Vientiane, Laos – Your carry on. Does that go into the overhead bin, under the seat, or in the lap, with a person throughout all their relationships? The passenger on the aisle in row 37 drifted off into a reverie.
But if we could be as clear and open as a child, their eyes full of trust and wonder, devoid of the muddle of scars, fear, injury, numbing, self-delusion and emotion that constrict the adult light and sight, later finding it necessary to ‘undo’ or somehow retrace pathways, to re-connect through therapy or latest snake oil promise.
Where is the stage? What is the setting, and what kind of background? Who is the audience? What kind of shirt, and shoe should I wear? Does this tie go with this jacket? What would the neighbors think?
Small children carry no baggage. It’s the adults who pack the unnecessary cargo. For instance, what does it take to get out the door? What do you carry onto the streets? What would you take on a trek to Nepal? What would you carry to a castle in the woods?
And at the end of the journey, they learned they didn’t need the baggage they were carrying, nor the walls of defense they were maintaining, and now, just enough familiarity to identify themselves within the four walls of a nursing home. A scrapbook. The first thing we would grab in a house fire.
Didn’t need the farm, didn’t need the house, didn’t need all its contents. They convinced her during one of her more lucid moments, then took what they wanted, and auctioned off the rest.
There was a large and horrific dinner table fight among the siblings, all adults, sowing bitterness that changed the nature of their relationships with one another. The old man rolled in his grave.
Even on a long trip, like a lifetime, it’s best to travel light. A person can overload themselves, they can traverse sensibly, or they can go light. Like a tour in the ‘Nam, there’d be a guy humping a .60 and ammo belts, another guy with a grenade launcher, and another dude with just a radio. In the end, everyone carried their own load.
It was to expedite the travel, they said, but it sounded like some kind of a scheme. That can work at a domestic airport, but you couldn’t pull that off going through customs.
One of the things I noticed, particularly on the reservation, is that people talk about what is on their minds. Just by listening.
Joyfully In The Sorrow
Perhaps they knew when they began the journey that it would be difficult, when those in the assembly all agreed to go together. With absolute and certain clarity, a glimmer in a star, they witnessed their interwoven destinies, the interludes, the miniscule, the déjà vu reminders, premonitions and affirmations along that winding trail in human form.
They had been in that place before, planted deep in ancestral memory. There, karmic pact etched into dna code, a collective mutual agreement in an orchestra groping its way back to that distant place, suffering weight and mercy.
And all the while amidst the joys and suffering, they were given all that was necessary at every instance, and all the tools toward fulfillment, playing the God game.
Their journey would be difficult
A glimmer in a star
along that trail of destiny
in human form.
They had seen that place before
planted in ancestral memory
a karmic pact
in an orchestra
groping to that distant place
suffering weight and mercy
their hearts swollen
Within joy and suffering
they had all that was necessary
playing the God Game