because the body is now old i reside in a nursing home. i look back over my lifetime, piecing its events together from a wide-angled perspective. i don't look at other's judgements but at the many blessings that You have given to me, Shiva. now i have sufficient distance from all the stories & events to see that they all point to You. no others have seen this for me or could see it from the outside. neither did i see it until old age slowed me down & illness forced me to change my point of view. with Shiva enthroned in my heart, pulling the veils away slowly, i see disaster transform to positive redirection, grace. i observe shame disappearing in the light of understanding. i see You in all that happens through revelation & insight. i see Your graciousness to me even during my ignorance. my life is now service & gift when i look through the clear lens that reveals the arcane patterns of blessings concealed from the world & the slicing gaze of skeptics. behind the apparent events i see Your divine hand at work, hidden from the sight of others, signaling to me of Your love. i am grateful, my Lord Shiva! i am grateful You came to me, that You taught me & guided me throughout this long life that others could neither comprehend nor bless. You are all that i desire & all that i seek or attend to. You have chosen me as Your own & i rest in Your protection. You are the heart of this life & all that i need & want.
i know You in my tears which flow in happiness from the balm of Your presence, renewing vision. this vision is of the heart open in blessing & these tears are an offering at Your altar. i know You in the blood pulsing through the body, thoroughly pervading everywhere within me. You sing the same salty hymn in my own blood as You sing in the mother, the ocean unbounded. i know You in the sweet morning dew fresh upon the bright flowers nodding gently in the garden. i have seen You winking at me from the rainbows flashing in dewdrops in the early rays of sun. i know You in the soft drip-dropping of the rain as You nourish mineral, plant & animal, journeying all the way up from the wide ocean & down to earth again by devas dressed in clouds. i know You in the stream rushing down the mountain to quench the thirst & guide to fruitful level ground. animals eagerly come to Your banks to drink & many little lives rejoice in Your blessings. i know You in the river in the raging storm, flooding over human structures, washing away the known & certain, casting it aside like straw, reshaping the borders of our crushed illusions. i know You in the ocean, vast, rhythmic, surging in & out swelling, thundering, owning the earth from horizon to horizon, mother of life. i am but a wave in the broad ocean of You. everywhere that i look i see You, i know You! i disappear in the glory of You, Shiva! it seems that i do not exist except as an observer of You, again & again, of You!
You took me at the peak of my glad celebration, negating laws of physics, erasing everything. You removed the concept "impossible" from my mind, threw me in a multidimensional miracle & shocked my mind silent, leaving me in stunned wonder. that wonder still clothes me like an invisible cloak, something too amazing to share, yet it changed my life. speaking of it is like catching fish with hands only, or caging wind in the hands to bring home for others. You shine light on my daily rebuilding of structure through my careful words like bricks in a tall wall, Shiva! yet i still want to say "look! see! there is such wonder!" so i string garlands of words that i offer to You because i overflow with rejoicing that you're here. i am blazing with Your presence & the light leaks out, cascading in these limited words i can't curtail.
i confess that people in my life are like shadows cast upon a screen. though they reach out, they cannot touch me. their voices blend with the rushing wind, as real as stars at noon, sun at night. they come & go, rise & fall & fade. only You stay steady, Lord Shiva. You are seated firmly in the heart & my life is circling around You, held fast by an unbreakable cord. Your fragrance tells me that You are near. we are invisibly blended, wed, & the party is in full swing now in my heart's most resonant chamber. the shadow people, slowly turning, seem to move in time with Your music which is leaking out through all my pores, drenching the surroundings with Your love. my hand, in Your hand, reaches to them to whirl us in a vast circle dance.
You weave Yourself into the pattern of my life after childhood departs -- my cry for meaning calls You to me. You show me how to make an altar, tell me about the world appearing as pairs of opposite qualities. You teach me to balance opposites through You, by taking refuge in You. i cannot say that You save my life because first You tear it all apart. or i tear it apart because i can't stand the emptiness any more. You bring me to a mountain to serve & honor everything as sacred. You're the thread stitching all together in a pattern of pure symmetry. jewels are hidden in the design, dappled light, trees, foxes, bears & crows, sunlight glowing through mist & green leaves, birds carrying messages to gods. i have loved You in Your many forms. You are pattern, You are energy. You are the weaver & the woven, the rhyme that repeats in my lifesong, great maker & breaker of patterns. i am Your expression, Lord Shiva, i am You singing me into life, laughing in delight at our playing.
i was a lump of coal when first we met. i was thirteen, just reaching to see beyond the family walls. You were my friend from another dimension, my secret companion in wonder. through these many years You pressed upon me, impelling me inward & slowly increasing Your pressure until i became strong, bright, able to endure. my darkness slowly changed to clear light. You then carefully cut & faceted the diamond You made of the coal of my heart until, in my elderhood, i became a rainbow & gave hope & encouragement to those near me. You never relented nor gave up on me, continually shaped me. now i can sit in darkness & yet shine with light, for You have filled me with Your downpouring loving light, Lord Shiva. You have made me a diamond in Your hidden treasure box, a fragment of Your own majesty & glory. i am a star in Your celestial constellation; i am a blessing in Your gift basket for humanity. thank You, Lord Shiva, for the darkness that makes the light irresistible.
i feel the train coming before i see it. thunder underground! earth trembles below feet. standing delighted near the side of the track i see the train coming. oh, the light & sound! the great nearing arrow! yes! straight to the heart! as the train rumbles by in a swift sweeping wind, the engineer waves. You are saying hello. i know it is You. who else but Lord Shiva would target my heart?