this peaceful old hippie is also the daughter & wife of career soldiers. thus have i landed here in this military nursing home for old soldiers. it's clear to me from Shiva's teaching that this body & the circumstances of its birth are not who i really am, but is the role that has been given. in outer action due respect is offered, while inwardly it can be seen as karmic duty until awakening. Shiva's hand propels the action. There's no limitation to the inner life, & culture is shed like old skin. outwardly the role is well fulfilled & the long social dance is nearly done. hippie & soldier live side by side when the dust of the battle has settled. ideals, livelihood & bodies are but props in this grand play of maya. yet still i speak of my love for Shiva: He rises in my heart like the sun. my hands lift up in namaste & the warm light of His love pours freely down.
today is a time of courage when i resolutely determine to remain alert, not to get lost in memory & mind chatter. over & over i return to my mantra, the lifeline which You have given me, to which i cling in the intense storms of circumstance. i dwell in a nursing home, an imperiled place in a pandemic, yet nonetheless You remain close when i can see beyond the surface to the divine timing that cares less for the unit than for the whole. remaining in an old worn body is not important. You alone are truly essential & i shall not lose my way back home to You! birth, death, body, spirit: the dance patterns of cosmic complexity, & i can no longer freestyle full out but seek now to rest in You. You are the center of the turning wheel & i will not lose focus upon You. although passing events may obscure, the heart will hold fast. the heart will hold fast when hands no longer find a solid place to grip. thus today is a time of courage when i devote myself to You. i am here for You. i do not fear the homeward journey of return for this script has long been written as the time to merge myself in You. the sun only sets for the earthbound & i am a child of the stars.
i see the people who live here & the people who work here coming & going, coming & going, like a human tide. this is nursing home life, the last stronghold of the weary form, the final chance for deconstruction & renunciation of body-self identification, countdown to release the encumbrances of earthly life. i seek to use it well. the intention is to show that it's never too late to serve the vast Beingness interpenetrating all life & form. names & shapes come & go, ebb & flow, yet the Nameless remains. the Nameless comes forth to us all through the veil of name & form, therefore Shiva has come to me even through my ignorance. i honor this time & the One who holds me like a lover. He is here & i will go with Him when the tide rushes out. names & shapes come & go, ebb & flow, yet the Nameless remains.
this is a global culling event, a time of physical alertness, a time of challenge to compassion. this is a time when the greater good for the greatest number is questioned & ignored by many who value personal will above group service. do You call me to You now, Shiva? am i one of the expendable ones in this intense global culling time? i am old, an economic drain, if the material world counts most. my offered gifts are not tangible, nor do they serve current social needs. Shiva, i am glad You came to me & i will freely return to You whenever You call me to come back. what a drama of the human heart are these times of global suffering! it is no doubt a good time to die, thus i stand with You, at peace myself. the body is all Yours anyway, always has been & always will be. i am content & ready to leave, to return to You who are my source. let be what is needful, use me well! gratitude to You is what remains & in this world, that is sufficient.
here i am, Shiva! covered with tissue wrapped in thick cotton tied up with strong twine placed in a small box hidden on a shelf in a secured room in a sealed safe house on a quiet street in the far outskirts of a small city known to very few. this nursing home life! protected & guarded like national treasure which cannot be touched! touch me now, Shiva! You have compassion for the outcast ones who live in shadow yet rejoice in light. here i am, Shiva!
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.
the sounds of a nursing home late at night echo dull background humming of central climate control murmur of someone's tv down the long hallway sharp clatter of an object falling to the floor a soft low moaning cry in a frail shaking voice the quick rhythm of a nurse's hurried footsteps sudden boom of thunder & hard rain drumming down. the musical tones in my head rising falling focussed mind repeating my beloved mantra singing silent sacred lullabies to Shiva in the warm arms of the transformative darkness om namah Shivaya on namah Shivaya