The following things happened to me today:
- I zoned out while walking to work and almost got run over by a forklift carrying a load consisting entirely of boxes of oysters. Ew. What a way to die. Killed by food the consistency of the contents of a sneeze.
- Walking along the river, one fish breached out of the water; it was gone in a sunlit flash of silver scales so quickly that I almost doubted that I’d seen it at all.
- A lorikeet flying overhead dropped one bright green feather onto my shoulder. It was as soft as thought.
- I said hello to the street cleaner again. His name is David (I know that now) and he shook my hand. The conversation made me smile.
- My work took me into the darkness of the human experience: mental illness, fear, poverty, the bleakness of what human beings to do each other in a so-called civilised country – and I faced, as I do every day, the reality that I can do nothing about it other than have the courage and the grace to simply be a witness.
- I received an incredibly passive-agressive message from someone I count as a friend. The extent to which it angered me surprised me a great deal.
- Another friend gave me three cupcakes to congratulate me on my new job. This was a much nicer communication.
- I ate lunch in the park near my office, and shared it with a family of two adult and three juvenile magpies. I was surprised at this because I had thought that magpies raised only one infant at a time. Also, magpies don’t like carrots.
- I listened to the Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem with tears journeying quietly down my face. Sometimes, the beauty of music leaves me literally breathless.
- My day was filled with a thousand other unnoticed moments, moments in which I was distracted by my to-do-list which grows no matter how many neat red ticks I place next to completed tasks; moments in which I focused on those small jobs which make up my working day; moments in which my attention was captured by colleagues coming to me with problems or questions or requests (or, in one case, a gross and friendly insult to which I responded in kind); moments in which I paid no attention at all to the world around me, to the beautiful realities of life for which I should be grateful, and to the starkness of those bleak moments which should make my soul weep but to which I have become accustomed.
- In all of those random things that happened to me and in which I participated, the Creator of the Universe, the Source of my being, the Ground of compassion and the Force of love, was present. All of those moments existed within It, and because of It, and there was no point at which I was separate from It. For most of these moments, I was unaware of this Presence, this silent Love; that doesn’t matter though. Presence was still within me, and I was still within Presence.
I think that, in a way, this is also prayer.