A day, a death, wholeness.

This morning she awoke to find that silliness had become her betrothed during the night. A guffaw escaped noisily and unexpectedly before her eyes had even opened. And as the rest of the household awoke, they gathered in the garden, between the blossoms and buds. Right now Jasmine embraces with her scent at every turn. And beginning to mix in with her blend, wisteria starts to unfold, still tentative, still very subtle. and wisteria , her buds turning from gray to purple as they open, as they promise to shower us with her aromatic magnificence. With buddleia promising her magnificence any minute.

The universal perfumer sure got it all right in spring. Aided and abetted by the power of that dormant root energy as it springs into phenomenon above ground.
A sheer unabandoned, uncensored sensory experience. And with this in the air – how could silliness not be present.
She thrives in beauty and safety.

Trees were planted, weeds cleared away where absolutely necessary, beds watered, beds prepared, all these people involved in their own space, with the sun and the smells shining on.
One of the group was digging an eel pond. A smoker was simultaneously being designed. Around the pond will be trellises of raspberry. The being involved in this project thought it could double up as a personal splash pool in the hot summer months. They were all treated to his future projection of how he and his boa would languish in the pool and he would snap of raspberries and Rumple well maybe he could snack on baby eels.

And so the day unfolded, forays into the garden where engagement would happen, laughter in response to a comment and then back to do some work in the office, where out of habit she was pulled away from the joy onto a canvas that held no beauty, just a disgust. One site went to was Aangirfan – she loved going there, reading the amazing research. Opening the tab on an article she was reading and came upon a picture that slapped her so hard she found her breath had stopped.

The image was unexpected. It was of a man being tortured. And this woman her whole life had such an abhorrence of violence and torture and avoided any images of it. Her mind could conjure up enough. And there in front of her for a split second before she looked away was a scene that she knew exactly what it was like to have happen to one. A large pool of blood, his nakedness, his torturers, his scream. But even once she looked away the image remained.

A huge wave was threatening her peace and equanimity. Immediately a voice inside said “it’s only a thought”, and immediately things arose such as: if I this suffering is not experienced then the tortured will be betrayed. If a total wave of revulsion and contraction does not arise and is not nurtured, then his suffering will not be alleviated. – it would be devalued by not paying attention to it. An accident with that much pain and suffering could be integrated but that someone can deliberately inflict that brutality upon another human was just inconceivable to her.

And still her breathing was halted. Her stomach knotted.
And another question arose which was asking her whether all the pain she had felt in her life for those in pain had helped in any way. A critical point – is she going to imagine and feel and thus suffer further or was she somehow going to distract her mind from the bone of pain and suffering.

A call of glee calls her from the garden. Her name is repeatedly called with continued animation- she follows the calls. Her eyes are gifted with the sight of three new born guinea pigs. Again a gathering happens and this new life is savored by all. In that moment there was joy.

And yet entering her office again the image and its programming on her again exerted herself again an inner voice said just pause thought. And upon thought ceasing, the tortured man too disappeared, until thought resumed and he kept appearing in between the never ending stream of thinking.

Lunch was made by one of the members of the household. Again a gathering outside whilst it was eaten. Some freshly picked coriander chopped and sprinkled on top, added to the sensory festival of the day.
Dishes washed, the new transplants watered, the sun birds spectacularly feasting on the wilde dagga that had colonized the garden. The hoopoes preening before their ladies. Everywhere so much happening. Such a simple magnificence.

The day ends and she is skyping a friend. Someone comes in and smilingly informs her that there is zero electricity left on the meter. Well as close to zero as you can actually get. And the messenger then smilingly leaves.

Aha – no cash. So she cycles down to the Chinese store at the bottom of the village but the cash machine is down. Returning home she informs the group that there will be no electricity till the next day. A night without power. Everyone groans and resists and protests. Until the same child of the eel and raspberry pond informs her that his snake has just eaten and he needs the heating pad on.

Oh dear a valid argument. So a plan needs to be made. Her car has no petrol so she will have to hitch into town. She has done this many times before, but never at this time of day. Walks briskly down the road towards the end of the village where all the hikers stand. But a mere block from her house she hears a car coming behind her and sticks out her thumb and voila she has a lift to town.

And the driver is a nursing sister she met once whilst participating in a hospice bereavement workshop thing. She often tried to donate blood, but was always told that she needed it more than the blood bank. And once when she had tried to sign up for Life Line she was rousted out before the introductory course. Quite perplexed why she must surely be one of the few volunteers to be denied membership to this human flotilla she asked them why and was told that basically it was a service where one listened and as people expressed themselves to the listener then they would come to their own decisions. Whereas they had immediately ‘diagnosed’ her as one who would say upon hearing about continued abuse to leave the bastard, just leave, now. She was most impressed by their astuteness in reading her character.

So many years later, last year to be exact somehow this bereavement course tumbles at her feet. She finds herself learning the basics of grief and how to handle it.. And at the end of it when she was asked if they could utlise her services and the first case was in her village, she declined. For like the tortured man who haunted her earlier she knew her pathology well enough to know she would never shed the grief of others off – her inner watcher warned her off, and she declined.

