forgiveness

when i was still a child in primary school, i thought that all one
needed to do to make someone unconscious was to tap them on 
the head with a stone. it seemed quite simple. then they would quietly
fall down to the ground, as they did in the comic books & cartoons.

one day i was with my parents when we visited a country
house with a big sprawling garden, complete with a small pond, goldfish,
frogs & lily pads. the frogs were hard to catch & i was not so
skillful. i got the idea to toss a stone at a frog, hoping
to hit it on the head so it would be quiet & i could pick
it up. but it did not go well. i was shocked at the harm i caused.

i too suffer damage: the sick secret awareness that i had
badly hurt an innocent being, perhaps fatally. i slunk
away, ashamed, bearing a hidden burden of guilt & self-blame,
& i never told anyone about this, ever, until now.

i did not intend harm, yet harm was given by my own hand. there
was no ill will or anger, just misguided curiosity,
misjudgement & ignorance. Shiva tells me that i'm innocent
of intent to harm, yet this kind of innocence carries a cost.

from such innocence i can well understand that the doctor who
performed the hysterectomy on this body meant no harm when
he mistakenly sewed my intestine to the abdominal
wall. he meant no harm when i almost died twenty-five years later
from intestinal obstructions due to adhesions from his lapse.
yet there is no blame, no call for guilt over a misaction.
equally, the frog's situation is not my karma, even
though i caused damage. thus, neither do i blame the doctor for his
mistake. life has enough room in it for this kind of forgiveness.

we human beings are like children who are seeking a way through
mystery too vast to comprehend with ease. our clumsy efforts
at braille cannot touch the heart of wind, cannot trace the aurora's
sweeping path across the sky. we are but witnesses who gasp
in amazement like the eager cosmic children we really are.
we were placed here to play innocently & to learn a new arc
of training that has only barely begun to make itself known.
this grand cosmic dance does not end; it evolves ceaselessly onward.