Monday, May 25, 2009


The rains have come. Green is creeping into the white blanket covering the ground. Growth has come out of hiding. With the arrival of spring, hands everywhere are reaching for the accumulated dust of winter to shake it out into the sunlight. I too find myself in a season of cleaning, shaking out the dust within my soul.

For weeks I have felt the persistent creep of change into my heart. The presence of spring has swept through the mansion of my mind, disturbing what is stagnant. I glimpse the scattered piles of boxes surrounding me. Another winter past, and I am ready to break out the hidden treasures stored away in my subconscious self. Ready to start sorting out the ideas I had held fast to, unwilling to let some go, excited to throw others out and welcome in new ones. Time to break through the cobwebs that are no longer intricate forms of art but a dusty mess that needs attended to. Too long has my mind lay dormant, escaping a much needed renewal.

Pulling the first carton off of the mountain of boxes, I set it carefully on a table and open it. Brushing away the grime and dust, I let myself drift back to a time when the contents were proudly displayed the shelves of my mind for all to see. Groaning with dismay, I note the flawed surfaces of the objects within. How had I not noticed all the imperfections of my ideas before? To think that this blemished belief could wield an alarming power over my life. Shocked, I let the offensive article fall from my grasp back into the box.

As I open another box and peer inside, I hear the strains of a melody and listen to the message in the song.

“And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.”

As I gaze at the accumulated cartons, the realization sinks in; I have joined the masses who live their life all in boxes, structured to the point of insanity. Pulling out a bin of memories, I look in the preschool file. “Use the green crayon to color the grass. Grass is NOT purple, dear. And when you’re finished, put it in that empty spot in the box.” At three years old, the color of grass mattered very much. Purple was a beautiful color, and God should have made grass purple. Since He didn’t, I was going to. Not only that, but the dog on the grass was going to be a lot bigger. I started working excitedly, only to have the authoritative voice of the teacher break in again. “That dog looks so sad! I bet he’s sad because you didn’t color him in the lines. Why don’t you start over?” Sorrowfully I return the memories to the bin.

I pull out another box and open it, ignoring the dust that makes me sneeze. This box holds the beliefs I have held since childhood. Eagerly I reach for the precious ornaments I had viewed as so sacred. But again, I am disappointed by the lack of quality I find there. Indeed, I am ashamed that I ever held such confidence in the beauty and worth of the ideas inside. Broken pieces of religion are strewn about the box. Crippled describes the condition of the doctrines I once viewed as impeccable. There are beautiful fragments of philosophy, but they are nonetheless fragments.

Defeated, I carry my once-cherished possessions to the curbside and leave them there. Returning to the mess, I begin cleaning with determination. The clutter is swept away, and I begin tossing out my previously esteemed belongings with impulsive abandon and a measure of bitterness. Really, to have lived twenty years collecting mostly rubbish is a bit of a calamity, and I am struck with remorse. How could I have been so blind? Even my fundamental needs were boxed up for me in an infuriating enslavement to order. My whole life revolves around an obscure mystery called time, and I can aggravate the whole system if I am unpunctual. My mental abilities are confined to the conceivable, and should I attempt to think outside the box, I am viewed as a freak. Every act I carry out is hampered by society and what is deemed acceptable. I dare not even mention ideas that are not welcome among the general public of my nation.

At last, the spacious rooms of my mind are looking uncluttered and a little bare. The supposed reasoning of beauty have all been exposed, disguises disregarded, and sent away to inhabit some other boxed-up and closed-in mind. A little desolate, I wander through the nearly empty rooms searching for some allure, a little loveliness to motivate ambition and ignite some hope. Surely I do not live a complete worthless delusion.

Searching into the deepest recesses, I finally come up with a pure and radiant jewel. Beneath all of the imperfection and disorder, I finally have found a gem as precious as a child. To live; to be. As Emily Dickinson once stated, “To live is so startling, so awe-inspiring, it leaves little time for anything else.” To be given a chance in this universe, to discover myself, to live. I could fill the storehouse of my mind with a wealth of exploration and not be limited to the known, the acknowledged. To push beyond the confinement of boxes and to freely explore the nature of reality. I can achieve new acts of kindness and leave a whole new impression on the world! I can become my own creation, seek my own source of enlightenment, and build a whole new individual.

I step back and survey the work done. The mansion is full of promise once again. For too long I have languished, etching my name on a tombstone and clinging to the broken pieces of life. Winter is over; it’s time to throw open the windows and welcome in the fresh unbounded air of spring. I don’t have to live imprisoned in a box called the end. I just have to live. Live my way into the middle of a story. I thought my story was all about tomorrow, but the title is slowly revealing itself: A story called "Today".

“When you no longer are compelled by desire and fear . . . when you have seen the radiance in eternity from all forms of time . . . when you follow your bliss . . . doors will open where you would not have thought there were doors . . . and the world will step in and help.” (Campbell)


Dawn Marie said...

I would comment, but I don't think anything is left unsaid.