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Parallels Within and Without

Photograph by Cindy von Miller
Alhambra, Granada, Spain

My life this go round has spanned 64 years. As I sit here in this present moment reflecting on the course of my journey, the meandering of memories, images of people and places, feelings and experiences, our many lives connected still by the magic of love and care, I am forever grateful for my friends, teachers and guides along the way.

I would like to share the offerings of our morning Contemplative Circle: Seeking Soul.

The first offering is from the amazing soul poet, David Whyte. It was the first inspiration for this morning's contemplation.

are not what we think. They do not really exist except in a mathematical sense and except as an idea to play off. If it is difficult for anything in the real world to move in a true straight line, think of the impossibility of two things moving together in two parallel straight lines. In the human imagination a parallel world is not a world that replicates the one in which we live or that is its exact opposite but one that turns and flows through many other possibilities and dimensionalities; all the while keeping company and somehow referencing the one it shadows. The parallel life is as unpredictable and indeterminate as the one that supposedly gave it its life.
When we speak of parallels we speak therefore of accompanying possibilities, like a life or a partner we did not choose, the refusal of an uncertain other life influencing this certain and familiar, present life; we evolve as much with the parallel as we do with the present; as the years pass, our relationship to the path not taken or the person we did not pursue changes as much as it does with the one we did. There are many deathbeds where the path not taken is far more real and present than the one actually chosen; the man or the woman abandoned, far more real then the wife or husband dutifully lived with for years.
There is also the question of depth; we may have taken a certain path but only half-heartedly, without conviction, sacrifice, bravery or sincerity. The underlying depth below our surface approach waits for us like an invitation and a reproach, an ocean seen from a cliff, another life, informing this life, on the one hand, a spur to boldness and a deeper participation when we realize how much in this life the other life breathes, or on the other, if distanced into the abstract, a source of shame, a life un-braved un-lived, misunderstood, no matter how much it whispered conspiratorially in our ears. A parallel life we wished could be our own.
From Readers' Circle Essay, "Parallels" ©2011 David Whyte

Reflection on these words, brought to mind another beautiful collection of words and images by the poet Juan Raman Jimenez, titled I am not I. Thanks to the internet, google and YouTube, I found this amazing rendering of words and music. Please click the link to enjoy the video. Then please return because there is more to come!

Image by Michelle Hungerford

The last poem from today's reflections showed up on my iPad when I opened it to find what more I might bring. It is from the mystical poet, Hafiz:

Light will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to…
Love will surely bust you wide open
Into an unfettered, blooming new galaxy
Even if your mind is now
A spoiled mule.
A life-giving radiance will come,
The Friend’s gratuity will come
O look again within yourself,
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation.
From a sacred crevice in your body
A bow rises each night
And shoots your soul into God.
Behold the Beautiful Drunk Singing One
From the lunar vantage point of love.
He is conducting the affairs
Of the whole universe
While throwing wild parties
In a tree house – on a limb
In your heart.

Please relax and enjoy the words and images. Feel free to sign up to become a member of our community and to share your reflections.

Blessings to you on the journey.

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