|~Leonard R., Tivoli Community||
I’m not sure there is any pat way to really explain why I joined Cafh, entered the Community, have stuck with it. Not that there weren’t and aren’t reasons; just that the reasons and un-reasons don’t add up to why it made more sense than anything else, and why it still does, even when sometimes I grasp that sense more clearly, and sometimes hardly at all. It’s said that to reason overmuch about the Vocation and such things is like “digging a hole in the sea,” and my experience seems to vouch for that. No matter how much you do it, you just get nowhere. Perhaps one could approach it here better by way of brief vignettes and paradox, maybe connecting that way with something that makes sense to you, too?
I’m seeing a dark-eyed beggar-child in a far-away land who I’d given a crust of my own sandwich to, running off in fear I’d grab it back...and I respond, must respond, keep responding, down through the years. In ways so unobvious perhaps only my heart could connect them. And just so, for so many other lands, people, eyes, hearts, calling out to me, insisting I respond now, and now, somehow... However inadequately; with whatever limited degree of strength and sincerity I can muster; wishing, intending it to be adequate, somehow – hitting that nail with might and main. Do you, too, ever feel that blood-obligation and oath? And finally, one says yes, or no, collaborates or refuses, moves on or turns back, and does so again, and again......
The long searching, with hope, yet without it. Blurred-over images that merge, run into one another like ink leaking from one sentence into another, seeking a way to learn how to live... And he said, “Do you want me to kill you? Mystically?” “Yes,” said I. Have you, too, seen how they intertwine, how you can’t live without facing death, can’t die really without having lived life as if you were about to die? And with that driving urgency, knowing there’s no time to waste, that it matters, beyond anything one could conceive...?
Finding the Door, the Path, partly entranced by the mystery and romance of unfathomable antiquity, wisdom, commitment and love, yet fresh, here, different, here and now. So thankful not to have found a wrong find, not to have mistook a wrong door. And not that it’s a big deal, this giving and committing oneself, as if one were somehow separate, or could be special; the Community has been described as a golden vision of the Temple, and that one’s self becomes with time a living part of it, perhaps as a graft fuses with a tree, or perhaps as in some better image.
All the while, this is quite distinct from any apparent success or progress, or perceived failures or doubts, all that throng of personal human ups and downs. One is in a current, the great current, and thanks one’s lucky stars for it. It still makes more sense than anything else, though it’s surely beyond “making sense.” And when one comes face to face with humanity’s and the planet’s intense sorrows and ordeals, -- as one continually does – one is so grateful to be here, at the pressure point, the nexus, the juncture, where one can best respond beyond one’s possibilities, making one’s maximum effective contribution to the greater flow of unfolding. Luckier than the luckiest.