Sunday, March 22, 2009

Division Bells

I imagine I know what a prisoner feels like when he is released from confinement and walks out into the big, bright planet as a free person. Suddenly, he acutely appreciates everything, and especially marvels that he is free to touch the world once again. The sun warms his flesh, colors are vivid and true, and he drinks deep the fresh air, relishing life as if he is born again. Now that the nineteen-day fast is over until next year, this is what I felt like yesterday, when I began my day and could eat or drink whenever I wanted. I had been a willing prisoner, but now my aim is accomplished and I have a fresh and vital perspective going forward.
I pulled into my driveway today just as a song came on the radio that held me so that I just sat and listened. It was Pink Floyd’s composition called High Hopes. It begins with the chiming of bells, which reminded me of Venice, Italy. The first stanza goes,
Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young

In a world of magnets and miracles

Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary

The ringing of the division bell had begun

It made me think. Children in their innocence see the world as if dreaming. The universe to them is whole and fluid, with moments effortlessly flowing one into the other. Imagination imbues everything with possibility. Then, the bells of rationality and discriminate thinking sound, and so the perception of the world changes. Slowly, children become less magical and more grounded in opinion. The ego develops and so do feelings of separation. People develop alliances and choose labels for themselves and others, such as; nationality, color, status, profession, sexuality, and many others.
To me, THE DREAM is the same place we lived when we were children, in a world of magnets and miracles, . . . without boundary. To stay there, is to not listen to the division bells that cut and dice the world into separate and unequal parts and makes us prisoners. It is to be, as Bob Dylan says in his song of the same name, "forever young."

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

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