Of Dragons & Sirens

Peace is not freedom from pain, but transcendence.

Pain can be an invitation, a call to adventure, an opportunity to forgive and to heal.  No one lives free from pain; no one can help but cause pain.  We all must, at times, play the muse to another’s story, whether we intend to or not.  Think of them–the evil stepmothers, the dragons, the sirens.  They are the ones who send the call, who propel the heroes and heroines into the realm of adventure and possibility.  They are the ones who open the door to the bright, messy world we call life.  They are the fire of change.  Why fear playing the part of fire?

Play your part as openly and truthfully as you know how, choose love over fear and be quick to forgive.

Echoes

Echoes of the future, echoes of the past, meet here, in the present.  What better home could you have?  What will you create next, along with the Universe?  What game will you play?  How will you love?  How will you dance?  What will you grow into, and what stories will you tell about it?

Wake up, and all things are possible.  Love is endless.  We are divine and free.  In this moment, hold eternity and know its name:  Love.

It is not a mystic’s dream or a poet’s wit to say that all can be found in this moment.  What is this moment but the meeting ground of past and present?  They greet one another like old friends, easy in each other’s company.  In this moment lie all the secrets of the world–of all worlds.  But know this:  you are not the unraveller of secrets.  You are the secret.  This is why there can never be an end to mystery.  You know in your heart that, as with all good secrets, the joy lies in the search, the adventure, the discovery.  What lies at the end of your searching is, whatever else it might be, an ending.  And for heroes, storytellers and dreamers, those are always better left unhurried.

Mirrors

Stories are our mirrors, truer mirrors than those made of glass.  They show us who we are, and who we hope to be.  They help us to see, to understand, to make sense of our lives and our journeys.  They create connections between us and our worlds.

True stories are the oldest form of alchemy.  When a story weaves and wraps itself around your soul you are forever altered.  The world will never look the same again, will never be the same again.  The stories that haunt you are reflections of yourself.

So how do you sing the song of your life?  Do you choose to tell your story as the ancient bards did, weaving stories that heal, refresh, teach and counsel?  Are you the hero or the victim, the child or the king?

We all create mirrors.  Choose yours wisely, and then do not be afraid to look deeply into the glass.

Heroes

Heroes travel on the wind, as we all do.  What is it that makes heroes heroes?  They are courageous, able to choose love even when fear and pain surround them.  They know who they are, can sense their mission, their purpose, even when all seems dark and cold.  They may stumble and lose their way, they may forget and they may doubt.  Yet when the road is darkest, when all seems lost, they find their way.  They stand up, walk on, continue.  When the world becomes dark and quiet, then they can listen, then they can see.  They rise again, and again, and continue on.

We are heirs of a mythical past, and guardians of forgotten truth.  The world calls to each of us, over and over again.  Some are waiting for the call, intently listening for it.  Others are awakened suddenly by it.  Still others resist, ignore, deny the call.  The tapestry of the future is woven all the same.

We are the chosen ones.  That is why we are here.  We would not have been born if we did not have a unique, irreplaceable, powerful purpose for being here.  The universe does not waste space, does not make mistakes.  Do not fear over-reaching; you cannot.  Do not ask if you are worthy of the path you see before you; you could not see it if it were not meant for you.  You are divine, an immortal at play in a human world.  Ride the wave that moves between your humanity and your divinity, play the part you long to play.  Embrace all the facets of your starlit soul.

You will always be given the tools you need, once you begin the quest.  Such is the way of the world, always and without fail.  Even your failures will provide the key to your freedom.  Such is the way of love.

What Women Want

There is a story that answers the oldest of questions:  what do women want?

A young and handsome knight of Camelot, named Gawain, set out to find the answer to save King Arthur from losing his throne.  It sounds perilous–an entire kingdom dependent on determining what women want.  But for a true knight, all things are possible.  Answers always present themselves to those who honestly seek them.

For Sir Gawain, the answer presented itself in the guise of an old woman.  She appeared in the forest, withered by age and sickness, and asked him for food.  Being a kind as well as noble knight, Gawain made a place for her by the warm fire and gave her his food and drink.  In gratitude, she told Gawain that she knew of his quest and would give him the answer he sought, if he would take her back to Camelot and make her his wife.

This was a harsh fate for a strong, handsome young man, the prize of the court and the favorite of all the beautiful young ladies.  But Arthur’s kingdom was at stake, and so Gawain could do nothing but agree.

Upon his promise to marry her, she told him the secret of what all women want–to have their own way.  But the story does not end there.

Gawain and his promised bride returned to Camelot, and the entire court grieved at seeing the young man bound to a haggard old woman, wise though she might be.  But the wedding was duly planned and celebrated in lavish style, and that night Gawain joined his new bride in their wedding chamber.

When the court had retired and the couple were alone, a miraculous thing occurred–the wise woman was surrounded by glowing light, and then her form shifted and changed into that of a stunning young beauty with flowing blonde hair and cornflower blue eyes.

“I was cursed by an evil magician,” the lady said, “and forced to walk the world as an old woman before my time, until and unless a knight of Arthur’s court would make me his wife.  But I am afraid the curse is not completely broken, and a choice is before you, my husband.  You must choose–would you have me be beautiful by day, when all the court could see me, or at night, when we are alone together in our bedchamber?  What, my husband, would you desire?”

“I cannot decide,” Gawain declared, after a moment’s thought.  “You must choose what is more pleasing to you.”

“And now,” cried his lady, “the curse is well and truly broken, and I am free to appear as my true self at all hours of the day, for you have given me what all women wish for–the ability to have my own way.”

It is not only women, of course, who long to have their own way.  For what does it mean, to have one’s own way, but to be one’s true and authentic self, at all times and in all places?  This is the gift of love that breaks all curses, and sets us free.

Nevertheless

Maybe I’m right, and maybe I’m wrong/Maybe I’m weak, and maybe I’m strong/But nevertheless, I’m in love with you.

Maybe I’ll win, and maybe I’ll lose/Maybe I’m in for cryin’ the blues/But nevertheless, I’m in love with you.

Somehow, I know at a glance, the terrible chances I’m taking/Fine at the start, then left with a heart that is breaking.

Maybe I’ll live a life of regret, and maybe I’ll give much more than I’ll get/But nevertheless, I’m in love with you.

–Nevertheless (I’m in Love with You), Frank Sinatra, Nice ‘n’ Easy (music & lyrics by Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar)

To love is to risk.  To open to another is to dare.  It is because we cannot know the outcome, that we are not assured of success, that choosing love is an adventure.  To love, nevertheless, is to face life with the strength and the courage of heroes.

And to give much more than we get–may we all be so lucky.  Because that is the secret to love.

I learned that from my father.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  I love you.

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