Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gentle Ironies

Mum relates an internal dialogue an older cousin has been having with God. That lady, now 88, is just three years older than Mum.

For some years now, Mum has lived with what I perceive to be an anxiety over her tenancy on earth! It stems from a belief that she should have been called to her true home by now. So many others of her generation have been called. Why hasn’t she?

Here's the test to whether your mission on earth is finished. If you're alive, it isn't. ~ Richard Bach at

She also believes, like so many others, old and young, that old age is fraught with illness, loss of physical and mental abilities and a purposelessness that is burdensome to others. I can’t help feeling that she feels compelled to fulfill her prophecies of poor health and an inevitable degradation of her lifestyle.

Fortunately, she retains an enviable sense of humor although these days, she calls upon it less frequently than she used to. Thus this somewhat rare recount of her cousin, Fidelis’, conversation with the supreme personage is one that I am keen to hear. It clearly has amused Mum intensely and continues to as it brings on a paroxysm of laughter.

“I asked him, “Why haven’t you taken me yet? How much longer am I supposed to live like this? I am getting tired and weary. You had better call me soon”.

But that man up there doesn’t seem too interested. In fact, I’ve observed his preference for younger people. The likes of you and I are too old for him.

(Mum is forced to pause as more laughter interrupts).

Anyway, I’ve pressed him for an answer and he has finally told me that he doesn’t want me yet. Well, I decided then that if that was his position, here was mine: “If you don’t call me now, when you eventually do, I shall refuse to go””.

Mum is in tears by now. I am enjoying this. I love to watch Mum having a good laugh. It was a forbidden thing when my father was alive. We, children, all nine of us and Mum weren’t allowed to sit in conversation with each other and we most certainly weren’t allowed to laugh. If, by some extreme misfortune, we did, we were pulled up, slapped across the cheek, told off in language we ourselves would not dare use in his presence, and sent to ‘exile’ i.e. some corner of the house away from everyone else. But today, Mum is able to laugh freely, even if sometimes feeling too frail to!

Ah, such ironies that life serves up. We enjoy the present as best we can as we nervously undo the shackles that keep us fettered to past fears…


  1. Considering that there are no alternatives for our past, no "what ifs" - do you concede that those shackles were perhaps a blessing in disguise, the silver lining, that has inspired you to explore and expand in the realms of love and liberty?

  2. are some of my responses :-):

    ~ In a timeless reality (which I happen to believe and experience as our fundamental reality), the boundaries of past, present and future do not exist. Therefore, it is possible to choose differently when reviewing the 'past'...after all, we do experience our world in our minds...When I have done this, I have noticed changes in the 'present' that I would have found impossible to engineer in more 'traditional/conventional/rational' ways!

    As for blessings in disguise - I believe that everything, without exception, is purposeful and perfect. It is our conditioning that prevents us from seeing all things thus. So, yes, in their own way, each person, event and 'thing' can influence the path that we take, for better or for worse.

  3. :-)
    My expansive response - hoping to demonstrate that I understand:-)

    Put in simplistic subject/object terms, time is no more than an imagined dimension, which our perception, unconsciously implies and contributes to the unfolding of events in space, but in reality, we are one infinite moment, observing these events - for we have no "memory" of time itself - only the events.
    A clock ticks - simply because its mechanism is designed to do so - we supply the concept of "time passing" - does time exist for the clock?
    It is just a clock being itself.
    The same for us - we supply the concept of "age."
    So forces, influences that we may perceive as being "past" are still at work, are still active and potent - and their energy can still be harnessed and realigned.

    So it's never too late - to fall in love?
    He, he.

  4. Fall in love???

    Aren't we forever in the ocean of love??? Aren't we forever 'falling in love'? Isn't it only our lack of awareness that prevents us from experiencing the romance, passion and orgasm of the ever-unfolding and flowing ocean of life/love??? Isn't the practice of vipassana just one such means of experiencing and falling in love with our true. unconditioned, whole nature?

    Isn't the sudden, disarming, heady encounter with beauty, whether of human or other (forest, mountain etc)nature, an instance of 'falling in love'???

    Or is it something else you speak of? An attachment perhaps???? :-) (Please enlarge that smiley)

  5. Yes - it is an attachment I speak of, a communion of interpersonal joy - that is exactly what I meant.

    I didn't think that would get past you, somehow . . .

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)