IT IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK!
Why does the wind blow chill? At certain time of the year? It is difficult to face the exterior without being insulated. Apparently, the interior remains warm. I mean the blood and whatever else is in there. The blood and whatever else is in there construct me as a human. Yet, it fails to receive the certificate of being a complete human being. I remain only as a being.
An object, such as a lumber or a rag does not feel chill. Like me, they don’t have blood and whatever else is there in my interior. I like warmth. Neither the lumber, nor the rag can care for warmth. The warmth, the chill or the absence of either does not affect them. They remain exactly where they were left at. Whether they are utilized for some purposes or not, they remain. They neither feel happiness when they are utilized for a purpose, nor do they feel sadness when they are left untouched.
Touch. Yes, I need touch. Because I have blood and whatever else is there within my interior. I need touch of recognition, I need touch of respect, I need touch of attention, I need touch of comfort, I need touch of love. I need happiness.
The young girl who just launched her carrier in the next cubicle from me, seems happier. She smiles more than I do, she has brighter teeth than I do, she has eyes that are inviting and welcoming. She has life. She said, she was not in love with anyone particularly. She was recognized as the rising star within the first six months of her service. She is comforted with the same perks as me. She started with the respect of higher pay scale than I did years ago. She receives attention from all. I am the old haggard. Soon I will become a rag. By the time, I will retire, she will perhaps climb up to a much higher position with more recognition, more perks, and more attention. Will she love me, if I ask her to love me? She said, she didn’t love anyone particularly, which means she loves all equally. Could I receive my fair share of her equal love? I wanted to ask her, if she could love a rag or a lumber? But I couldn’t.
My administrative assistant just returned from a retreat. It was about health and wellness. He returned with a few added pounds of blood or whatever else could attribute to the increased weight, yet, he smiled being happier than before. He said, he was already looking forward to the next year’s retreat. Next year, he would be the speaker to tell people how to live life healthy and being happy. I wanted to ask him whether they would accept a piece of lumber or a rag who is in search of happiness. But I didn’t.
I have a friend who is a nurse. Some of his patients are immobile and unable to visit doctors’ office. My nurse friend routinely goes for home visits to ensure their well-being. He tells me, how fortunate I am for not being one of those unfortunate people. Some of them share space with a dense population of bugs. Some of them pee where they sit and sleep. Some of them even poop in the room they live in. Some of them smoke three/four packs of cigarette a day. They drink alcohol since the time they wake up. Nonetheless, they love to talk with my nurse friend about whatever is on their mind. They smile, they laugh, they joke as they converse. I assume, they are happy since they are cared for. I wanted to ask him, if he ever thought, those patients were lumbers or rags! But I never did, though I asked him once, whether those patients were warm or cold! He said, their temperature was normal.
Normal! I wondered! Does that mean they don’t feel the chill of the air at certain time of the year? The chill of a certain moment doesn’t affect them? He said, the patients wore jackets during the winter. I couldn’t construct sentences thereafter. I wanted to inquire with many more questions. Such as; when exactly do the patients feel the chill? How do they feel the chill? What happens to them as they feel the chill? But, I didn’t know how to ask.
Finally, one day, I gathered my strength and constructed the sentence. I uttered, “Do you know what happens to a lumber or to a rag when there is chill in the air?” They all gave me the same answer: “Lumbers and rags are not living beings. They are… um… they are… just some things you know. Nothing happens to them.”
In silence, I observed, the lumber, the rag, and all other beings – all other things – eventually turned pale over the years. They discolored. They turned old. Cobwebs grew over them. Dust settled on them so thickly, that they were unusable. More than anything, no nurse visited them ever.
So, they sat exactly where they were sitting years ago. Something secreted from them that had turned into gooey stuff. They smell horribly bad. Some of them bent badly since they were not weather resistant. They soaked water from the rain in a heavier volume than alcohol. They inhaled all the smog and whatever else were there to inhale. But they didn’t move even an inch from where they were placed years ago.
In any case, they didn’t manifest any sign or indication that I could call a sign of unhappiness. I observed.
I wanted to see myself in the mirror. So, I looked at the tree, a few feet away from my exterior. A few newly born birds just flew out from their nest for the first time in their life. They were whistling as they took the first flight. They didn’t look back to see whether anyone else started to fly or each of them was flying solo. The mama bird and the papa bird sat at the edge of the nest – staring gloriously towards the departure of the offspring. They didn’t chirp. They didn’t fly along. They were just – I don’t know – happy – perhaps – like the lumber or the rag!
I looked at the lumber and the rag again. I didn’t see any sign of unhappiness in them.
It is the time of the year. Here are the moments of chill. I remain normal through my temperature. As I look deeply at the lumber and the rag and whatever else just things and just beings – I soak and I inhale all of them. They move spontaneously and enter my interior. They become one with me. The chill of this feeling instantly warms me up. I know, I am happy in this oneness.
I don’t need touch. I don’t need warmth. I don’t need happiness.
My disciples: Gentle touch, kind warmth, friendly love – all have departed their nest.