In recent months after seeing a couple of televised performances of Bruce followed by reading an inspiring piece about him in AARP magazine, I determined if he ever returned to Nashville I would see him.
I did just that recently alongside thousands of dancing and singing souls, AARP age and younger. My only regret was that having not been a fan all these years, I couldn't sing along during the three hour non-stop set except for the periodic la-la-la's and occasional phrases I remembered from the Eighties. Nor did I know that I should have gotten tickets on the chairless floor where Bruce at times walked among the crowd and early on body surfed his way back to the stage supported by fans upheld arms.
I went to the concert hoping to be inspired. Bruce did not disappoint. Early on he said, "
I walked away from the
I awoke the next morning tired from having gone to bed late thus out of sync with my usual morning rhythm. Bruce on the other hand I suspected was already up and working out.
Regardless of how funky I felt, I put on the rumpled clothes from the prior morning and headed out the door to walk under a chilly, gray sky. Not long ago this kind of November day would have only furthered my funk.
This particular morning I walked and was inspired by a very different thought zipping across my mind’s universe. I walked and thought: I carry a light. (This is where I usually unintentionally launch into getting preachy by saying you carry a light too, since you do. Instead I'll try to stick with me.) I walked and heard: You carry the light of feeling, deep feeling. This is why you cared for the earthworm. Deep feeling holds the key to the light that has been so lost in the world. It is a cornerstone in building a house of love.
As I walked I knew we are building a house of love. That's why we're all here (on the planet) at this time. My body/Your body was built to be a house of love. When I ignore or don't see my beauty or you don’t see yours, a part of the heart of the world dies. I knew I dismissed the earthworm's lesson when I didn't get this.
I walked down the street recording all I heard. I wanted to testify as church folk do for I knew we are building a house of love globally as individuals and this has a ripple effect in our relationships and communities. Okay, I was past testifying and on the verge of preaching.
Instead I slowed down and continued walking. My enthusiasm stems from a heart that for so long has yearned for a global house of love. This is why I’m deeply disturbed when I see beauty under attack be it the
I had more questions than answers and The Boss had left town. How on earth do we build a house of love with a gazillion different people on the planet? What does a house of love actually look like? What does a house of love really mean? How on earth do I build this global house with those who are so different from me with whom I disagree? Where on earth is the blue print for all this?
How quickly I forget. In my mind's eye, I see The Boss wink, not a flirtatious wink, but a knowing one with a slight grimace suggesting I know where the blue print is. I hesitantly point to my heart. He smiles and nods.
Regardless of whether Bruce Springsteen would actually do this or not, I know this imaginal man is right. The blueprint is literally right here on earth, in you, in me, in the worm, the ant…..but what does that actually mean?
What I know right now is that I must start with me. What I know right now is I am equipped to be a house of love, a home of deep feeling which I’ve neglected and ignored over the years. I've not fully, nor continually inhabited this ‘house’ for many decades. I was ‘at home’ periodically in childhood and randomly in my adult life. I see it in my eyes when I look at certain photos. At mid-life, I know many things that help me ‘build or tend my house’ – connecting with Spirit through nature, children, music; holding the world in love when I meditate or pray. I also know I have had great periods of resistance to these practices at times due to sleepwalking, stubbornness, fear and exhaustion. My personal challenge in feeling deeply is a propensity toward plunging into missions to help others build their house so to speak. I know the house plans that would work best for them forgetting that's not my job. My house burns down when I burn out. Exhausted, I slowly rebuild.
My challenge is living from a place of balance as well as reconciling deep feelings related to sex trafficking, environmental degradation, Wall Street greed and abuse of animals. In my better, more conscious moments I can feel love even toward people involved in the above, not toward their behaviors but toward them as individuals with family members who love them.
That’s the rub even with the ants and worm. I can love and appreciate each individually but it's what I saw the ants doing to the worm, that birthed tension. I can send love to an individual be they a sex trafficker or a corporate billionaire. But when I hear of a child’s body, an animal’s hide or the earth’s resources used for monetary gain, well that’s where the love turns into deep feeling kin to rage.
Then a light comes on. This is the part of the story where you may begin to think I’ve lost it, yet I loose a part of me if I edit out the following.
The earthworm, which I had days prior thought of as part of the heart of the world, was volunteering its home, its body, as nourishment for another. This level of reciprocity and sharing is relevant to how we build a house of love. Don’t ask how I made the following leap just leap with me. Isn’t this similar to what Jesus, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King did in his or her own way? They volunteered or lived their lives in such a way that they were living blueprints for building a house of love.
Here's another leap. In the prior story, I voiced a desire to see mystery at work in aspects of life that so trouble me. What if the situations prompting my sorrow and rage aren’t about beauty being under attack? What if the hungry heart of the world is offering itself to us through these seeming dark situations so we might awaken from our individual and collective darkness?
Scientists now know that over 90% of the universe, the inner universe of the brain as well as the outer universe of the stars, is made of dark matter. We truly are dancing in the dark. What if realizing and living from our Light illumines this dark universe within and without while returning the heart to the world?
All of the above came spilling out so quickly one morning that by lunch my 'lights' dimmed and I left the building site – me. Overwhelmed and excited about the beautiful possibilities and epiphanies, I felt pressure to not only make sense of it all but convey it in a neat, concise package. I neglected tending my personal house of love. I hardly ate all day and didn’t get up and away from the computer screen for hours. This self-created pressure and non-tending behavior led to a dryness and disconnection. I had left the site although the project manager my heart suspected I would return.
Four days later, I’m back. I still don’t know how to wrap this up. I now know I don’t have to. To wrap it up, stops the process. If I truly follow the example of the earthworm, I will allow these ideas to lie in the soil of my soul and hope they also find homes with other souls who come upon them. I will pay attention as they decompose into even richer form.
I've still more questions than answers. I will dance with these questions and pay attention to when the lights come on around possible answers or better questions. For now, I invite you as Bruce Springsteen voiced and the earthworm and ants demonstrated, to consciously build in reciprocity with this great big beautiful world and me a House of Love. Imagine that!
-Dawn! The Good News Muse