Homeward Bound

Diversity is the only product of unity.
Peace is the dynamic by-product of U
nity’s ultimate expression, Love.
Compassion in action is the pulse of
experiences
that flow from genuine understanding.
heading home“Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.” –Mahatma Gandhi

Eight days in the Deep South and seeing a post on Martin Luther King that had the Gandhi quote on non-violence shared above, it seems worth taking a few minutes to share a couple of events and my overall experience here. In a few hours I’ll be checking out of the lovely Hilton Double Tree that our corporate travel agent booked me into for the final days of a great trip.

First, Southern Hospitality is far more than a concept; it’s a true experience! Everything I’ve ever heard or read about it has been demonstrated from the first person to the last. The first understanding of this came several hours after I arrived, hit with the realisation that I was thoroughly lost, the consequence of driving far longer and later than I should have. Going inside a petrol station to get directions, I asked the young man behind the counter if he could please help, and let me tell you, if we could bottle the “Yes ma’am”’s and use it for fuel, we’d end the fossil fuel crisis right now. Putting the map on the counter in front of us, he asked me to find ‘White Horse’. Not sure what was happening, I said “Let’s see if I can get my eyes to focus. I’m a bit too tired.” Looking at the small map out, he apologized and my heart broke when he said “I only learnt to read numbers.” From deep down came the words, “You know what, I love numbers. I work in mathematics and numbers are the universal language. Tell you what, you’re a lot smarter than you think you are.” The smile on his face and the light in his eyes lit the entire room, and my heart as he then wrote down every road number I needed to turn on to get to where I was going! Two bikers, obviously friends of his, opened both doors for me as I left, saying “Thank you ‘ma’am..”

The experience remains a clear reminder why education –the BeLonging Projects– is the soul reason that focuses my heart and brain, the BeLonging Projects the true purpose behind the ‘why’ of this trip.

Now, for those who need some food for thought, and a laugh…

Returning to Atlanta on Friday, Saturday was spent running a few errands, and I have to say that I’m still processing these few hours. While my hotel is lovely, it soon became clear that I’m the visible minority in the neighbourhood. In the two hours that I was alone and on the loose, I was the only white person I saw. My first stop, to fill the gas tank, required me to walk past a dishevelled man who was sitting on the curb at the entrance to the shop. When he asked for a dollar, I said “No, but I’ll take you over to Chick-a-filet and have lunch with you if you’re hungry on the condition that you tell me your story.” He immediately agreed. Oh my goodness… His story will take days to process, and tragically, it’s genesis was also in the failure of the education system.

The next stop was to a nearby Macy’s where the intent was to buy two new bras. Finding the lingerie department, I asked the woman for my brand, and after looking me up and down she asked, “Honey, do you know where you be?”

Laughing I said, “Well, when the plane landed the pilot said “Welcomed to Atlanta.”

She laughed and said “Sister, you are the first colour blind white girl I ever did meet. You ain’t gonna find nothing to fit you in this store, so here’s what I want you to do; get in yer car and get back to yer hotel and be safe. You can find underwear wherever you live. And remember, Jesus love you sweetie.”

Relationship: Emotional trials by water and fire

28 may 2015

When a friend shared how a pine cone is a metaphor for relationships this morning, young and closed vs older and open, it sent me time travelling backwards to one of ‘those’ moments, an instant where my being was flooded with insight. The event was an epiphany, so meaningful that it bridged lifetimes and longings as it instantaneously transformed my attitude towards relationships. In that moment, the most important seed of my destiny took root in my heart, engraving itself on my brain as if to insure that I remembered it. Alas, being human, I often failed to remember, and as a consequence know too well what it is to be ‘fluffed’, lied to and manipulated into ‘forgetfulness’. Sadder still is that this is something that, like most, I’ve too often done to myself, but on too many occasions I’ve allowed others to anesthesize my memory.

It happened shortly after my move to Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling, a jewel of a monastery sitting on the edge of the rain forest on the Big Island of Hawaii. After traversing some of the most difficult and dangerous terrain on earth, an hour after the sun set into the Pacific Ocean, a group of friends and I arrived at the edge of the world. We were standing where Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, was sending lava into the sea. Only feet away molten rock flowing from Pele’s womb created a fury in the ocean. What was happening was as spectacular as it was terrifying as scalding water and shattering lava went flying in every direction as ghostly plumes of toxic steam roared into the night sky. Every few moments the ground beneath our feet shuddered sending an echo reverberating through every cell in my body. When the sand shifted beneath the stones and we suddenly had difficulty keeping our balance, we retreated quickly. An hour later, adrenaline raced through us as individuals and a group when we heard a rumble then watched as a huge chunk of land fractured and crashed into the sea about ten meters away. The illusion of intelligence instantly vanished as the sense of being stupid beyond belief seemed far more accurate. No doubt we had issued a cosmic dare to Pele by travelling to this place and frankly, I was concerned that she might just double down on the bet.

Realizing that in too many ways we were trespassing, it seemed that the little happy dance I’d done when we arrived had registered more than zero on Mother Nature’s Richter scale. Clearly, she was in control and suddenly it was clear that as magical as it was to watch the birth of some of the newest land mass on the planet, I was standing the cusp of certain death if the she decided to take a scratch. Before she could shift and move me in the ‘wrong’ direction, I turned and high tailed it well inland. There my cosmic musings continued, but this time without the fear of karmic retribution, my long held terror of dying by fire in water.

As my body relaxed, I surrendered to awe and my brain went into a deep meditative state. I know this because I ‘came to’ with an ‘ah ha’. It was a lucid instruction to ‘reconsider everything I thought I knew about relationship’. Unsure whether to laugh or cry, this was and wasn’t a gargantuan task. Why? I knew nothing about relationships that were real, the new word ‘REALationship’ instantly appearing in my head. The terms that followed were as meaningful as they were painful: I knew all about how it felt to put up with ‘relationsnits’; I knew how much it hurt to have someone take a ‘relationsnip’ out of my soul; and I’d been near death, deathly ill, and gone through two NDE’s in a state of ‘relationsick’ due to taking on too much ‘relationshit’.

That day I set out to understand the simple Pattern tied by the Mereon Matrix in terms of true and real relationships.

Tomorrow I’ll share some of those thoughts…