Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The Razor’s Edge is a lovely movie that illustrates so well the lessons we are trying to learn. It is a 1984 movie staring Bill Murray.
In this movie Murray’s character Larry Darrell goes to war as a Red Cross worker. While at war he witnesses so much death and destruction that when he returns home he realizes how empty and shallow his life was. When he arrives home he begins to live with intention and meaning, believing it to be his path since he was spared when so many others had not been. He leaves home and the promise of a lucrative career and beautiful fiancé to find his purpose in the world. He works in a coalmine and a fish market. He lives in a rat infested apartment. He searches for meaning while loving life. In the end he learns that who you really are is more important than who you appear to be to others.
I know I’ve told you the whole movie but there is plenty to be learned from seeing it yourself. If you have Netflix you can rent it here or buy it from Amazon here.
I love this little work of fiction because it so richly illustrates a person navigating their way through the process we show up here for. It’s called God on a Harley. It is an easy and fun read. I highly recommend it. Here is Amazon's description of the book:
At thirty-seven, Christine Moore had a world-class case of burnout: frustrating career, a few dead-end romances, and a less-than-perfect figure. Little did she know her life was about to change completely....
"Come out of the shadows, Christine. You've spent far too much time hiding in shadows." The man who spoke to her was gorgeous -- long sable hair, faded T-shirt, black motorcycle jacket -- all astride a 1340cc Harley-Davidson, mysteriously parked on a moonlit beach near her home. Christine was inexplicably drawn to this stranger -- who seemed to know everything about her -- and as a sweet serenity settled over her, she surrendered to his words: "We have a lot of work to do, but it won't feel like work. It will feel quite wonderful."
So begins Christine's journey, a voyage of the spirit that frees her to appreciate each precious moment of life -- and reveals to her six wondrous precepts that lead to the deepest peace and fulfillment we can ever know. For every woman whose heart has ever been broken, but who believes in her soul that real happiness can be found, God On A Harley has arrived. Need a lift?
Today, between snooze alarms, I dreamed. I dreamed that I was standing in front of a dam that had an enormous amount of water backed up behind it. At some point someone (Alec Baldwin/crazy huh?) opened the spillway and when he did the water started pouring with so much pressure behind it that it burst the dam (thinking with engineering in mind that doesn’t sound possible but it was a dream). I could see the water coming towards me and I knew that I would die. I turned my back to the water, threw my arms open wide, looked to the sky smiling and said, “I have had a happy life. I would not change a thing. Thank you world.” I never dreamed of dying like this until I did dream of dying like this. I couldn’t think of a better way to go than to see it coming and have the chance to thank the universe for my happy life. Who wants to die? Certainly not me but it felt good that I could dream I was dying and my only thought was to proclaim gratitude for a happy life.
That blew my mind. What a simple sentence using such simple words but yet has so much power.
Why the date 12-12-12? This date was chosen because this will be the last time when all 3 numerals of the date will be the same for a very long time. It just seems like if you are ever going to "carpe diem" this would be a great day for it. There will not be a time set for you to have your event that day. The time is up to you. If folks participate in different parts of the world we don’t want them to have to get up in the middle of the night to join in. The date is the important thing.
Several things have happened to me lately that looking back on them now seem to be the catalyst for coming up with this idea.
My 5 year old niece stayed overnight a few weeks back. At some point in the evening she started handing out the few musical instruments we have strewn about. She handed out a banjo, a set of bones and a tambourine and commanded that we all play and sing. We all joined in making the most mixed up bunch of noise you have ever heard. The older of my two children was there and knows how to play yet he made no attempt to play for real. He banged along like the rest of us no talents. She made different ones of us take turns at singing as we all banged along to our own tune. When the concert was over she was delighted. I don’t think she could have been more pleased. I can’t tell you how it makes me feel when I think about how we all just turned loose and played so innocently. It was truly beautiful.
I watched a movie the other day called “The Fairy”. There is a rooftop dance scene towards the middle of the movie. They dance the craziest little dance filled with random poses and awkward movement. It took me back to the days when I really didn’t “know” how to dance and I just made whatever movement that felt right with the music. I started to want to dance that way again. It made me wonder why I ever stopped dancing that way. Really, why? It was mine, my tiny little way of being in the world with music that had no influence from anyone or anything.
While walking with my husband Sunday he broke into a run and he looked back at me with an expression that said join me. I started running and before it was over we were running as fast as we could as if we were in a race. I am 45 years old so my running is never really more than a slow jog. It made me feel so youthful and reminded me of what it felt like to run as fast as I could as a child to the point that I felt my legs would tangle and fail me. It was a magical thing, so magical that I asked him to do it again after I got my breath back.
Here is the thing. As children we believe so easily to the point it seems we don’t know what doubt is. That seems to be our normal/natural state. We believe once a year Santa is going to come down the chimney and bring us whatever present we ask him for. We believe the Easter bunny will bring us a basket. We believe that people can perform magic. We believe everyone is good and that we can do anything. If we come here programmed to think this way shouldn’t that be our natural state? It’s amazing how much trust we put into things when we are young. I wish I still had the power of unquestionable faith that I had then. I guess it’s inevitable and, I don’t know, a necessary transition for survival. Is that right? It doesn’t happen in real life so I’m not sure we know what would happen if we didn’t make that transition.
Today I was in the car alone and I started thinking how unifying it would be to do a tiny ritual type ceremony for peace, love and happiness with the faith of a child. I thought, “I’m gonna go home and tell Bryan about this.” Then I thought we should invite friends. Next I started thinking about how I could expand that circle to others until I ended wanting everyone in the world to be part of it. I realized that just through the network of blogging we could make this into our own movement using no money at all. So, I’m writing to as many blogs as I possibly can and I’m asking you all to do the same. You can copy this and send it to a friend and ask them to keep it going.
I know I will run into dead ends and people who find this ridiculous. That is fine. No matter what becomes of this, no matter the number who join in, I promise you that on 12-12-12, if I am living, I will have my peace party. Anyone who has the desire to join me is welcome.
Thank you so much for your time.
We all have talent. The key to making use of it is to first figure out what our talent is. I've known for a long time that my greatest talent was the innate ability to be happy. When you have this ability some times it takes a while to see that not everyone has this. I'm not saying this to lift myself up. There are people on the street that have loads of talent that I don't have but would love to have. I really wish I could sing (my family probably does too) but I can't AT ALL. I'm happy folks share their talent for singing with me because what would life be like without music? Why bring up my happiness talent? Because I finally realized that it was my gift and that if I'm going to have a blog this is what I should be sharing.
Two things for now:
- I have written a tiny 3 day exercise to start you on the road to recognizing one reason you might not be happy. You can find it on it's own tab way up there (pretend there is an arrow here pointed up).
- I had a little epiphany that led me to plan a peace day on 12-12-12. I hope you will join in on this day. Look for the blog post coming soon.