This is an excerpt from my book, The Story: A Song of Silver Crow" that will be released in late July of 2009. For more info please go to:
As a teenager I often roamed throughout the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and sought out places along the Arkansas River that I imagined to be “sacred”. I revealed one of these hallowed areas to my grandfather and he asked me what it was that I thought made this particular spot unique. I was at a loss for words and finally I said, “I don’t know. I think it’s just a feeling that I have when I go there.”
He smiled and asked me to think about it more .
The following day he told me that there was not a spot anywhere in the universe that the presence of the Creator did not fill; I could not, in fact, find a place that was not sacred.
Over the next few days I considered his words and visited a number of places where I had felt a separate and personal connectedness that I could not recognize in the greater world that I inhabited. I knew that “my places” were special for me even if God was all pervasive and everywhere. While he (my grandfather) had not rebuked me, he had caused me to consider the bigger picture.
Finally, I approached him, looking for resolution in the quandary that he had presented me with.
“Why do some places seem different ... special?”
“You have made them special because you still imagine yourself to be apart from the Greater Life that surrounds you. This dirt, these trees and stones ... everything that exists, knows itself to be within the mind of God and therefore God’s expression. Only man reasons himself to be apart from all existence. In your life you shall meet many who hold one idea of God above others, people who look for special-ness as a way to validate their separation. Do not confront them, allow yourself to honor them and their need to make a place or an event especially their own. But know that whenever you place one thing or one person above another you have created a belief that ultimately puts gaps in the presence of the Creator ... places where you will fall through the web of life and imagine yourself to be weak, vulnerable ... separate. It is all one ... all one life; and therein lays your power, your strength ... your invulnerability. The little man who is separate can be maimed and destroyed. The man who has come to know that he is Life can never be overwhelmed ... he’s invulnerable ... he will exist forever. Always know that you are that Life.”
To the mind of a fourteen year old his words were an ocean and I was standing on the shore, afraid to enter the surf and attempt to swim. Three years later his death caused me to recognize that I was standing on the beach alone. I began to allow the tide to engulf my feet but it was not until after I returned from Viet Nam that I started to enter the sea.
It has taken me nearly forty years to learn how to swim.