So here we suddenly find her in the car with the hospice sister. A broad Afrikaans woman, compassionate, capable, delightful and remarkable in her ability to affect a life. Offering her relief from pain and other medical processes. She shines, she radiates.

They drive past the rows and rows of blossoms, everything green from the recent brief rain. The dusk hanging on for a seeming eternity. They talk around so many things that have happened of late, solar flares, the majesty of Jupiter, the delight of the rain after a year of dryness……. and then the healer's phone rings and her eyes suddenly become concern.

The nurse had asked her to accompany her on a call that she feared making herself. She needed an ally and whilst the traveler thought she was hitching to purchase electricity she was actually hitching to help on someone’s final port of call. As soon as they entered the house there was a wailing and flailing and screaming. An ancient woman came sobbing around the corner, her face a mirror of unprepared grief. Her withered hands stretched out before her as if to place them around a neck.
Karien grabs her and holds her. She is solid like a trunk and takes on this anguish without blinking. She holds and holds.

The hitcher watches, sees the grief of a 72 year old woman upon the death of her 97 year old mother, who had died slowly of cancer. And yet still was not prepared to be without her mom. The hitcher went to the kitchen, washed up a bit, put on the kettle, made tea, fed the cats. Venturing into the courtyard she saw some wilting plants, found a can, watered them. Still the dance of grief continued. The voyeur her eyes saw the periphery of the garden and it was bone dry.
Hosepipe found, attachments secured, the soft spray landing on the dried out soil. The sweet smell of moisture bouncing out immediately.
And in the parlour the hugging embrace of pain being met with love continued.

An eternity later, the ancient woman was asleep.
It was now deep into the darkness.
And the tough love carer refused to let the hitcher hitch home now.
And so together they wove their way back to the sleepy village, with a million
stars above them.

And as she fell into bed the tortured man was with her - he was whole.

Your real nature of pure awareness is not an object. In truth, it is pure being, natural non-conceptual awareness, and deep tranquility or peace. Suffering is created in thoughts and generated by fixation on ideas and concepts in the mind, particularly about being a limited, separate "I". The pure awareness of your natural state has no "I" at all. It is not an "I", because the concept "I" is only a thought. You are not that (or any other) thought. So, how can you be an "I"? Therefore, the suffering is only an appearance. It comes and goes as a product of thought. But awareness is constant and ever free of the mind and its states. Hence, it has no suffering or limitation whatsoever.


john said…
Nice one su! an interesting and unexpected journey.
Zoner said…
Thank you for taking us along on this journey.

The complete circle, beginning with that which is new and beautiful - delightful to the senses, giving way to the challenge of a "situation" and coming all the way around to loss and death, with all of the subtle nuances there for su to embrace and process.

Wonderful gifts, all, in their own way.

My appreciation grows deeper, and more thanks are in order.

Anon said…
Worth reading more than once!

- Aangirfan.
nina said…
(Did Sage get the heating pad going? Did anyone take a photo of the newborns?)

Whenever I read these essays of yours I am transported, silent, the invisible observer, you certainly have an ethereal way of sharing how it feels.

The new elderly orphan must have been soothed to meet her plantings when day broke, you provided a service alright, you are some rare Bush medicine Susu, healing at the root of suffering. Your days blending into selfless compassion until a crescendo climaxes in healing the suffering of the Earth.
One Love
su said…
hi john and aangirfan.
thanks for joining me on the journey.
zoner - your appreciation means a lot to me.

the heating pad was switched on and the meal digested.
yes photos were taken but the download camera cable is temporarily missing.
i don't feel i did anything compassionate, i just watched it all unfold.
will post images when i can.
nina said…
It is possible you've been compassionate for so long and felt so deeply, mere language cannot begin to describe it anymore and carries no visual connotations because its become a natural part of you.

An observer-only would stare into the darkness waiting to be asked to help out somehow.

Goody for Sage, goody for the newborn pictures.
bholanath said…
The last two posts are exquisite.
Just adding/sending my moral/spiritual support through Mother Earth to your vicinity and your family - way over on the 'other side' - and yet you feel like a close neighbor and sister.
So many of us seem to be of the 'same mind', synchronous feelings, throughout these days, experiencing the far-away and the close-up at the same time, each expressing the unique individual 'flavor', but in solidarity of heart.
Jah guide
su said…
receiving with much gratitude the support on offer.
and sending acknowledgment your way
for the radiance that you are.
brian said…
reading this, tears are flowing. So beautiful. The mystery of what "a person" is. Dying, helping, weeping, remembering, forgetting, loving, resolving, feeding, writing, reading, sharing, releasing, embracing, leaving, arriving, suffering. The mystery of how separate self sense and identification with it seems to be somehow compatible with love as well as torture and murder.
su said…
i just heard how the grieving daughter managed to gather the energy of grief through handwork. Apparently her mother and her spent their evenings sewing.
As a final farewell she decorated her mothers coffin with so much love, detail and attention that it took one's breath away. She padded, folded, embroidered, tucked, twisted, caressed the cloth around and in this wooden receptacle until she was satisfied.
Her mother was placed inside it and send into the oven. all over in the blink of an eye.
peace be with them...

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