The Space Between: written 12-31-01marty klevaAt The Foot of Basket Mountain: Stories on the Way to LoveOne eveningSitting beneath the Mother of Ponderosas beside my cabinin the deep dark twilight of the forestI settle,and begin to listen.My breath draws in —My chest rising and retreating,Impatient to find a quiet mind, free from thinkingAnd the grasping of ego —I breathe.The blackening masses of trees stand still,I sense the whiteness of the snow beneath my feet and chair —the black tree-forms,the deep stillness of the brilliant shining stars above
the canopy of stately pines.Eyes openMind thinking — planning,Body alert and on callI sit —And breathe in the slowly descending darknessthat surrounds me —Eyes, softly closingThe wind gathering her soundssighs through the long dark slender needles.Sighing too, past and through my mindin the obscure sitting form of my body.Which is more?Which is less?Are we?Emerald orbs open in expanded awarenessof the more vague forms — nowseeing the space between me and the other.Black becomes less so,Transfigured into dove-colored waves.The snow-mass moves beneath me,Like the tides of sound whispering through the standing sentinels.Now shades of grey —White and blackEvaporate into each other.Alive and vibrant!The palette forms —Shifting and changing the canvas before me.As an artist’s arm and handpaints the fleeting visions of the mind.Like magiconly seen in the space between the forms.How much is form?How much is the space between?One more evident than the other —And one seldom realized.Like the opening of a shadowy cave.Like the pause between the breaths.I sit —In the space between.
In the present situation, I use the elder teaching to “Stand still.” Once found by the forest, I can recognize who I am, and where I am. I also know who others are, and I can know their true intent, made obvious by their actions.
Do not mistake that to “stand still” means to “do nothing.” When we are acting violently against other human beings, we are also acting violently against ourselves and we are truly lost.
Now however, I know that what remains undone is to take responsibility for my own part in what is happening, whether by thought, action, or intent. I learn to recognize my own violent inclinations and how to defuse them before they are out-of-hand.
By standing mute, I tacitly agree to all the violence, even if it is not my own physical hand that pushes the button to release the trigger on the bombs. My silence is agreement, and lends its powerful energy to the misguided, covert, and diabolical agenda of the third party involvement.
The violence that some dare to call ‘action for peace’ is truly an abomination of what each of the three religions call God, Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, Yeshua — or by whatever name they invoke.
Seeing this is cause enough to make me feel outraged by it, and also ashamed, that I am a part of this simply by virtue of the fact that I am a human being; of the same species as is all humanity be they whatever they choose to be, and especially for me as also being an American.
I cannot agree with the violent actions of any of these groups and third parties. And yet, I suffer the pangs of grief that my fellow human beings are suffering, from the violence at the end of the projectiles of hatred and destruction so strong that the children are not seen as children, but as the Evil Other, rather than as a Child of God.
I too am a human being with connections to each of every other human being. I too am a Child of God, Allah, Jesus, and even Jehovah and Yahweh.
But what can I do when I see that the horrific result of hatred created out of fear is terrorizing the entire humanity of the world?
I can only stand still, saying over and over again to myself first, then to you my friends, and to each and every single being on this planet as I write what I am called to write:
“Please forgive me for all the injuries that I have brought you.”
“I am so sorry for my ignorance and violent thoughts and actions toward you.”
“Please accept that I love you with ‘walah’ — my love that carries sorrow within it; ‘hawa’ — my love that shares its name with the ‘air’; ‘shaghaf’ — the love that nests in the chambers of my heart; ‘gharam’ — my love that is willing to pay the price; and ‘hayam’ — my love that wanders the earth."
Be gentle with yourself my friends, and stand inside the forest, to listen and be found.