The difference in listening

Air: Ever since I knew what the avatar was I thought I was one.  Now wait, let me just go ahead and say that many of you really might not feel me on this post, and that’s okay.  Keep reading.  The avatar is a being who restores balance to the world and has the capabilities of bending each of the four elements: air, water, earth, fire.  Let me just say, everything I’ve ever thought or whispered in shadows, I plant in light; the good things grow and the not-so-good things die but it is always my intention to sow good.  I have never been a very good secret keeper.  I have always been opposed to lying, and found great comfort in honesty.  My third grade teacher Mrs. Yancy gave me my first lesson in tact, nevertheless, I have been adhering to the second supreme rule (Tell the truth) for as long as I can remember.  I remember in fifth grade when we went to space camp and we got to feel weightlessness, I was free of the burden of my body 150 lbs though I lied and said I was 115.  My chubby cheeks and rolly stomach didn’t matter in the centerfuge as we spun at such a high speed that we all began to float.  Water was the next best thing, learning to swim and dive especially because most black kids didn’t know how.  Lucky me I had a pool in my backyard, I was free whenever I wanted to be. I wish I could have told myself to embrace it.  It wasn’t until I climbed a mountain, swam in a lake, made an apple bong on the rooftop of an Upper West Side apartment building that I embraced my air.  No one there knew me, not really.  But we laughed, and we cried, and we traveled together, creating adventure and no one worried about tomorrow yet the sun still rose and set.  We sang songs of love and peace along side one another drinking cheap wine from a jug eating stolen oreos smuggled out of the kitchen at 1am around a camp fire.  Some of us fell in love, some of us fell in life.  I fell in freedom.

Water: A series of unfortunate events…my roommate and the so-called man who loved me threw me out of our apartment at 4am two days before his birthday.  I grappled to want to live, existing somewhere in between wanting to never wake up, and wanting to escape the numbness. I cried ceaselessly in my closet, for a week I didn’t leave my room and after he threw me out, I kept it together just long enough to give my job two weeks and hit the road back home to reset.  I couldn’t even talk about all the things I felt because I was a knot, I wasn’t even sure where to begin.  Doing the things I should just to avoid conversation, I somehow found myself in Graduate school.  Within the first two weeks my mock-counselor asked me what she thought was a simple question, “Do you call [men in your life] plus ones to show that you don’t need them? That you’re one without them?”  It echoed throughout my entire being as though I was a cavernous hole, and perhaps I was in large part.  I wasn’t whole. I was anything but. I was hurting and so shredded to pieces I didn’t ever think I would be whole again.  I had no man who loved me, my ex had moved on, and my father was…well…I felt completely barren of men.  And the worst part was, I blamed myself.  So began the rebuilding of me.

One year later I found myself in class with Nama fragile after just hearing the voice of my own past whispered from another, she said to me, “what’s wrong?” and she meant it.  She felt me and later on I would find out that she, like me, feels energies of others and had a feeling that we were similar before she affirmed it.  I would be validated twice more, once by another empath and once by a prophet, indirectly.  It seems that we spoke precisely the same words, not almost, but exactly to another being of metaphysical knowledge.  The work is tricky.  How do I keep what is mine, yet leave what is yours to you?  And in my profession for which I was being trained, how do I not carry the weight of every life I touch?  How can I remain?  “Everything has the resonance and memory of what it is.  Humanity has lost the resonance and memory of what it is, but water can re-energize it.” We lose ourselves in our work, our school, our personal lives, the roles that mark us leave us wounded.  But in our water, our flow, our energy, we are re-energized.  At the completion of my degree I took a class, the Tao of Healing.  Tao holds great reverence for water nothing is softer than water. Meaning nothing bends and yeilds like water does. When we bathe water moves and shifts around us, it curves and twists through valleys and countrysides.  Yet nothing is a more powerful erodant over time.  It smoothes rocks, wears at landscape, can cause destruction in copious amounts…And that is because nothing can alter it, water is unchanging, it is what it is always and forever. It gives it takes, it pushes it pulls, it repeats and is cyclical.  It. Is. And it shall forever be so.  I give to it my troubles and it leaves with me my strength.  Maybe she knows it, maybe she doesn’t but she is my Katara.

Earth:  My natural opposite.  Patient. Grounded.  Solid.  Everything about me is averse to it, and yet I need not let fear of its differences become my master.  So how…This is where I sit now, knowing that even though fire is next, as destructive as it is, I find myself more challenged by this before me that defies everything that I am.  I have already met my master, and I called her to the attention of our partnership.  I named her my teacher and I know that she sees me as weak though nothing right now will convince her otherwise.  She understands strength, not defense.  I need her but I am frustrated because I got water…I was born of air…I do not like to fail and she stands waiting, mockingly.  Getting through this doctoral program will be nothing compared to learning to bend earth.  Learning to root myself, to widen my stance, to be firm and to strike with purpose.  I must not think it is not of me, because all things are of me if they exist.  I need not to change, but to call upon a different part of myself.  In order to move rock you need to be like a rock yourself.  Lessons from Sifu Toph; both real and fictional.

Fire: Is yet to come, but I know it is coming.  It will be ready and waiting at my next stage of life.

How am I sure?  Because instead of waiting to talk, I listened.  I listened to my dreams, my instructions, my world around me, my friends, my heart, and my God.  I stopped looking for ways out of my destiny, and I stopped making excuses for why so much time as lapsed yet I have not “done” .  I am here for a reason, a reason.  A reason.  I imagine that some people browsing this blog will presume I’m crazy.  Maybe even some avid readers will say the same thing.  I am unconcerned with either.  I can honestly say I have let go of that worry of being ridiculed or judged.  You’re only as heavy as the shit you carry, right?  More than I want to learn, more than I want to be obedient, more than I want to  inspire I want to live the word according his purpose.  So I will take my place.  I will own my role, and I will be who I was created to be.


5 thoughts on “The difference in listening

  1. I’ve never believed that God was mutually exclusive from concepts like astrology, reincarnation, and elemental personifications. If God created the heavens and the earth, and man was separated by language at the tower of Babel (therefore dividing us into separate cultures) then why wouldn’t He choose to reveal himself in the form most appropriate for each culture? At the end of the day we’re all spirits and these are just metaphors we use to understand the divine anyway. If it’s rooted in God and brings you peace, who am I to say you’re crazy?

    1. When I first heard Shirley McClain talk about a more integrated view of God, encompassing different forms of spirituality and world religions it really resonated with me. I believe that God is at the root of all things and ALL these different schools of thought say the same thing. Be still and know. Thy will be done. Do unto others. Love one another. Even the principles of letting go of materials. Attachment is suffering, the meek shall inherit the earth. My view of God hasn’t changed, its expanded exponentially. I think the Eastern view ( and Native American…and Greek…and Roman…) view of God in nature is profound. I think in ancient cultures they compartmentalized what I see as one force. One Great governing spirit. But that’s just me.

  2. Very beautiful post. Spirituality has something similar across all cultures; its knowing that greater forces other thsn yourself is at work. Those greater forces will always realveal themselves in a form that we can understand.

    Who am I to think you’re crazy when I beleive i am on the same path.

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