loneliness more precious than life. There is a freedom more precious than the world. Infinitely more precious than life and the world is that moment when one is alone with God.” – Rumi

“While I am looking for something large, bright, and unmistakably holy, God slips something small, dark, and apparently negligible in my pocket. How many other treasures have I walked right by because they did not meet my standards?” – Barbara Brown Taylor

“Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.” – Rumi

“I felt in need of a great pilgrimage, so I sat still for three days.” – Hafiz

“Prayer is sitting in the silence until it silences us, choosing gratitude until we are grateful, and praising God until we ourselves are an act of praise.” – Richard Rohr

“Silence is precious; by keeping silence and knowing how to listen to God, the soul grows in wisdom and God teaches it what it cannot learn from men.” – Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew

alone

I haven’t been alone in a long time. I’m relearning how to do it.

When I moved to my house I planned on learning how to be alone. Then I met Scott and he moved in rather quickly. My planned life of spinsterhood was changed. I’ve not really been alone since, not for any real length of time.

Shortly after we got married he left for the weekend. Literally the weekend after we got back from or honeymoon he left. He drove all the way back to Grandfather Mountain. I cried myself to sleep. It was really hard and it seemed unfair. I’d just gotten him, and then he was going away.

He goes there for working weekends twice a year. It has taken me ten years to adapt to this, to not dread it. Now I’m starting to look forward to it because it means I have more time to work on my painting and writing. I have more time to work on me, instead of working on “us”. I find when we are together, we don’t do our own things. There are a lot of things I am learning I need to do on my own, and I can’t do them with him here. Writing is one. That isn’t a very social action.

Before, when I lived alone in my apartment, I’d be stoned. So I was alone, but not present. I didn’t like being by myself. These days I’m relearning how to be alone but not lonely.

He has to spend time at his parent’s house these days because they are feeble. They really need to go into assisted living. That is a decision for him and his brother. But in the meantime he isn’t around as much as usual. Recently he had to spend the night. I have a suspicion that this will become more and more frequent.

In the past that would have freaked me out. What would I eat? How would I sleep without him there? I’ve gotten very used to him, and I’m kind of using him like a crutch. The more I do that, the less I remember I can walk on my own.

The ability doesn’t leave, or get weaker. We just forget. Not knowing you can do something is more powerful than having a physical disability. If you think you can’t, you won’t even try.

Conversely, if you think you can, you can move mountains.

So I tried. Instead of getting fast food (which isn’t really food) I cooked some vegetables. I had a nice supper and I felt like I had invited myself to a party and the guest was me.

I like that feeling. I’m actually looking forward to him not being here again so I can treat myself again to my own cooking, and have time to craft or read whatever I want.

Poem – adoption, alone

We are all adopted. We are all lost, drifting.

No matter how your parents
are related to you
biologically, legally
makes no difference.

We are all just trying to find our way home.

People who are dying often say they just want to go home,
even if they are in their living room at the time.

We all want to go home. We are all lost.
We all crave belonging.

The gang member, the biker, the kid in the black trenchcoat,
all are trying to find themselves.

We are all shuffling, rubbing up against each other
saying the secret passwords of our tribe
hoping they will let us in.

Every one of us suffers from a little bit of abandonment

now and then

every one of us
wonders where we fit in.

Even when we are
together
with family
we know
deep down
we are all faking it.

We all have to find our way
out of here
and back to where we belong.

We all have to find ourselves.

We look to others to do it.
We hope to see our own reflection
in them.

We join clubs, we go to conventions,
and momentarily
we feel home.
Momentarily
we feel that we are understood.

But when we get back from the meeting
back from the show
we are left
by ourselves, alone again.

If we are not happy
by ourselves
we cannot truly be happy
with others.

We are all faking it,
this connection.

We are always trying to go home
By going somewhere we are not.