Yesterday, together with some of my dearest friends, we laughed and drank to celebrate the day I was born. We told our stories, and we talked about the things we care for. We became closer, as we knew each other better, as we exposed and uncovered pieces of ourselves, as our lives became part of each other’s. We talked about how we had come to know ourselves better in the past years, by living, and paying close attention to Life, and to what it tells us. All that we had unlearned, all that we had discovered.
This morning I woke up, and spent my day answering a few questions to my professor, so he could grade whether I understood the things he spent the semester trying to teach. Later in the afternoon, I went to class where groups of students discussed their answers, and we all finally gave our papers with notes to the professor. We had discussed the way in which one can study religion. How a religious experience can be understood, and, mostly, how it can’t. Really, we discussed how we cannot understand most things, but that in University we need to pretend we do. In Church we need to pretend we do. The Government needs to pretend it does. We all pretend we do, even though we don’t.
We have to pretend, because it’s really scary to not know.
Afterwards, I wanted some cheap Lebanese food, and as I entered the restaurant, a good friend called my name, unexpectedly. I had talked with her in the metro, last week, after not seeing each other for 5 years, and somehow here we are in a restaurant randomly meeting each other again. She had some free time, and I wanted to eat, and rest, so I sat by her and we talked. My friend is an artist. We talked about how art is a way in which we connect, from far away, and we get to know both ourselves and the artist. How an artist communicates her most intimate things through its creation, and how we relate to it. We talked about how we need to know ourselves, and be bold and brave enough to expose ourselves to others, owning who we are, light and dark, without fear. To let our lives become part of each other’s. To allow ourselves to exist, to hurt, to feel. If there’s anything we can know, and anything we can share, it’s ourselves.
Later, whenI got off of the metro, I decided not to walk straight home, but reward myself for a finished class, buying my favorite pastry at my favorite bakery. As I walked, it begun to rain.
I missed the rain.
Do I go back? No. I continued.
I bought my pastries, and then I still had to walk home. As soon as I got outside again, the rain really begun pouring.
It’s not that I hadn’t seen or been in the rain in a long time. No, it rained last week. What I missed was enjoying the rain. I had an umbrella with me, but I didn’t want to use it. So I walked slowly, listening to music. I raised my head, and laughed, as my clothes got heavier, and
Maybe I even danced
As the rain fell
I felt Heaven coming down
To nourish Earth.
People were either running and covering their heads or standing on the side trying to find shelter, and I was the only one there, with the rain, making her company. She was so alone. When I got home, I stopped outside, looked behind, to the sky, and gave thanks.
I am grateful that I can get home and wash my body with my electric, contained, warm rain, which I call a shower. I am grateful that I knew my apartment was near, and I would have shelter, and food, and company. But I am also sad, that we forget that we built these small houses with our fake rains inside, to be our fake homes. That we treat the real Rain as a bothersome inconvenience.
We are Divine Animals who built a fake world that is neither one, nor the other. So many of us no longer know ourselves. We no longer know the rain. We no longer know each other.
But we think we know everything else.
Later I will go to my church worship my small, contained, civilized god.
But I am glad that I got to dance with the Wild God outside, with thunder clapping and children looking through cars’ windows. For that brief moment, I was a child in my true Home.
How I had missed it