Friday, February 18, 2011
I Had New Shoes… KML
I had new shoes. Not brand new, but fairly new. I had worn them a few times and thought they were worn in enough to wear to work. They weren’t. It takes me 30 minutes to walk to work and by the time I arrived I had a blister on my foot. Since I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer, the blister didn’t bother me much. But each time I walked through the office I wondered if I should find a bandage. It was a busy day and by the time I left work at the end of the day there was still no bandage.
About a block from the office I was in real pain. I thought about catching a bus, but it was one of those crisp, clear winter days, and I was so looking forward to the walk home after being cooped up inside all day. I decided to forge on. I could take it easy, slow down, hell, maybe even take advantage of the opportunity to go the scenic route. So I changed direction and hobbled on, and hobble I did. The pain was searing.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take another step, I turned the corner and there in front of me lay the harbour with the sun setting behind the hotels that line its edge. I was at once engulfed by the beauty of the sight. The colours, light, architecture and water created a scene that was overwhelming and tears filled my eyes. I felt as if I had stepped inside a painting and had suddenly become part of it. In relation to the magnificence I was seeing, the pain in my foot seemed so insignificant that I was able to walk on.
I was surrounded by beauty and at the same time a part of it — and I knew there was nothing else but beauty. And I knew this as fact — as truth. I knew that what I was seeing was life as it should be seen – life as it truly is: colour, light, radiance — a spectacular world that was more than just three dimensions. I felt its intensity with every fiber of my being. I drank it in and I poured myself into it at the same time.
When I reached the edge of the harbour the sun disappeared behind the buildings and I felt a slight sinking. The light was fading and so was the intensity with which I was viewing the world. At that moment I had the urge to turn my head and look up in the opposite direction. There in the air just above me was a blue heron, gliding past in complete silence. I was again overwhelmed and began sobbing at the beauty, the magnificence that was God. I quickly looked around and realized that no one else had seen the bird there in the dim light of sunset. To me his silent flight had been a message from God, and when I looked in the direction he had flown, he was gone.
I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing so I didn’t try. I wondered what people thought as I walked past them sobbing. They couldn’t know that I was seeing God and he was seeing me and that we were one.
As I continued to walk the light gradually dimmed and as it did the feelings subsided. What had at first seemed like a picture had become my reality, and now what I saw seemed like a black & white photograph: two dimensional and without colour. I felt strange at the flatness of it and desperate at the loss of radiance. A depression swept over me as I returned to my “reality.” How could I get that feeling back? Where had it gone? Where was that world I had just visited? How could I get back to it? I have glimpsed that world more than once since, but just for a moment each time before something inside me closed the door to it. But I know it is there.