A Self-Portrait


self portrait

  This weekend was a beautiful one to celebrate the coming of Summer, with the weather especially sunny and mild in our region of the globe.  Yet, as fun as it is, socializing in large groups can be a bit of a struggle for me.

  And sometimes when requesting a blessing of transformation and renewal, the shock of its arrival can pinch a bit at first.

  Therefore, when our public community ritual of local pagans focused upon the concept of “Self-Love” (beauty, blemishes and all…) I might have anticipated what would happen next. But I didn’t.

  I began to feel like a platypus at a convention of ducks and beavers. In other words, just as we had asked in ritual moments before, every way that I was unique from those around me began to show up.

  It was a joy afterward to get off my picnic bench and talk to people I’d not met before. So many amazing  jewels together in such a beautiful setting. It was fun to hear the young ones try to shock an old hippie with the modern adventures of youth, and I tried to look appropriately alarmed and amused at once, so as not to disappoint them.

A moment of awkward for the socially awkward, when I realized that any attempt at  ‘fitting in’ just wasn’t going to work for me… and after my initial reaction of internal panic, followed by a good meditation and night’s sleep, before I realized it was exactly what we’d asked for all along.

The ceremony had been a celebration of individuality. The special spark of creation that makes you exactly like no one else in the world. Ever.

And just as occasional  loneliness is the price we pay to stuff our spirit in a body for the momentary illusion of separation from the Universe, the separation is itself the prize. In the bargain we have the gift of sensual experience available because we live in skin – our distinctness (individuality) from any other matter (thing) is in fact the gift.

We get to see the rest of life through the eyes, and other senses we are given in this skin because we live inside it for a time. If we were truly ‘one with everything’, one would not require a body.  And without a body it is hard to look in the mirror – for you become the looker and the mirror both – without the perspective of separation and distance.

Everything would be the same with no distinction. No way to say this is hard or soft or cold or hot, beautiful or not – because as pure spirit, it is all the same.

So when we gaze at the stars, in a sense, the tiny spark that is you, that is me, is perhaps the way the Universe (the Goddess, or God, as you prefer) looks into the mirror.  And smiles.

She couldn’t do it without you.

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