Friday, August 7, 2009

An Unknown Artist

We meet strangers all the time whose lives are unknown to us. They remain unknown because we actually do not perceive outselves as 'meeting' the other. This is sometimes built into the situation where a task or lack of time prevent a deeper encounter. But more often than not, it is also due to a limited view of what is possible within a moment.

I met a man with a singular appearance recently who delivered something to Light Omega. His hair stood up on end, he had very large tattoos on his right and left arms, and his black tee-shirt said, "Trust me. I can do it."

I asked him about his tattoos and he told me they came from two works of art that were important to him - one a famous painting of a person viewing the chaos of life. The other, the duplicate of an intricate abstract design by a contemporary artist. He felt a rapport with both of these artists and their messages and also imagined that no one else in the world was likely to have tattoos like this.

Though my interest in the personal and soul story behind the wearing of tattoos has been heightened since The Man With Several Tattoos and The Man Who Loved Snakes, every person is a world unto themselves to which this is but one doorway, a universe as vast as the physical universe with many sights and sounds to be explored. In a moment, one can catch a glimpse of the inner universe, not so much through the information a person reveals about themselves, but from what is behind what they choose to say. Here was a beautiful soul who thought of himself as an artist and wore his artist's identity proudly. Here was also one who wanted to be singular and free - to stand out in the world as himself, different from all others.

When we listen with the ears of our heart, we hear what is important to another. It does not take a quantity of words for us to hear it. It takes a depth of listening to hear. With this unknown artist, we shook hands and I told him I was glad to meet him. Indeed, I felt that I had.

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