My Turn: Walking in light

By ALAN HARRIS

Published: 03-29-2024 4:13 PM

Modified: 03-29-2024 4:17 PM


All the pundits and commentators are buried in duplicity or despair. The darkness is descending and we, mortal victims swim frantically for some shore where hands and faces greet with reassurance that mere survival is off the table and that one can clasp onto a comfortable reassurance, allow one’s self-righteousness to protect from the bludgeoning oppositions that in fact are encouraging it. What a state of affairs. The blind spot in the eye, the lazy eye, the uncertain glance, like the song says, “… looking for love in all the wrong places.”

People know that I am steadfast in my own convictions that where humanity is concerned, truth rules in the realm of the wise, the thought that heals, the vector of compassion, the non-denial of universal verities, mathematical and scientific, the wise over the impetuous, etc, etc. Yet I remain no goody-two-shoes type of person. I’m no better or worse than all of you. The differences are always in the details.

Last weekend I found myself without many obligations or engagements except for my monthly get-together on Sunday with my Saturn meditation program friends for an Easter sharing of thoughts and experiences, from the sublime to the ridiculous. I pondered this a while, and then remembered and shared an experience I had Friday of last week. The week had been and continues to be an onslaught of worldly chaos very often leaving us with a sense of powerlessness, often great sadness. But I knew better. Here is what I wrote:

“Sometimes holidays pull in vibrations from many spheres, and I find myself unusually susceptible to the unexpected and even the astonishing. Parts of myself seek connections, discoveries, uncovering the sublime in small places, transforming lives including my own and perhaps finding oneself a vessel, a touchstone for another person, the presence of listening, the realization that there is no coincidence only the Divine in the most simple acts.

I often head down on a weekend night to the Floodwater Brewing pub in Buckland just to connect with people I might know and sometimes the unfamiliar soul playing out his role in the grand scheme however it may come to pass. You might not think that such a place is conducive to revelatory experiences, being alcohol is most often a relaxation from the conscious realm we strive for daily. But sometimes Spirit has other plans in mind.

To my right at the bar was a longtime friend Jim who I was glad to have run into, and another more mysterious and unfamiliar chap on my left. Just the sort of person I had no clue about, someone I had not seen before. Some people you meet are guarded, and transcending the awkward banter would leave a curious and open sort of person, which I know I generally am, held to the superficial, the typical. I realized a change in what he began searching to say, and found myself listening, no longer digging for pleasantries, relieved and delighted that souls would want to transcend the normal, find an unlikely place where beauty overtakes the ordinary, and an unexpected bond springs out of need, of recognition, of trust. His work at the mint in Dalton put him in charge of others. I couldn’t quite imagine him in that role and felt here seemed a person successful in one and struggling with another. I can’t recall all the directions our conversation took, but it stood out that he was open hearted yet struggled with his own personal relationships. The love he sought with another person was elusive. At no point did I feel this kind of conversation was one he would have replicated. It was simply some channel that opened up. I thought of my wife, Jane, who finds this constantly with whoever she meets. I had become Jane for an instant. Channeling Jane was not a thought I had at the time. But for those moments I understood the depth of her compassion.

Here I felt blessed in the connection. That listening meant unexpected sharing, a person very aware as he was and tuned in might feel there is blessing in his fearlessness, healing in his sharing. The bar continued on its merry way. As I made a move to get up, I was stopped by a hug like I couldn’t remember. In a bar. In no man’s land. Then I thought about Easter. Jesus taught us that the Divine is never hidden. We walk in light even in darkness. Especially so. Have a wonderful Easter.

Alan and Jane find 51 years married, 35 in Shelburne Falls a blessing and cat Kiko who thinks we’re loony, but a necessary confusion. 

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