The Strangest Tale I Know
That’s a pretty extraordinary claim.
The world is filled with strange tales. There are many rifles, but this one is mine. I just know how strange this one is because I’ve seen some strange ones, and it takes one to know one. Don’t give me a hard time, laugh along with me as I write it.
I’ll try to be brief.
Once upon a time, a boy was born to Jehovah’s Witness parents. They loved him very much. The sea of life was stormy. The desire for truth that came with the territory, eventually saw that boy see the man behind the curtain.
Leaving that life behind, that boy embarked into a new world of darkness filled with bright lights. The emptiness of the dark is unsatisfying and cold, though the bright lights distract from it. Some of those lights burn bright enough to guide us home.
I can’t claim to be anyone. I’m nobody. I’m a castaway who washed up somewhere and discovered a strange view on a strange shore.
It doesn’t matter where you are. There are games to be played. People behave in strange ways no matter what uniform or accent they wear. What matters through the changing scenery of the journey is the love that underlies it.
It was a yearning for love that made you start the journey in the first place, and it’s longing for love that makes you return.
Ultimately we are all looking for a love that we can only give ourselves. When the Buddhist monk was travelling through Ireland by train, he asked the conductor for his connections – “Change in Mallow” he was told.
There is a lot of pain in this world. The journey to healing that pain is itself painful. Here is where I will invite you to laugh at the Dali painting. I find myself, an ex Jehovah’s Witness, mostly atheist, leaning towards some kind of agnosticism, English ex-pat living in Ireland, dwelling in my Father’s house during the viral apocalypse.
That’s a pretty niche joke with no punchline.
We are crying out for solitude and connection.
The system is broken no matter what angle you look at it.
The only way out of it, really, is that we all look up from what we are doing and realize that whoever we see no matter what they look like or what they have done – that they are just like us.
Namaste, Dia duit, Shalom
We must acknowledge the good and bad in ourselves first, then in our neighbor, in our institutions. The good and the BAD. Apologies for using capitals, but we must acknowledge our BAD
One important step in our individual lives is to come to terms with the pain we have caused. “For all I’ve done, for want of wit, alas it was to none but me.” Compassion for others is impossible otherwise. To misquote an American Capitalist mantra “Corporations are People too!”. (Corporations – corporeal. Get it?)
I know many ex Jehovah’s Witnesses. I know the pain that they have experienced. Separated from love of family, love of self. Someone else has mediated their relationship with the god of their true self. All religions have their scandals. They need to be honest.
In ancient Ireland the three most important people were the tribal King, the Priest, and the Poet. Sometimes the poet was paid to right epic tributes to the saintly King. But if the King lost the run of himself, then Shakespeare would right a comedy mocking the King right under his nose. Satire is so important. Freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of religion. Just remember your right to be King of your kingdom stops at the end of your Nose.
Listen to your critics. You have hurt them. You need to change.
I am so incredibly lucky to have a family that know that the big Love, the one with the capital L is more important. They know that action speaks louder than words. I know that not everyone is so lucky. There are so many people out there no matter what the background are separated from people they love. Death, geography, feuds it doesn’t matter.
Separation is separation.
We all feel that pain of separation and long to be whole. That unity can only be found when we accept ourselves, and accept others.
If you can’t be a good example, be a cautionary tale.