Riding home tonight, I saw the drunk again.
Staggering in the street, heckling motorists who, trapped in a line of stationary cars, seemed helpless to do anything but either wave the noisome individual away or furtively hand him some coins. The young woman riding with the schoolchild in the car in front of us quickly extended her white arm through her car’s window – a red kabbalah string around one wrist – and deposited silver change into his cupped hands.
And I thought – that’s not the way we show compassion. That’s the way we show fear, a reluctance to engage the other, a technology to permit him to smile and fade away from our sight, while we sigh in relief.
The drunk avoided our car, weaving on to the one behind us with nary a glance at us.
And I thought – that was me, ten years ago. My compassion lies in being able to put myself into his shoes; to feel what he feels. To know, without a shadow of a doubt that not only could that be me, but that that is me.
And still not hand over the guilt money.
We’re rapidly approaching the Vernal Equinox, down here. As I noted in Terri Rethinks the Sabbats earlier this year:
“Ostara White Water. If you’ve ever gone white water rafting you’ll be sure to see what I mean.“
So this year I’ll be concentrating less on the eggs, bunnies and pastels, and more on the idea of balance. The non-Euclidean-geometrically perfect point where the sun poises on the equator preparatory to flinging itself upward once more.
Light and shadow in blissful tension. And trying to steady myself as I flow along the edge of the blade once more, keeping my demons and my allies measured against and equal to each other.
And, I realised with some surprise this evening, it will have been ten years since I’ve had a drink. Or taken a tranquiliser. Ten years since I emptied my soul and life force upon the streets of the inner city slum, was ravaged by my initiators, and emerged again, a shaman. Ten years of keeping the balance. In perfect Love.