Sunday, November 16, 2008

First Moment of Dawn

"There's a sun in every person--the you we call companion." --Rumi

Sometimes it is hard to know where the beginning of the thread is. Or maybe it is more like tiny pieces in a mosaic that look indistinguishable until you stand back and see the picture as a whole. Barbara used the metaphor of a movie to comment on my last post:

"We don't see the big picture. We each only play a bit part in that movie, but one that is key to the movie's completion."

And so the thread continues and more thoughts bubble around in the stew. This happened when I read Mind Sieve's reflections on Veteran's Day. It is a moving post and well worth taking the time to read. It was the last line that has stayed with me:

"Should we look away and save our hurt at the loss of others while our families remain safe....or should we watch and realize that their losses are our losses as well?"

It is my belief that once we begin to look into the eyes of another as though they are our own, we cannot look away...unless, of course, that is how we treat ourselves. Do you look away from your own hurt and suffering? Or do you choose to enter the suffering, so that it can begin to heal? Again, I believe that our threads cannot be unentwined. Our piece of the mosaic is not easily distinguished. We never know how our bit part may affect the outcome of the great movie.

So, in closing, I would like to leave you with this parable to consider. It is from the Talmud and I ran across it this morning in The Book of Awakening.

A Rabbi asks his students, "How do you know the first moment of dawn has arrived?" After a great silence, one pipes up, "When you can tell the difference between a sheep and a dog." The Rabbi shakes his head no. Another offers, "When you can tell the difference between a fig tree and an olive tree." Again, the Rabbi shakes his head no. There are no other answers. The Rabbi circles their silence and walks between them, "You know the first moment of dawn has arrived when you look into the eyes of another human being and see yourself."

Blessings to you this day. May you see yourself in the eyes of another. May you experience the first moment of dawn.

"face of sagada" found here
"dawn" by lucy

13 comments:

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Excellent post! And a lovely way for me to be sent off to church - I'm glad I took the time to read your moving words right now. I will come back to them later today as well.

xoxo

Country Parson said...

A poignant post for me for silly reasons. The new bay window in my study gives me a panoramic view of the garden outside. Beginning Morning Prayer in the dark of the pre-dawn, there is something almost magical about watching the world emerge from the dark.
CP

lucy said...

SS--spending time in word and community...definitely church! xoxoxo

CP--i see nothing at all silly in your reasoning. it is a beautiful image to consider...quite sacred indeed. especially since you have the eyes to recognize and appreciate the gift of the dawn!

Barbara said...

I was surprised to see that my little metaphor should launch you into another lovely and deep post.
I recall reading something by Merton a long time ago about the fate of the world depending on some obscure person on their knees praying. We just never know the value of what we do. Someday, hopefully, our jaws will drop when we find out.
The grace of compassion lies at the heart of many faiths -- or so claims Karen Armstrong. It is a sign of God's acting within us, which is often experienced as pain and a sense of helplessness. Blessings.

Sue said...

Whoah, baby :) So much packed into this space. Compassion, laying down our shields to face another fully - how difficult that is, how amazing it is when live in it, how we have to keep doing it because when we next look, we've picked up our shields again (of judgment, or whatever we use to keep the other as the other, the enemy).

Wonderful stuff, Lucy :)

Kerstin said...

This is a very interesting post for me on so many levels. Compassion and empathy are something I feel very strongly about, to not only see myself in the other, but to feel what they feel. However, I have to admit that for myself I do have to draw a line when witnessing all the suffering that goes on in this world, small and large, around the corner or in a far away country. If I allow it to get too close it fills me up and moves me to a very dark place. You know how people say that we should count our own blessings in view of all the bad that happens to other people? That has never been a comfort to me, on the contrary, the suffering of others only adds to my own. I don't know, when I read this I feel that perhaps I am approaching this all wrong ... thanks for a though provoking post!

lucy said...

oh, barbara--i am all about metaphor...i'm sure i will write more about that later! thanks for being you!!!

thanks, sue...those are some pretty "wonderful" words of your own. shields definitely come in all shapes, sizes and forms!!

kerstin--"drawing the line" is often necessary to remain upright and moving forward. i think coming from an either/or approach is very limiting...for me, it is always a balancing act, because i want to see myself in the face of the other AND, of course, i do NOT want to...both/and...thanks for pondering along with me!

Gabriella Moonlight said...

This is a beautiful post, and all I can say is Namaste, each and every day to all whom cross my path!
G

Tess said...

Before I add my comment, when I saw the photograph you've used at the top of this post I thought you would enjoy exploring the Flikr group "Gusto, aging with power, wisdom and irreverence": http://www.flickr.com/groups/gusto/

And in terms of a comment, I actually think I'm going to focus on the comments to this wise post of yours: early in your post you use the word mosaic, and reading the comments I was really deeply struck by how that mosaic has manifested in your readers. Each comment speaks of the writer's unique personality and brings something important and different to this space. It's lovely.

Endlessly restless said...

I've been thinking a bit about the mosaic metaphor as well recently. I might pinch some of your thoughts for an entry later in the week - if that's OK?

lucy said...

G--"Namaste" is a beautiful way to greet each other. my understanding is that it says, "I see and honor the divine in you." am i close?

tess--i can hardly wait to head over to the new site. it sounds like something i will love! also, you are so accurate in your statement about the commenters here. i love the mosaic we create together!

ER--"pinch" away...just fill me in when you post so that i can read along! i am honored that you would like to share from here :-)

SUNRISE SISTER said...

I told you I would be back to this post and I was and it unleashed quite a long post over at the MS.....

This post touched so many of your blogger friends and the richness they added to the conversation were just beautiful to be allowed to share.

xoxoxo

andie said...

Love the "bubbling" and brewing...it's the anticipation of what will come next.
a.