There She Goes Again…

Random Rants from an Arizona Goddess

The Clutches of Time are Dark

Published by Just Me under , , , , , on Sunday, September 28, 2008

Early one morning, a little bird was sitting on the branch of a tree, singing sweetly its song.  Suddenly it fell silent.  It had seen Yama, the Lord of Death, go past and look towards it - in some sort of surprise.  The bird was convinced that Yama had come for it.

In panic, it prayed to Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, to save it.

Garuda appeared.  Said the little bird: "Please save me.  Carry me across the seven seas, to that little island.  There I will be safe."  "Hop on," the gracious Garuda responded, "and hold tight."

With a mighty swoosh of his wings, he lifted off, and flew westwards.  The eight-foot span of his wings cleaved through the air, he climbed higher, and sped on, past the mountains, past the continents, past the seven seas.  He flew non-stop, for almost eight hours.

Finally, he banked, and the little bird saw, nestled in a sea the colour of Pangong Tsu, a jewel of an island.  Clothed in dark green, and rimmed by glistening white sand, the breakers danced on the sands in a great primordial rhythm.  Crashing in, rippling up the beach and seeping back into the sea.  In.  Out.  In.  Out. "There!" said the little bird.  "Let me off there."  Garuda came low over the trees, and the little bird spread its little wings and launched itself into the cover of the forest.  Safe, it thought.

When Yama returned from his morning round, he looked at the tree again.  No bird.  He said to his companion, "I was surprised to see the bird here this morning for I am scheduled to collect her this evening, at a place far, far away. In fact, it is a little island across the seven seas."

A person cannot control the "when" and "where" and "how" their physical life on earth might end.  And like the story above, only "Yama" knows where and when you are "scheduled" to be collected.

Evidence of this became abundantly clear to me and my family a week and a half ago when my youngest brother's car was hit by a city bus.  He has fortunately come a long way in a short time to recover since the accident, but the painful days after he came out of a coma and off life support caused many in our family to take time to pause and reflect.

My brother is one of those countless young men in the world who is full of potential.  He decided to forego attending college immediately after finishing high school (early, I might add) and, instead, entered the work force and worked his way into a very good job, easily earning certifications, increased wages and the respect of his coworkers and supervisors.   He is a bright and caring, quiet person, with much promise in store for him.

He left my home (where he rents a room from me) that evening, headed to work out at the gym after a long day at work.  No one in my house remembers seeing him either come home or leave.  It wasn't until a day and a half later that I received the call that he had been injured and that he was in the Trauma/ICU unit at the university hospital.  (My brother's "in case of emergency" plan had not been put down anywhere, and the police were able to contact his grandmother, but then his father's family did not have all our information either, so it took a day to get through to mom and me.)

The particulars of the accident are not important. What is is the here and now afterward.   There are a lot of details that will have to eventually be worked out to recover financially and logistically after the accident.  But the fact that my brother is now walking, talking, posting blogs, text-messaging, using the phone, and vocalizing his wants and needs for himself can only be described as nearing a miracle.  The human body's healing capacity is a wondrous thing to behold.

Don't be so proud and vain
for the clutches of time are dark
Nobody knows where it might strike
whether at home or outside!

Kabir ~ 15th century poet

In my life, I have learned a lot about life, and I am reminded:
  • Life as we know it is a fragile and brief existence.
  • In times of adversity, the human spirit is humbled by its own fragility, angry voices are silenced and cries of hope and love will be heard in the silence.
  • The balance of relationships can be tipped easily when not cared for and equalized when force and pressure is no longer applied.
  • Love is the ultimate defining and universal language.
My brother, in a moment of reflection, said to me, "I know it's not very manly, but I feel like I want to cry." My response to him was, "Of course you want to cry. It's only natural given what you've been through."

I personally will water the seeds of possibility for the future with my tears.  I will look to the future, embracing the loves in my life, welcoming every new challenge, and working to acknowledge, yet let go of the anger that lurks under the surface.

“Hope is important
because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. 
If we believe that tomorrow will be better,
we can bear a hardship today.”
Thich Nhat Hahn


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Why is it that we can find so many ways to communicate, that there is so much information out in the world, but yet, who really says anything important or worth listening to? Here, I (one of the many "Wonder Women" in America) join the masses in spewing forth random rants into the sea of intellectual spittle. Varied "editorials" about politics, relationships, sex, money, funny tid-bits, technology... you might find it all here.



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