Short Stories to Touch your Heart
I can sit idle, and create stories of woe and tell tales of a boy lost in the shit of others.
Or, I can write my own story, one that rises out of the shit and steps into the fresh air of natural beauty. Either way, I have the power of taking the circumstances presented to me and of choosing which direction I want to go. Right now, though, I am stewing — sitting in my own mess and observing the process. I can see the light poking through the haze, and I know I am getting tired of the discomfort. I am, after all, a warrior even in those moments when I am stuck stewing in the piles of my own discontent. I use that time to sharpen my proverbial sword and to understand the nature of my own desires.
After all, what good is a warrior who approaches living with a blunted sword and who has not seen the brilliance of his own wise introspection? I have found no other purpose to those moments when I stew. Those moments are not really me, but they expose me — the real me — as I emerge from the mess. There, this man finds himself knowing a depth eternal in its scope, not waning in the process of knowing itself in sadness.
Not long before, I woke to see her image in the shadows of an early morning. I swear I can hear her breath despite the noise, but I also know that it is quite possible that I hear her breath in me , just like the subtle way I feel life in her living, and love in her affection. There I lay, just studying her in the darkness not wanting to disturb a thing. Being beside her is like arriving at a lush oasis, a place where the storms around me lessen in their ferocity and my thirst is quenched in a single touch.
Yet, as has been the way with the process of our journey, such a bounty must end and the thirst must return to be quenched another day.
As is often the case, we arrive to depart where we found ourselves reunited, and my heart again breaks open in bits of stoic bewilderment as I turn to watch her leave. I know by the look on her face in that indescribable way we feel each other that she knows this pain as well. I appear less able to appreciate whatever beauty there is in this separation. What is there in a stoic man who once was so devoted to his own solitude as to wish its liberated end? Perhaps I knew the dysfunction that demanded my aloneness, and the imprisonment I had actually created in the wanting of such a thing.
Aloneness is liberating when it breeds the awareness of love, but it can be a prison when it builds a wall to love. I seek the wide open spaces where I see my soul dancing in the distance, her hair twirling in the breeze, her smile glistening in the morning sun. I seek no separation in the prisons we often build searching for safety. Liberation is not safe. The experience of love is, though, in the plummet through the mysterious and formless spaces the child in us often fears to go. That is where I am, plummeting through the formless mystery as my heart breaks open, and I become one with the depths of a realization; I have no idea how deep this goes, and I have yet to find that place where I will land.
I shall draw the bowstring of love until it touches my cheek and I shall let loose the arrow of truth until our hearts are united once again. Perhaps that arrow will pierce the hearts of lying demons that play tricks with us in the shadow of our safety. Perhaps that arrow will be yet another rung on the ladder of a truth two souls feel in the open presence that they share. Perhaps that arrow of truth floats in our internal compass, pointing us to the truth of our union, directing us to the True North of our journey together, and finds us in an oasis where we reside much more than we leave.
There is a wild truth in this existence, and as I watch her leave I know its power and its promise. What prose there is left to write I cannot be sure, but I am certain of its existence. They will lie to you, for they wish to drive you to your knees. They will tell you tales of woe, hoping to make that sword of love you carry too heavy to bear. They will deceive you into those bleak corners of your mind, those spaces that block out the light from your radiant heart, so that you can be blinded to the truth of who you are. You are a beast, a warrior without bounds and a loving heart without cause to live in fear.
Do not own those moments when they washed you clean of your honor and robbed you of your strength. Your story goes far beyond those moments of weakness when you banished your truth into the shadows. You are not the wounds, or the sword, or the shield, or the battles won and lost before. There are so many blank pages yet to be etched with your truth.
Let those be the testimony of the wonders of who you are. Do not banish those voices from your space. Rather, embrace them, love them. Now, the wise self has risen up to master the story, and though the mind may mutiny in moments of remembrance the heart will remind the Master of her purpose.
She will then rise, look into the Sun, and feel her feet root in solid ground while her crown touches eternity. She has risen, again, and she is magnificent.
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There is a space in our souls reserved for honoring the warrior within us. The warrior is not birthed in our exit from the womb, but birthed in the the muck of our existence. Our strength is not assured in the moment of our conception, but in our victory over our own resistance, in our rising from the mud we have fallen in. Someday that moment will arise when the warrior must be heard.
When that moment comes, she will stand, unsheathe her sword, and choose to rule the landscape of life that lies before her. She will uproot the weeds and give the flowers life, and she will carve into the stones of her being words of great truth, all her own, and she will see the awe of who she is. I, but a man yet a warrior as well, will bend a knee in honor of that spirit.
She will bend her knee in unity, for the warrior in us will honor the warrior in each other. The two shall embrace and light the world with a kiss, a path united in nothing but the truth, in nothing but the fearless endeavor of love. I remember the moment I knew I wanted to live near the mountains. I had never seen anything like the views that were before me, and I had never felt such a kinship with nature as I had at that very moment. She flowed through me, and I felt a sense of home I had never experienced.
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I had been to Colorado quite a few times before. I had been to Colorado Springs and meditated at the Garden of the Gods. I had been to Pueblo, Denver, and Fort Collins. I knew how good I felt here, and how nice the people seemed compared to what I was used to back East. Nothing, though, prepared me for this moment when the. There had been much transformation for me in the years prior to that moment, and there would be much more in the years afterward.
I knew there was little hope that I would live in this environment. As things happened, those roots would not only be disturbed but also completely altered. In less than 5 years I would be divorced, and path would take me to the Jersey shore the Universe does work in mysterious ways. Then I would have a heart episode that nearly killed me. Then I would have a stroke that nearly ended me too. Yes, in those 5 to 7 years I would learn more about and fall deeply in love with me.
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Actually, those last two years were the culmination of the previous Suddenly, the lessons, the experiences and the challenges all started to make sense. One day the former ex seems like such a harsh word right now asked me if I wanted to move to Colorado nearly 3 years after our divorce. I had no idea what I was going to do for employment. I barely had an idea of where I was going to live. I sold over half of my belongings, loaded up a moving truck, sat next to my son and started the trek to my calling. The former was in a different truck heading in the same direction, with my daughter. Within a couple of weeks of landing in Colorado, a new career presented itself and I took it.
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Things started to open up professionally and personally. My children were happy, and their new schools were perfect for them. I started to explore, challenging my body and my mind to take me places that would have seemed impossible only a couple of years before. I saw things that inspired me, that created a sense of awe, that opened me up to growth I would never have imagined possible. I always believed growth was possible, but what I once thought was limited seemed boundless, and I still have not seen the ends of this wonderful universe. I have hiked to great waterfalls, sat in natural hot springs, meditated next to rushing streams and have written while sitting on boulders as old as the earth itself.
On the 4 and a half year anniversary of having a stroke, I climbed, crawled and scraped my way to the top of the Manitou Inclines to celebrate recovery and ability. I have discovered the presence of nature within me, and that expansiveness has allowed for an explosive growth. My soul knew exactly what it was calling for. A filter that works in multiple directions.