The flower who hides its face
I once read the speech “The Perils of Indifference” that Elie Wiesel gave at the White House on April 12, 1999 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpXmRiGst4k). He talked about the Jewish people’s feeling of abandonment in the concentration camps of World War II. I used to include that speech in my trainings for discussion but lately, I guess, I’ve thought that it was a subject too poignant, too unsettling; so it’s not there anymore. But if you just look around you, you see signs of indifference and it is unsettling and your heart cries out that it doesn’t have to be like this. Of course, what Mr. Wiesel was talking about was of another dimension of inhumanity against mankind, but it’s the little things in life that are important so that we don’t lose sight of who we are. We give worth to each other and thereby validate our own humanity and capacity to be loving and caring individuals.
The heart calls out and no one hears it. There is a sparrow-hawk who looks to the sky and only drinks from the rain. The yearning is everything. A sunflower hides its face when the sun hasn’t bothered to visit it. To find love you have to give it something so it may grow and turn its face back to the sun. Inside you is found love’s partner.
The woman looks across at her man and says to herself this is what we have become. She wonders why is the heart quiet, the voice silent? Is it that there is nothing left to say? And maybe he lifts his head from his reading or his daydreaming and thinks, she is there but only that. Silently, they both ask the wind, why can’t I hear you anymore?
There was a time when they were lovers and the mere sight of one another was enough to send the heart racing. He could not think of anything but her and longed to see her and just look at her. Life was organized to touch her arm, to feel her waist. She, waited without breath for the moment when he would call her, his voice calming her fear of being left alone. Tonight she would feel the embrace of his caring and the world would be as it should be. Paying attention to each other is necessary for lovers.
A mother duck floats in the lake with the currents of its water, she looks for food amongst the vegetation that surfaces from below yet she forgets not about her offspring who swim some distance away. A mother attends scrupulously to the cries and petitions of her child, there is nothing she can do for her heart is tied by the chord that bound them together in the womb. What keeps the man tied to his origins, to his life?
The chord of life is invisible for man. He must find it for his ability to love depends upon it. He must reach high and find the fruit that awaits him on the highest branches of the tree and leave his obsession with what is in front of him. It is the promise of something called maturity when you can look up beyond the trunk of the tree and see what beckons you from higher up. To love is to know this thing called maturity. Man must search and look in all directions to see what is hidden, but only because he didn’t look before.
Search for what binds you to life. That invisible thread that is there when the eyes somehow lose their focus. Sometimes you see it when looking from the high of the mountain, and other times while gazing over a great expanse of water. When the eyes cease to have to see and the other senses take over, then you begin to see again. Look for the truth of your life. Be courageous enough to leave behind all that is false and not real about you. Dress your body and soul to walk comfortably but honestly in the days before you. We should try to be just who we are and not some other idea of ourselves where the image is blurred and where it is hard for us to see clearly.
There is a sound that binds you to life. It is the lapping of the waves on the lake, the sound of others nearby as they voice what they can to say who they are. It is the sound of eyes closed and inner sounds, sometimes with the breath and sometimes forming ancient syllables. It is the sound of life being aware of itself. It is letting your perception float high upon the currents of the air. It is not so much about forming the thoughts that will tell you what you have to do but rather feeling what it is to be you.
Inside of you is the silent voice that cries out against your indifference to the fact that you forgot who you are. Inside of you is a child that cries when you are hurt and left alone, abandoned to your fate. Inside of you is the adult trying to break free from what he became entangled in when the world seemed uncaring and not kind enough. Inside of you is the voice that begs you to listen to the soft musings of the soul, the lyrical voice that lifts the spirit up to the sky.
Turn your face back to the sun and let its warmth caress you. Open your arms wide to embrace life’s offerings for they are there in the movements of the leaves and the clouds higher up. A dark and foreboding sky does not ask you to run away and hide for safety but rather shows you of its strength and majesty so you may find its same thunderous voice inside of you. Be that brave warrior who faces life brandishing his sword up high and proclaiming, “I shall not be defeated! I shall live my life as I choose and I shall love for there is nothing else to fight for.”
Find the seeds of love deep inside of you and nurture them, give them a chance to grow. Their flowers and their colors will change you and you will find them in bloom wherever you look and in whomsoever you meet. You will look across from you and know that love lies in the moments of silence between the both of you and yet there is so much to tell of the love you feel for one another. The heart will secretly rejoice for now it does not have to swallow its grief and can openly proclaim its existence. And soon there will be two hearts who have so much to tell each other, of overflowing spirit and devotion, of feeling the touch that we can give to one another and of us turning back to the sun.