So we start right where we are.
Day by day, we are here to learn to see past
what our eyes and ears report;
to see through surface to essence.
We are learning to forgive it all.
The ripe lush strawberry that made us itch.
The pothole that tore a hole in our tire.
The grocery clerk with an attitude.
The relatives we try to avoid.
The co-worker who appears to hate us.
The newspaper report of a gang shooting.
The water bill that is inordinately high.
The washing machine that shrunk our sweater into a doll's dress.
The driver that splashed mud on our new jacket.
The sun that refused to come out when we needed it.
The endlessly long line at our favorite restaurant.
The head that blocked our view at a concert.
The checkbook that doesn't add up.
The irate letter from a landlord.
These are our daily assignments;
the extraordinary opportunities we are given
to see past the skin of all moments
and catch the shining innocence that waits beyond
and beneath the obvious.
Is it easy work? No.
Does it take a long time to complete? Yes.
But of course we are given a lifetime
in which to do it.
And when we have moved through our
private map, piece by piece by piece, and,
with the help of the Undying Love at our center,
have come to release each face, each instance,
each folly -- what happens then?
by Elsa Joy Bailey