"James, I like you the best because you have to humble yourself the most to fit in here." This from C. , a middle aged young person with a Charming little dog that always ignores me, lol, with whom I've never really had a conversation but for many weeks we have enjoyed warmly saying hello to one another. I don't know what C. sees in me. I don't know what others see in me, or what they think about me. I'm amazed when people make such statements. But they do rather regularly here.
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"James, I like you the best because you have to humble yourself the most to fit in here." This from C. , a middle aged young person with a.......
"James, you are perfect." To this I erupted in an uncontrollable belly laugh. This to the young man......
"James, you are perfect." To this I erupted in an uncontrollable belly laugh. This to the young man who said this as he was sobbing in my arms this morning. He had just learned that within hours his sacred fire, and the other, would be extinguished and despite that this was for good reason from the Council of fires, the indigenous headsman, it was a devastating blow to this Godly good young man who for weeks had near single-handedly kept the fire going, an extraordinary heroic loving Act. I had a hunch and went to the fire and had the blessing of being there at the right time to help him deal with the grief. After moments of holding him and letting him grieve into my shoulder I shared some words that seemed to give him great comfort, especially my thought that despite how important the physical fire was, that he had given us a much more important fire that would never go out, it would always burn in my heart and others, the fire of his passionate dedication and loving contribution to the camp. "James, you are perfect," he said. I burst out in laughter. "I am nothing," I said. "I have simply learned to get out of the way of the heart. The Heart is what is perfect." A big hug he gave me at those words. What an incredible blessing, what an incredible privilege it is to be here right now.
"What is it that you don't understand about the fact that there are people on the hill up there that would love nothing better than to kill us all, and that.......
"What is it that you don't understand about the fact that there are people on the hill up there that would love nothing better than to kill us all, and that it is minus 8 degrees headed to -19 degrees tonight?" This I just said to the 5 or so young people laughing joyfully banter about things in one of the mess Halls here in a grungy army tent on a straw floor with no Creature Comforts. I'm not sure that I know any of them or that any of them know me. They looked a little confused. So I continued, What is it that the larger culture doesn't understand about Joy being in the opposite direction of pleasure, safety, Creature Comforts? That Joy is in the direction of where people desperately need help?" They looked less confused. I added, "I was simply trying to draw attention to your joy. I hope you don't mind." They expressed that they were deeply glad for my comments.
"My life is my message," said Gandhi. Me too.