Sunday, September 20, 2009

House

There is a house I passed by yesterday while driving down a busy road. Its back faced the highway, not more than fifteen feet from the line of cars. Its front was hidden from view except for a rusted trailer top that peeked from behind and a few rubber tires. It isn't possible to know anything about the residents of this house as one drives by, except what the stark gray shingles and the small, square, regulation windows might convey. But behind the house in its hidden private front yard, was life, and I wondered as I drove by - what life is that?

This house set my heart to thinking about its residents, and, by extension, of souls in general who present a face to the world and retain a private world that no one else sees. I frequently wonder as I pass this house, who lives there? Did they choose to live there because the land was cheap, or perhaps handed down to them from another time? Have they made their peace with the sound of traffic and the exhaust of cars? Do they feel that they are at home in their front yard which no one can see? What is this private world that exists only feet from the road.

These questions apply to the world of every soul, for each carries a universe within themselves, each is a universe. Who gets to see this universe in many instances is no one at all. Whether that is a tragic fact or an indifferent one is a matter of individual awareness. Some might not feel that it matters whether they contained an inner universe or not, their attention being directed elsewhere. But there are oh so many souls who are longing to be seen, longing to be met in their interior world.

What is true for the house by the side of the road is often true for the human condition at present. We do what we have to do to present the face that we wish to a busy world - sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out of the belief that nothing else is possible. And yet what world would we live in if people could view our private yards, those hidden from view the way the front side of this house remained concealed. We can only imagine a world without defenses, of greater truth, of greater visibility, of greater love for the inner being. Fear must be removed before this can be possible, and self-love and respect must take its place.

One day, though, allowing oneself to be visible and known will not be as difficult as it is today. For the general tenor of that time will be sharing and the desire to share, rather than the desire or need to conceal out of fear. Then, we shall see the inner world of others, no longer hidden from themselves or behind a facade, but revealed for all to witness and for all to appreciate and be grateful for.

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