Wednesday, December 9, 2015

5 Things

I woke up two days ago with a simple revelation. It came though after months of struggling with hard issues about myself. I don't know that simplicity is quite what we think. Solomon's words were not complex but the perfect wisdom there was hard fought. I believe, a lot of the time, he was quoting his father: "My son, listen to me ..." David pleaded with his son, and the essence of it was: Do not take the path I took.

I guess it comes in waves, simple wisdom. Perhaps it skips a generation or some sound teaching falls seemingly irrelevant off the table.. I don't know. I rode hard and pushed hard and played hard and nearly killed myself some days, with hair on fire and recklessness and accidents. I feel like David maybe. I want a son. I want to tell him it can be simpler than all of that. I want to tell him about my revelation from two days ago. No, I don't have a son, so, I will tell you.

A voice woke me up after days of coming down from some intense work. It said, "Who are you?"

It bothered me at first.. more than a lot. It made me very unhappy. I didn't have an answer. I got depressed for what seemed like days but after that was over I got this gentle courage to forgive myself for not having an answer. So I asked the question aloud and rested knowing that the answer would come. It did come.
Two days later I woke with this:

"Today you are 5 things. Be all of them and one at a time. Tomorrow will be different. So tell me Joshua Payne, what are you first?"

I shot out of bed! "I am an athlete!" I said, as if some great race ensued. I don't know why I got into the shower.. that made no sense, but it was my first reaction to the statement. I don't have a swimming pool so maybe there was some need to find water after this proclamation.

So there I was in the shower, rinsing. I began to hum. And incidentally the feeling of "being" encouraged me to run a few vocal exercises. That felt good. Anyway, after rinsing off whatever it was my instincts needed to rinse, I bundled up, threw on my shoes and ran hills like an athlete until I was tired.

I came into the house exhausted and laid down on the couch to rest. The voice said, "What are you now?" I was surprised to hear it again so soon. I answered, "I am man who takes care of himself." The voice said,

"Then go do."

I made a green smoothie and put vitamins back into my body and then took a couple of hours caring for myself, making beautiful food and resting. I finished the last bite of a meal and there it was again. "What are you now?"

"I am a visual artist," I answered.

The voice said, "Pick up your work and flex those muscles until they satisfy you!"

I immediately did and came away with 7 new studies. When I closed my sketchbook the voice came again. "What are you now?" Then answers were coming easily:

"I am a writer."

"Then you best get to it," said the voice.

I sat a wrote for the better part of the day. The sun set. I closed my laptop with no handle really on the time. There was a party of friends gathering South of town and I'd committed to be among them. I dressed for the party and the voice said, "Who are you now?" Notice it didn't say "what are you?" I answered,

"WHO am I? Why, I am a friend. I've become a friend."

As I drove south I realized that without being a friend to myself, to my own nature, it was impossible to be a friend to others. I laid my head down that night excited, troubled, hopeful, fearful, expectant, joyful, sad. I slept. I woke the next day and the voice said, "Good morning. What do you want to be today." I answered,

"I want to be happy."

The voice said, "Then go.. do. Be."

Perhaps the proverb is this: My son, listen to me. BEfriend WHAT you are. Only then can you BEfriend WHO you are. And only then can you BEfriend the world. Only then can you BE happy.

jP 36.1073.3