My last article had to do with some of the things that wind up on my Social Media pages—strident, foul, maniac expressions of opinion, abrasiveness and greed. I spend more time ‘hiding this post’ on Facebook and whizzing past similar assaults to sensitivity on Pinterest, than I do reading what remains. My protests seem to have fallen on blind eyes and deaf ears—if anything such postings have increased in number.
The brutal cudgelling by political ‘right’, the lash from the whip of religious ‘righteousness’, and the putrid filth that emanates from coarse language seem to be echoes of everyday living. There are so many people to whom a promise is a joke and commitment a failing, and whose aim is to get as much as they can for as little as they can give, and do so with a smile. People dedicated to serving others have lost their way; programmes and forms are more important than people. Many of us feel the intensity of day-to-day assault-without-violence (although there’s plenty of violence too). I am sick of it; I am sickened by it.
There are tiny glimmers of agreeable contradiction—someone who gives more than gets, who reaches out before being summoned, who accepts a challenge despite its inherent difficulties. These glimmers are comforting and fill dark places. I actually thrill to someone saying ‘I don’t know what to say,’ rather than feigning understanding, wisdom and genius. Such honesty is treasured.
Last year I posted two articles, ‘Ring the Bell’ and ‘Ring the Bell II’, in which I expressed a very earnest desire: ‘Somewhere in the universe, someone needs to ring a bell, and all this friction and conflict will stop. We will all put away our disagreements, hostilities and strife, go for a beer, and spend a pleasant evening.’ The articles were well-received; in fact, they are the two most-revisited articles I’ve published. They offered a rather Utopian alternative, and the growing number of readers and re-readers suggests a desire, perhaps even a passionate starvation, for solace.
And why not? Would you like to exchange the vomit of vitriolic hearts, the decay of hate-filled thoughts, and the cat-o’-nine-tails comfort of dogma for something embracing, loving and uplifting? Do the violence of opinion, superiority and violation find a welcoming place in your life? Is there just one tiny glimmer of light?
Like the sun rising over the shore, the glimmer begins to spread across the sea and the land. The ocean waves rush up onto the vast expanse of sand, bathing and smoothing. Cold harsh darkness slowly warms and wanes as daylight tenderly explores the shadowy places, even the tiniest crevices. It is harder to feel alone in the Light. Light comes from something; darkness stands alone.
The sea sings a consoling song in every key and every language, and the music of the water is a caress to the empty heart and aching soul. Although children of earth, we began in the wet. The clammy sand of night dries and warms; it is soft enough to conform to us, and firm enough to hold us up. Ocean breezes tease us, ruffling our hair, and stroking our faces and bodies. We can close our eyes, not to hide from, but to savour everything. We can run, not to flee, but to play. We can chase the waves, and they in turn will chase us with mischievous tenderness. If we have tears, they will mingle with the deep to be carried away. If we have laughter, it will be borne upon the wind and spread abroad. Laughter is contagious.
It is here that we will thrive, and here we will heal. It is here we will be free of harsh words, encountering nothing more imposing than wind and water and light.
There may be no bell that is rung, calling for an interruption to discord. There may be only a glimmer of light.
Light overcomes darkness.
I wish you peace.
Paul TN Chapman
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Behind These Red Doors: Stories a Cathedral Could Tell : http://amzn.to/1iGMFUp
Behind These Red Doors: Stories a Cathedral Could Tell Vol 2: http://amzn.to/1HIXJ1D
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Watch excerpt readings from these books by clicking on the links below:
Behind These Red Doors: Stories a Cathedral Could Tell: http://bit.ly/1CwIqIN
Lives of the Ain’ts: Comedic Biographies of Directors Errant: http://bit.ly/1t8cF5X
The Inn of Souls: http://bit.ly/1x7ZzE4