‘Beauty, joy and wonder should not be swept away for some other day. That day may never come. Every moment is a choice: embrace this wonder or deny it; love what you have or fear it; surrender and be light as a feather, or crave and cling and be weighed down like a stone.’ He pauses, stroking his short beard, then looks away from me into the garden. ‘Fear will tell you to close yourself, to run and hide. Sometimes this is advisable, but not when it blinds you, not when you are running and hiding from the truth. Then the truth becomes a burden. It makes your heart heavy, and the heart was made to be light, to have wings. How else can the soul fly?’
House sparrows burst from the bushes by the windows, dozens of them. I am filled with joy as I watch them scatter into the trees. I feel something flutter in my chest. A large ginger cat walks out from under the windows and pads languidly across the grass. The old man turns to me again.
‘Love will tell you to open yourself, to know who and what we really are. Sometimes this is not advisable, but when we isolate ourselves all the universe seems meaningless and savage. Then we make it so. We must open our eyes to our creating, to the role that we ourselves play in the making of our stories, and both the good and the evil we permit in them. Even an evil man can unburden his heart and be redeemed if he is willing to see his folly; that to crush another is to crush yourself.’
Image and text from my forthcoming book Hawk Divine.