Sunday, August 21, 2016

About truth and fireflies

It's always the airplane ride... what is it about the experience of being detached from the ground, 30,000 feet in the air that makes me want to weep and write and think... And pour my heart out. 

It is one of those moments. 

As I look outside the window, at the clouds, the wing of the airplane, I can't help but think of... Well everything and nothing all at once. The world outside seems calm and peaceful. And there is some kind of timeless wisdom about it all. Some kind of all-knowing "truth" that says: "don't fret little girl - it's all been done before. It's all been felt before."

My mind, of course, has a mind of its own. It grabs on to the idea of truth and gives it a whirl.

I give advice all the time. Helpfulness just bursts out of me like water out of an overflowing dam. I am a fixer. People open up to me. I suppose there is something about me which makes it easier to open up. I listen. I nod and speak. What do I speak of? My own experience, words of encouragement. I tell stories. I recommend action. I comfort. I repeat some sage words I have encountered along the way. I suppose at its very core, what I am doing is trying to help someone get closer to the truth, their truth. 

The older I get, however, I seem to let go of the grip of the “known” and open my palm to the “unknown,” as if trying to catch it like a firefly. 

As I give advice, more often than not I have been catching myself in the "act." As I utter the words in response to someone else's pain and doubt, at times despair, fear, or joy, something inside me moves uncomfortably. It is my own doubt, or perhaps my egoless, higher self. I don't know. It stirs things up. What do I know myself about the truth? What do I know about right or wrong? What gives me the right or privilege to be there for another soul's journey? How can I, a mere mortal, help them sort things out? I am but another traveler along the rocky roads of life, feeling my way through it all, searching for meaning.

And yet, at times, the uncomfortable feeling is replaced with some kind of invisible but very real divine reassurance. A kind of all-knowing voice that says: "You are exactly where you need to be. It is in fact your duty to be of service." I remember my grandmother often. She was an incredible doctor. No, not a doctor, she was a healer. She told me about having a calling - for her it was to heal people's bodies - and she told me about the oath doctors take, the Hippocratic Oath. I remember her telling me about one of the oldest binding promises by which doctors promise to “treat the ill to the best of one's ability.” My grandmother knew that’s what she was meant to do since she remembered herself.

Do I have a calling? What truth do I hold dear? I suppose for me it is to be of service of someone, in whatever way fate demands it. This realization came to me gradually and later in life. But I do remember as a little girl, growing up in the former Soviet Union, I dreamt of having special powers... And now, I know, there is nothing special about these special powers. I am simply here, on earth, with my palms opened, catching fireflies. And learning...