Take Your Eyes From The Sky

800. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

From the department of very odd moments, twice in the past 24 hours I have walked by elderly men standing on street corners, arms raised to the sky, eyes open, blessing passers-by. They did not offer their blessing in full voice or with great intention. The blessing came in a whisper. It came as a ghost might whisper from behind you.

The first man I passed while I was walking home from tai-chi. I saw him from several blocks away and the closer I got the more he piqued my curiosity. It was clearly painful for him to keep his arms stretched toward the sky. As I passed he whispered his blessing and only then did I wonder if his outstretched arms were a form of penance: suffering for sins or reaching the godhood through intentional infliction of pain. I will never understand that. I’m not a believer in sin nor do I think one need suffer to experience the divine. From my perspective there is nothing corrupt about nature or anything (including humans) in nature. To me, the divine is in all things. One need not reach for it as much as realize it. Be it.

This morning, far across town from my first encounter, I saw another elderly man standing on a street corner, arms raised to the sky. I changed my route so that I might pass him. I wanted to know if he, too, would whisper a blessing as I went by. He did and I stopped and turned to look at him. He kept his gaze firmly fixed on the sky, his arms shaking with the strain of their reach. It was odd. He offered a blessing to me but he refused to engage with me.

There are many paths up this mountain. There are many roads that lead back to the tree of life. Separation seeks unity in many forms. As I turned and walked away I wondered what worth was a blessing that comes from one who would look to the sky as a way of avoiding engagement with me. I turned back. I wanted to ask him if he wanted a cup of coffee. I wanted to know what path in life made him choose pain as his route to the godhood. I stopped myself. I wanted to respect his choices, not criticize them. I walked away glad that I see the divine in all of the eyes that look back at me. I felt relief that on my path I need not peer into the sky and disengage from this glorious world to seek for my reassurance.

4 Responses

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