“It’s time to look within…”
I have been cheating on you, all of you, and in so doing I have been cheating on myself.
Somehow I had lost my way and fallen into the trap that all too many of us unwittingly get sucked into.
Dark, cold and unfeeling we gently give into the ways of the world and day to day living only to have the essence of our being slowly and unknowingly sucked out of us.
We become disengaged from what drives our collective spirits and I, for one, have been there far too long, so I wish to apologize.
Several days ago, on a bright sunny Chinese morning, my driver and I were headed into the mountains to do what I do to earn a living (which will not be shared here). As we moved through the countryside we were grooving on a Celine Dione CD and even though he can’t speak English, Mr. Zhang was singing along with a great, big smile on his face.
We made an interesting pair, windows rolled down, shades on, music turned up and cruising through small villages rocking and rolling. The rural inhabits looked at us with dropped jaws and staring eyes (I am way too used to that, here)
As we cruised by lotus farms, rice paddies and fields of corn it occurred to me how blessed I am, how I live a lifestyle that is akin to an international spy, James Bond. Behind the Great Chinese Firewall in the center of Communist People’s Republic of China I am grooving to tunes and living the dream…the thought stopped me cold. I then realized that I had become disconnected.
Almost 20 years ago,when I first started dating my wife Terry she turned me onto Celine and her magical music. The songs of love became our totem and when we lived in Brazil and she would visit her folks in the U.S. I would listen to the music and my eyes would leak. That had not happened in ages and on that morning, several days ago, my heart was touched and I knew I had grown cold and distant. I looked around and saw the world in a different perspective.
As we continued to drive we climbed through a thin cloud cover and burst out into a blazing blue sky with the clouds rolling and turning below, it was stunning.
It occurred to me that the terraced mountainsides had, perhaps, been sculpted thousands of years ago and the geometrical patterns of varying crops painted a real-time picture to the eye that no artist or photographer could ever capture. The visuals made my pulse quicken.
We climbed higher and higher through switch backed turns and when we reached the peak, the highest point of the range which separates Sichuan province from Chongqing province, I had my driver stop and with questioning eyes he pulled off the road.
To my right was a small rise that blocked my view of Chongqing and atop that rise was a large, lone boulder. I exited the SUV, climbed the rise and looked about. The world lay beneath me and it was pulsing with life and energy.
Abandoning any concept or representation of safety I struggled to climb the boulder that seemed somewhat misplaced upon the ridge. Once I acquired my footing I looked around me again and the air in my lungs was pulled away.
On top of the world…and I am alive, breathing and engaged.
My vision was blurred with tears but the immensity of the vista below was fully perceived as I drew in a deep breath, slowly raised my arms above my head, opened my hands, stretched out my fingers and…touched the sky.
Join me, re-engage, re-energize, focus and stay on point. We have a lot of work to do for those who cannot speak for themselves and I feel their loving breath on the back of my neck.
We can do this and we will succeed. My confidence is firm.
Today; extend yourself, let go, breath deep and reclaim your ideals.
Regardless of where you are, take a moment and reach for your center, extend your arms, spread your fingers and once again…touch the sky.
Keep the faith my friends, keep the faith.