The Light Behind The Light

It’s been happening lately that a friend I’m with suddenly changes before my eyes, as if a light had just turned on inside him. It feels to me as if he – so far it has happened only with men – was illuminated from within, revealing the essence of who he really is.

My whole body senses that I am ‘seeing him true’.

The first time it happened I literally didn’t recognize my friend, even though it happened right outside his house and he was expecting me. I saw a strange man coming towards me and wondered who he was, and as he came closer his whole being seemed to shine and I realized it was him. For a moment I was struck dumb by his beauty, and then went towards his outstretched arms and felt like I was hugging Light.

The second time another man, severely disabled years before, sat in his wheelchair while we talked of many things, his face expressive even through the ravages of the long-ago stroke. Right before my eyes, as we laughed over something he’d said, his face changed and was suffused with a radiance that came from I don’t know where, giving me a glimpse of the man beneath the mask of his history, unblemished and strong.

And then it happened again with a fellow I know only slightly, a retired attorney with a rakish grin who, before my eyes, seemed to melt into a youthful version of himself, his mature eyes gazing out of a young man’s face – and again, the glow.

I saw that radiance in Herb during his last days, as his eyes became luminous with what he was seeing. He had few words left, but they came out as poetry as he described to me the Light he was seeing as “…thing connected to Sun…more worlds and worlds…”

I wonder if, in this season of Samhain when we are told the veils between the worlds grow thin, that they actually do? The realms open up and we have access to the ancestors, to the world beyond Time and Space where all memory resides, where dreams come from.

We experience the Light behind the light.

One year at Halloween, after serving up a Monster Stew for supper and sending out our three kids – I recall that our 5 year-old went as a haystack – with their Trick or Treat shopping bags, the doorbell rang and instead of kids in costumes, there was a friend desperately seeking haven, on the verge of a nervous collapse. One of us manned the candy stash at door, and the other took on our friend, trying to hold the Light and the Dark in balance on All Hallows Eve.

When the kids came home with their bulging bags and smeared make-up, they offered to share their candy bars with the adults, getting all of us high on sugar – which was just what our troubled guest may have needed.

I imagine they received their instructions from the Source – what I’m calling ‘the Light behind the light’ – the frequency of simple kindness. I recall our friend receiving a Mars Bar from our daughter, touching her outstretched hand and bursting into healing sobs.

Simple, ordinary kindness.

That’s my experience, that love is what pulls me into the influence of the greater Light, showing me what is hidden in plain sight where I had not thought to look before. I am constantly being reminded it was there all the time, but I’d been much too busy to notice. Each time, the revelation knocks the breath out of me.

Last month during that idyllic time in Vermont, hanging out on my brother’s farm and musing away the late summer afternoons as the sun shifted and leaves imperceptibly turned from green to autumn reds, I had one deep realization after another of how the world really works if I slow down enough to witness it.

I want to find that state again and feel for what may be hidden in plain sight right now when our world is so unstable, finding the Light behind the light that may offer another, deeper meaning to the craziness of our times.

Take the elections, for example.

(Oy, I hear you say.)

But really, we are watching a Punch and Judy show of such proportions that there might be some important lessons here if we were so inclined to learn them.

I am so inclined, because to me it’s not about these 2 rather unlikely teachers bopping each other on the head and hollering shocking things at each other - it’s about us! Both of their camps, it seems to me, are doing their damnedest to rile us up enough to finally move on it, get ourselves together to take some intelligent action!

Get ourselves together. Join up minds and hearts and figure out what’s important, and then work to make some of these things happen on the ground.

I take heart, as I am wont to do, from the gifted young ones who lead from love and generosity; and who get up after being knocked down by the realities of money, racial and gender profiling, hard relationships, childhood trauma – all the stuff we are all dealing with. And I see them taking a deep breath, finding something to laugh at and entering right back into the fray to do the work.

My job, I think, is to keep reminding myself and my friends that the Light behind the light is the ground of our being, even when we forget it is there, and that it informs our lives on every single level. I still am learning how the Light feels in my body, what brings it into awareness, who I like to share it with, and how to see it in everyone else no matter who!

Why would we want to live any other way?

All we have to do is relax, give ourselves some unstructured time, find things funny and fall in love frequently.

You know, the easy stuff.