My earliest memory is questionable. Did it really happen? After all, there is not much to it. Yet it is always the one that comes to mind so I wonder, does that make it more true or more likely that I want it to be true?
I am suppose to be napping. We all napped. Religiously. Being one of six kids, in a tiny house with no privacy, makes napping a logical necessity for a busy Mum who lived by the rules of a “proper “ house hold. Clean, neatly pressed quiet kids. Appearances are everything. Everyday, until we entered 1st grade, we napped. Even in the summer, when we were old enough not to, we “rested” or “read” for an hour and a half every day. I think those naps, kept my Mum’s head from popping off.
But I am not tired or I woke up early. Either way, it would make no difference. I knew not to make a peep until nap time had ended. To this day, when we drive by that house, a little cape, on Clark Road, I smile. I think I was happy there. I shared a bed room with my little brother. Was he there that day? Napping too? I am guessing so as well as this being why I imagine I was happy there. Again, guessing but would that tiny house, no privacy what made me feel quite happy comforted by never being alone?
Or possibly claustrophobic? Always wanting to run away? Or are these later thoughts of my Mum or sister’s?.
But I hear talking and laughing outside. I get excited thinking that my sisters might be coming home from school. Nap time must be almost over then but wait… and could there be friends with them? I dare to get off my bed, climb onto the window seat, and peek down below from behind the curtain. Oh yes! They are there! With friends! They are laughing. I wonder what about but again, it doesn’t matter. I am in love with just watching. My secret view from the box.
So what does my wisdom self in the now, think of my little one self memory of then? My box now has thankfully just about finished crumbling. I am learning to live without the 4 corners which is what I think when I read these first few lines from St. John’s poem. It is what comes to mind, although to be honest, I have yet to read the whole thing through, because it is just so big and I am quite sure I am in way over my head. So I will do what I have learned best as to how and make it through the muck – one step at a time.
On a dark night, kindled in love with yearning -oh, happy chance!-
I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest..
My child self was happy in that moment to be “unobserved” because from my little box of no risk, I got a piece of laughter and such sweetness, that was all my own. No one to tell me not to interfere or that it wasn’t proper to show excitement.
When I read what E. Allison Peers notes about these first two lines, he feels that St. John is talking about the effects of two parts of man that are about to purge – the sensual and the spiritual. The purging I am assuming is when the “dark night” sets in.
I think my dark night began creeping inside me after the little cape. I think my clueless little self, began to wonder and ask questions and kept wanting to be heard without quite realizing that she never would be. Peers goes on to say that “This dark night begins to enter when God draws then forth from a state of beginners… and begins to set them in a state of progressives….to the end that, after passing through it, they may arrive at a state of perfect, which is that of Divine union of the soul with God.”
But my wisdom self can now comfort that little one “It’s ok little one, we never know what we don’t know but I see you, I always have.”
So I am still not at all sure of this “God or Divine” thing – it always trips me up because I am so sadden by the thought of my Mother’s madness being so caught in this image of a God that was beaten into her. This image was the one I was raised with. This image is the one that tells us every day of our being that we were born into sin- not light. Maybe that’s why I love Rumi so much. His Beloved, or the Self, is the light within us all. And knowing this, like really knowing this, is how I can welcome the dark night in. It is my teacher as much as the wisdom self within. You can’t have one without the other. Its so hard to remember the nature of things. Maybe that’s why my chakra is blocked…I keep forgetting.
Day 11 …100 day challenge