Great Sadness Fills My Soul

Journal Entry, November 6, 1999

(from “Benediction”)
We are a world
growing dark with dying flashes
while the moon is crying
full of unfamiliar music

With some Heaven
between God & prayer
I watch
for here the light
no longer follows

I see the new ghost
lost in the innocence
of their mission

on an Earth that is burning
who will be there

Angel of Death
in the moon of the red grass
surrender your shroud

(from “Faith”)
My unborn forgive me
I only wish I had the strength to bring
you into this world
more faithful

I can’t remember being like this within the last few years. I remember a time in Arkansas where I was full of emotion. I made a lasting impression upon my friends who tell me to this day that when they are in a rush… they think of me and stop to take in the splendor of fallen leaves upon a gentle sloping hill. One of my dearest friends tells me that I taught her to find pleasure in life itself. But I’ve given so much to finding my direction, achieving success, doing what has to be done, making the grade, finding a job, paying the bills, etc.. I forgot how to live life.

But what is this that I feel now? I look out of my window and see an amazing world, the skies are blue, the air is calm… it is a day to walk in Nature and marvel. Yet I am bound by a deep…. despair, a sadness, a grief. I remember once a few years back I was driving along a road and listening to the radio. On NPR I had learned that a the park service had killed hundreds of birds. I cannot remember the reason for killing them… whether it was disease infestation, overpopulation, or something else. But the method they had used to kill these birds was with some sort of pill or a poison. What they did not count on was that the birds would fly over land and die instead of out in the ocean and many residents were disturbed by the unsightly mess of hundreds of dead birds.

Passers by might have thought me mad to see me at the wheel of car weeping in terrible grief at this loss. I do so again now but I am unsure why? I am disturbed by the reports of the damage Shell has done in Niger in their search for oil. I am disturbed at the politics of the freedom of religion right now for the case in Santa Fe, TX. I am disturbed at a sea of problems, an infinite array of pain and sadness and how am I going to make a difference in any of it when I do only an average job in my own life.

I’ve always had a feeling that I would do something great with my life. That my actions would make change for the world. I don’t know what that change will be. Why do we build lies in our hearts and minds? Why do we secretly know that our own fears are mirrored in our neighbor? Why do we hold on to them?

There are times when I see God in the most mundane of things, in the oddest people, and I am so thankful. I ask to open up more. I’ve never been able to fully express the feeling until I saw the movie “American Beauty” where a character says at the end “I see so much beauty in the world that I can’t hold it… it crushes me heart, until I breathe and then it runs through me.”

I can’t write about what is ripping me apart… I can’t name it, can’t quantify it… but I can qualify it. It’s meaning is enormous. I don’t know if its killing me or giving me new life.

I was walking in Hiroshima back in 92. I was enjoying a crisp autumn day. The sun was shining, the leaves made wonderful dry scraping sounds on the sidewalk in the breeze. I was in some thoughts and didn’t notice the sound. You know how there are sounds around you that you don’t really notice until somebody draws your attention to it? I was outside a tall brick wall. I couldn’t see what was on the other side. But I gradually became aware of the sound of laughter and children at play. Now mind you I was young in the development of my intellect. There were immense worlds unknown to me at the time and Cognitive Psychology was one of them. I had marveled at the ability of a dog in Japan to understand its gaurdian and wondered if it would understand me.

I was walking and I stopped outside of this wall. I was aware of the sound of laughing children at play. Gradually I became aware that they were speaking Japanese, but this was a focused effort. When I relaxed my perception, I couldn’t tell the difference between this playground’s sounds and one back home in Arkansas.

What if all the nations of the world could experience that? Would we allow many of the problems that we do so now? Would we accept the power of the dollar to guide our morality? Would we agree in the idea of the ulterior motives of another class?

For the first time in my life it is easy to understand why Christ must have willingly suffered on the cross in Christian teachings. As I write this I wonder to myself… I would die to give peace to the world… and what I hear is the soft voice of the Goddess. She doesn’t talk to me often, but she chooses her moments. She is telling me that I don’t need to die to save the world… but I need to live for it.

She has a wonderful way with words. And I ask her… what do I do? How can I make a change? I haven’t money, I can’t seem to discipline myself to do what is necessary for my own life. How can I affect change? She simply says… you will.

I am still left with this immense feeling that I have a greater good to do, and that I have no idea what it may mean.

I am feeling this incredible gammut of emotion… and there is a center to the storm. Within this center it is calm… it is clear. There is no emotion, but it is all emotion. There is nothing, but it is everything. It is not a destination you can travel to, but an end to a long journey. I am reminded of the current quest of physicist… in searching for the unifying theory, which some believe to be string theory… the one theory that explains it all. And I am reminded at how within love there is hate, and within hate there is forgiveness, all are intertwined.

I am peaceful now, my spirit is among the clouds, over the horizon, and I do not feel confined by my own body, my own thoughts, my own schemata… there is something bigger out there… something of which I am a part of… of which is a part of me.


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