I don’t feel much like writing at all tonight. Unfortunately (fortunately that is) I follow my intuition as experience tells me that to doubt it is foolish. Hence, I’m writing.
Do you have a story that you come back to? A story that is your heart song? It’s not your life, it’s a metaphor for your life. It’s the life in you. This is my story. It’s called The Jester. You can read the other two chapters I’ve previously posted here. And here’s the next one…
The Jester…chapter unknown…
Rough winds were playing outside. She’d say they were cheeky winds. Playful with a bit of an edge – an edge strong enough to shake the house from time to time.
As usual remnants of her own life started to dance within her as the wind played. Old memories stirred, like leaves in the wind.
Today she was reminded of a man. He’d walked into her shop one day. He’d had a confident aura with a little bit of heartbreak shadowing its edges. Gray hair. Twinkling blue eyes. The lines in his face made him look weather worn in the right kind of way. He was the kind of man women would stop to look twice at, but he didn’t look back.
He was a wise man. He was a man who had seen and done what few ever would. He’d sinned in ways most would never imagine sinning and healed in ways most would never imagine healing. He was the kind of man who’d been through the sort of living hell that either make you die, or fight to reach a spiritual plane where life is no longer about pain.
Having the knowledge he had, he was also the kind of man who looked you in the eye and spoke the truth. Unfortunately the truth isn’t always pretty. Nor is it helpful if you don’t know what to do with it.
As a kid she’d been a bit like that man – she’d tell people the truth. Usually the truth she thought they most needed to hear; the truth about their wounds. As she grew older she learned that unless she offered a loving hand of help, the truth rarely set people free – instead it haunted them. They were as imprisoned by their fears and wounds as before she’d mentioned them. Just because someone else could see them and by seeing them make them tangible, it didn’t mean the person would do something about them. Instead the wounds started to bleed.
So she’d taken over her grandmother’s bakery and she now dished out the truth with a loving pat on the back and a suitable cake to go with it. People were charmed and charmed people are a lot more likely to go about making the changes you suggest they make.
In short, showing someone their wound without offering a way of healing it, is rather cruel unless the person is a healer in themselves. And even when you offer a way of healing a wound, it does the patient good to receive a dose of love too. After all, wounds are painful and love takes the edge of pain. And love, in one form or another, is usually the medicine needed to heal the wound.
The charismatic man who had stepped into her shop was prone to heal people with his wisdom, but he was no soothsayer. He did not wrap his truths up in nice little packages to diffuse the pain and he did not offer any love to go with his words. Instead he smirked and said the enlightened knew life is filled with pain and the only way to transcend it is to walk straight through it. Because that was his path, but it isn’t everyone’s path. Not everyone does well with bleeding wounds. In fact, quite a few of them faint and thereby render themselves useless.
The warmth of her shop had impressed him. He had liked what she’d done. How she camouflaged the truth in pretty little metaphors. He’d liked the cleverness of it all. He was wise enough to see that his way wasn’t everyone’s way. Of course he’d told her the truth though. He’d prodded and pushed till she bled.
At that stage she had thought she needed him. That she had needed his truth. She’d run after him like a lost puppy looking for advice. Her gran had just left the earthly realms. She was alone. She hadn’t found her feet yet. He wasn’t interested in friendship. He was a loner. And she wasn’t a chosen disciple.
The wind stirred up some sand that hit her windows as she stirred her tea. Sweet licorice and soft vanilla mingled with fruity notes of rooibos. Her tea gave her a level of comfort that man never could have. He only gave her a little piece of truth she was then left to battle herself. Ultimately those kind of pieces can set you free, but it’s often a long and harsh path. She knew because she’d taken it.
What struck her the most though as she remembered the man, was her need for friendship, for warmth, and his refusal to give it. For all his hearty laughs, heated spiritual discussions and twinkling blue eyes, he was always detached. Aloof. All he’d needed was his lover, his spirituality and his smoke. Everything else was earthly madness in his books. Yet, he was part of that madness because he was attached to the three things that diffused his pain. And he found it easier to say everyone had their path than taking responsibility for how he affected their path.
She wondered why she’d tried so hard to befriend him? Acceptance? Winning a true friend? She wasn’t sure, but she thought it had been to calm her own nerves. She wasn’t used to walking alone and believing her own truth. She wanted reassurance. He didn’t have the warmth of her gran, but he’d been wise and she’d wanted him to tell her that she was alright. That she could handle life on her own.
The wind did another little dance and she looked up and smiled at her dark window panes. She was certain that something fun filled and cheeky would happen soon. She could feel it in the air. Someone out there was stirring things up. She had the impression of two brothers playing, twirling around each other and laughing at the things they did as they flew by. Like scaring an old lady by pushing her door open and dancing through her living room. Or taking all the leaves old Monsieur Bardin had neatly raked into a heap and making them spin around him in a circle of unhindered delight. She liked this wind.
Her thoughts returned to the wise man. She’d sought confirmation from him; confirmation that she was wise. In the end she’d had to find that for herself though. It was funny and sad to see all the people looking for these kinds of things in the wrong places. Through the years she’d had women and men come into her shop crying over unrequited love. They’d been begging for crumbles from people who refused to give more. They could go elsewhere and be served cake, but for them crumbles were all they’d ever had. They didn’t expect more and held onto what little was given.
Others were merely confused by love. They felt attraction, on some level or other, and decided it was love.
Desire, she thought was a delirious thing. It would draw you to the mirror images of your soul and the best parts of you, but also the mirror images of your greatest wounds. Like the people searching for crumbles, because that’s what they were used to. Nursing those souls back to life was a particular pleasure of hers.
Other souls had been through too much pain. Like slaves they’d walk along with anyone who would ease it. Some chose the bottle, some chose pleasures of the flesh, others chose to devote themselves to a person, or to a spiritual path of no attachment.
To look beyond desire and at the same time enjoy the right kind of desire, so aptly provided by the world, was an art few mastered. She didn’t. Not yet. She looked beyond other people’s desires, but not her own. Not always. At least she provided the right kind of desire through her gifts; through her shop of delights. Healthy desire. Desire to stir the soul and enjoy the pleasures of the earth.
She thought about the man’s twinkling blue eyes. The gray streaks in his hair. How he’d laughed about life’s absurdities. And how those absurdities had caused the pain he’d so tried to overcome in his little spiritual bubble. Wise, yet foolish, but who was she to judge? He didn’t want friends, she wanted as many as possible. In the end one of his three desires had caused him pain – the desire for his lover. After that he’d left town and she’d never seen him again.
It was time to blow out her candle. The wind was still playing. She longed for bed and a night filled with dreams. In the morning she was fairly certain mischief would come knocking. With winds like these, it was bound to happen. And with that thought she blew out her candle, a smile playing on her lips.
By Yours Truly, a.k.a. Maria Montgomery. You can read the other two chapters I’ve previously posted here.
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