When someone goes searching for something, they don’t allow themselves the time to see what they have found. To search means to have a goal.
To find something means to let it be free, to be wild, when you find it. When searching—the goal is all our eyes set themselves upon—unable to see anything else, let alone allow a liberating thought into the mind. The suffocating grip of expectation clutches at our well-being and we lack the ability to see what we truly want without any clarity.
When I started writing again, I was searching for meaning in life. I didn’t feel like I had anything of clout to leave behind. So I searched.
Now that I look back, meaning was all around me. I just wasn’t looking at it right. Writing was my way of harnessing madness and the self-imposed crises that I stared down in the mirror of myself everyday—and my way of somehow weaving them into a form of inspiration. I thought that maybe I had the ability to turn my life around by volunteering my own self towards the universal dream, and that it would trickle down amongst the rest of you.
But above all else I picked up the pen again to leave my child with a piece of me, a bit of my wisdom, in case if I ever found the Pearly Gates a little earlier than He or I had planned. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could turn things towards a more promising direction for future generations, because in my self-assessment of the shit that surrounded me, I thought the future was doomed.
I searched nonstop, high, low, and in every nook and cranny for any clue as to what happened to love, where did love go astray?
How could its flames be relit with a passion unlike anything the world had seen. Was unconditional love just a pipe dream? Why was love left to mere ashes, while man fanned the flames with hate.
Both spread like wildfire, so who was the arsonist responsible for the fire of hate set upon love’s wilderness? Somebody is always responsible right? No, my perception was.
And all the while my soul was wandering elsewhere, far and away, it wandered on and on invisibly and wanted nothing to do with my life, yet my ego was thriving. You see love and goodness has always surrounded me. It is only human of me to sometimes focus on the negative instead.
In that never-ending search for my soul, I got lost, very lost. I was looking with inelasticity through myself, as well as all that I saw. I was looking too hard at the extremities of my surroundings, instead of looking into the depths of me. I was looking at the edge of the inner me from those outside, and it made me question my worth. So I went to work.
I was seemingly eager to take the pilgrimage into my own self but never eager to get down and dirty with what I might find. Instead, I would often drown what I found in a bottle of whisky and flush whatever goodness I did find, down the drain of disbelief. I have done it more often than not since I once spoke of the Zen In Zest.
As this whole derogatory approach to my dream has taken an inconsistent shape, it is shaking itself dry, with one line at a time. I still see the dream, and now I know the approach in which I must take.
The other day I took my son to one of the places my heart calls home. It’s one of those places that you don’t get to see everyday but when you do get to see it there is a quaint feeling that touches your heart. It has an effect that ripples through the soul for an eternity.
It’s the river on which I learned to fly fish, which was more rambling about from rock to rock with my head in the clouds, fly stuck in the trees kind of fishing, very similar to someone’s personality you’re growing to know.
That was years ago though, and it was those same years ago that the very wound which still burns within was indeed smote upon the banks of this river. We will not talk about that wound just yet. This story is about healing not suffering.
As we came to the river, I felt something. It washed over my entire being—the hair upon my arms stood alert with chill bumps, or it is possible they were simply being industrious as progressing towards the sunshine. After scaling the surroundings much in the same way a wolf protects its pack, I saw no signs of impending danger. And I allowed the boy to run as wild as he wished, while for words, I fished.
I sat down upon the banks of that river and stopped listening to myself and allowed the river to overtake my reflection with it. My senses became sharp with the subtle swelling of green, the summer surrounded us, the clarity of the water with its granules of sand lingering between my toes pushed my thoughts to memories I have carried around since my childhood.
I remember the happiness I felt as a child after spinning in the sun all day upon the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. I remember my mother’s beautiful smile, my little sister and the bewilderment of her first time seeing the ocean. I remember the painted airbrush aroma that filled all those little whimsical beachfront markets. I remembered the bright lights and endless echoes of childlike joy from an amusement park once called Miracle Strip.
Everything in this moment of my mind was so gentle, pure, clean, and most important it was real.
SILENCE THE MIND
We were by that river for so long that time must have stopped. I rested with folded hands, while listening and watching him explore his new surroundings without searching for anything particular.
I started to see things in a way I never thought possible. I started to understand through his eyes, that he was teaching me more than I could ever teach him. He didn’t set himself upon any goal, at least not that I am aware of, he was just living in a moment of pure freedom. I saw the simplicity in the valiant wild of his finesse; he was grasping his wild and I must admit I gently wept. As I pulled it together, I started to pray.
I prayed for those that I love dearly, and those that I know are in pain, and those whose hearts are filled with hatred, division and fear. I prayed for him and his future. Then I moved on to myself and as I was wishing for some kind of sign, a burning of the bush, so to speak. Then I prayed for forgiveness, that forgiveness was for myself and from those I’ve hurt in my life.
It was then it came again—that sensation. It was reverberating; my soul had become a conductor of infinite proportions, as a current of electricity sent shockwaves through my entire body. Everything tingled from my head to my toes and my mind—it mingled. It floated away with the timeless stream of the river.
Everything was silent, except for the river. The once swiftness and churning of a rushing river had moseyed into a babbling brook. My senses were reeling with the aromatics of a summer’s day, the scent of a blooming wildflower, the purity of gentle stream flowing so clean, and the heat of the sun all coming together, with the finesse of a refined awareness.
The wound inside slowly started to blossom, my soul was ripening with the realization, or the knowledge, as to what wisdom was in all of its practicality. Had I reached the goal of what seemed to be a never-ending search?
You see wisdom is nothing but an eager finesse of the soul, a gift, a secret art to think gently in every moment while living life to the fullest—it is the experience of oneness, to be able to feel love for its divinity and not attachment. And for the first time in awhile, I began to breathe with cohesion.
And then it happened, a memory of pleasantry began to fill my heart with delight and as a tear trickled down my cheek, my mind had officially surrendered to my heart. This tear told me all I needed to know, after all a tear, means that love still lingers.
As something wise was blossoming from that wound deep within me, I opened up an eye and there was the boy within inches of my face staring, smiling at me, like he knew that I was waking up with inner harmony, grasping at the knowledge of eternal love of enlightenment.
As I came to, he looked at me with eyes that I seem to have known my entire life, my own. And out of nowhere he said, “Dad, I love you, but you don’t need to look anymore, you know what to do because its right in front of you.”
In the blink of a teary eye I no longer wanted to give it up, and by the grace of God my child had just shown me the Way.