Monday, August 15, 2011

The Echo & The Witness

The other day, I was watching the dvd: Mitch Albom's: 5 People You Meet In Heaven - (Albom is known for his book, Tuesdays with Morrie, ) the lead character was remembering  from his rather distant past when he was in elementary school and had to do a book report - the chosen topic - The Echo, its nature, etc.

This topic of "echo" was mentioned a little prominently - it was clear that we watchers of the film were supposed to pay attention - nothing should be taken for granted - everything in the movie was meant to feed your understanding of why the character's life turned out the way it did and the life choices he made seemed to create the perception he had of himself and the total sum of his life - on the surface, of course. But as we all know, or hope, at least, in heaven, things balance themselves out differently then they do in the thickness of Earth.

The boy's mother, in keeping him focused on his report while she herself continued to do motherly things around him, asked him to define the word, "echo".  The young boy said that an echo is the absence of any obstruction of sound, allowing the sound to travel without being absorbed by anything, that like a mirror looking into itself, the echo unabated, continues to repeat itself.

For whatever reasons, initially, that seemed very interesting to me; then later, important to remember, though without clarity why that should be so.  However, now I know why:  speaking in terms of the personal, for this is what this blog is all about, I think I am surmising that my life is 1 big, seemingly long echo.  My vibration, yes, maybe, that is a clearer description of the energy of my presence here/now, my vibration's sound, my voice, moves along a flat line, barely anything thing in its path to cause it to vibrate differently or ripple.  My voice, hollow in its own cavernous existence, just keeps resounding itself, at least IT exists to itself!  It knows its presence, claiming, "but, I am here, here I am, damn it!"  Yet, with no one else to respond and say, "so true, I see you, I hear you, I acknowledge you",  the sound keeps traveling, repeating itself, ad nauseum - alone, though space.

A few years ago, armed with the remote and while impatiently flipping through the stations, I stumbled upon a sitcom already in progress, something I rarely deliberately watch or watch in full.  I really can't even recall who was speaking to whom, man to child, woman to man... it didn't matter - I sat mesmerized by what I was hearing - you know, on a blue moon or so, if you are really lucky, you can actually catch the most wonderful things said on some these TV shows!

In any case, character1 said something like this to character2: '"you know, the wonderful thing about marriage (or being in relationship) is that there is at least 1 person you know to witness your life, witness you."  They went on to explain it further, what is means to be witnessed - through thick and thin, over time watching, noticing, being present for your transitions and shifts - someone else to claim that you were present, that you existed, here, besides your self.  This witnessing is far more important than a mere photo - it is a living, felt knowing of an existence, the gift of which is framed by the heart of those touched.

I am paraphrasing, and rather badly, but it went something like that.

Sometimes, I feel like maybe I am only a photograph to some - my voice cries a hollow sound - sometimes like a weekend I just had or the weekend before and the countless ones I've been having lately, all I get back is the echo of that cry.  It is very lonely without that obstruction to absorb my sound, my vibration, to return something, in kind.  It is lonely without my witness.  I think, this is what any of us wants.  As big and overly full this planet is, it is amazing how alone and singular so many of us are.

Opening of The Heart~

The lead character the that Mitch Albom movie mentioned in the 1st paragraph, in reviewing his life, eventually discovered what he actually experienced and accomplished, while alive.  He assumed he did very little, his hopes and dreams dashed, he mattered to no one, was only loved by just a few notable people  he cared for the most, in his life, but nothing and no one more, or so he thought.  He never had children, which later figured prominently throughout this life. So, of course, at the end of the movie, you understood how anything he felt he did not achieve, the things he was unaware he did, both good and bad, everything was accounted for and evened out. His lived life, he later came to realized, really mattered, in the Scheme of Life itself - while he lived, he made up for the things misappropriated - all this he learned about in his transitional stage before being released to his heaven - thus the raison etre of the movie.

So, I guess I can talk about my loneliness until I am blue in the face, but the real and ultimate question I have to ask myself is: am I not as alone or lonely as I feel, or if I am as lonely as I am, what am I being compelled to do (am I doing it?),  and who are the witnesses I have in place right now with whom I can share this experience with, open my heart to, deeper, to fill in all the soft spaces of our lives, absorbing vacant sound?

Who do you have to witness your presence?  Who is or has been your co-cartographer?  What vacancies or hollows have you been able to fill in, in your life?

Tell me your story~

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is The World Really What You Make of It?

Do you ever feel a map is waiting to be acknowledged?
Not just created, as if maybe it already exists and you are just waking up in the middle of your life to the fact that you have probably been walking a path that was pre-set a very indeterminate long time ago - maybe a time ago?

Bilbo Baggins finds a ring, keeps his "precious" safe, hidden for what would be a lifetime, then carelessly or semi-unconsciously allows the ring to surface and through a series of unfortunate events, uproots the course of Middle Earth.  Or did he?

Maybe what was going to happen was always going to happen - it needn't have been Bilbo, it could have been found by the next generation of a later middle-aged Frodo desirous of following in the footsteps of his much revered, curious and cartography-creating uncle.

When Beethoven composed Moonlight Sonata, when Bach conceived of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, or Rachmaninoff brought to life any of his concerti - was it just creative genius or could it be that everything was already there: the combination and order of notes, their lengths, speed and strengths, their softness, even the silences in-between - all of it?  Were these sublime works of art just pulled down, let's say, from the heavens, already shaped and formed, pre-created, just waiting for the most right ear that could not only hear them, but transcribe them - albeit through the unique filter of those musicians - for the rest of us to enjoy?

Is it that "filter" that allows us to imagine our fate is in each our own hands, that, the world is, indeed, what we make of it?

Was there ever a time you felt you were not quite living a life free, of choice, that you seem to be marking a path moving in a direction or at a speed or in a way you could not control, or a trajectory you could not change?  And so, like riding a wild horse with no reins for control, you held on as tight as possible, determined to, at least, keep upright, you stayed on that seemingly, though unseen, pre-set road.

Where were you dropped off at the end of it, and, were you able to get back on solid ground/right footing, taking back the ownership of the map of your life, again?

Tell me your story...