Mutuality. I look at you, you at me, but are we seeing each other?
Are we seeing the life, the wonder, the heartache and longing? There are worlds within each other, so many lives lived with just one body. So many dreams and nightmares that come and go.
Reaching through the wind, for just a moment, can we see each other clearly enough to shake off years of alienation? To me, that’s what being human is all about.
Reaching and holding even while knowing that eventually we have to let go. There’s a beauty and innocence to this that fills the days with color. Quiet moments, so full of everything. We can say anything, do anything, and change everything with just one word, one glance, one sigh. All of it depends on mutuality, on the dance of give and take we partake in whenever we’re with someone. In that dance, we create each other.
The point is, I think, to fully embrace whatever and whomever’s before you, to let them shine as their genuine self, to ask for nothing but the raw, naked truth of who they are, and to marvel—breathlessly—at the person who’s revealed.
Together, I want us to call out in bliss that shatters all binds and sweeps aside all illusions. The primal heat of this wild heart that seas of sorrow can never drown.
Do you feel it too?
Follow that feeling back to yourself, back to the breeze that moves us forward, back to the essence of what is means to be alive. Mutuality. Outside, the cold snow blows. Inside, the breath of summer nights. In the heart, where everything grows, open skies are always shining.
Unknown to me, Sapphire (that’s what I’ll call her) read all these words; I had the notebook sitting out. Pushed together, there’s a mutual need to be together, and yet there’s also a mutual need to run. The life I’m living isn’t the life that suits me. Sometimes, you have to defy mutuality when the situation you’re in tries to shape you into the lackluster image of itself.
Sometimes you have to reverse the flow and change the situation to reflect who you are.
I won’t turn to gray. I spin like a top. I dance, and sing and feel so deeply. I burn. Yet the life I find myself in is one of imposed stagnancy as my beloved grandma slips further into dementia. I can see Sapphire suffering under this stagnancy, as well as the pain she brought with her into it, and I see that wild heart in her trying to break free. Will she dance with me? Can she see what I see? The magic of this improbable life.
In this story of give and take, we only have ourselves to give. Will she accept? Will she smile and laugh like the last 10 years never happened? I want her to see what I see in her. The lioness on the savanna, the power that’s the birthright of all women, and the remembrance that life isn’t all bad.
But first, I have to breakthrough myself, and allow mutuality to effortlessly take away everything that’s unnatural to me. That’s all that practice is, really. And all we have to do is let the breeze do what it does: sweep away.
Anshi (安狮) is the pen name for a certain Chan Buddhist. He calls his introspective, autobiographical writing, “Living Dharma.” All names are changed to protect the privacy of those involved. If you know who Anshi is, please refrain from telling anyone. Feel free to check out his Facebook page.
Editor: Dana Gornall
Did you like this post? You might also like:
- Mala Beads 101: Connecting Beads, Connecting Lives - February 23, 2021
- The Bodhisattva Vow of Chaplaincy: Teachers are Everywhere - February 16, 2021
- The Nature of Miracles: It All Starts with Thought - February 12, 2021