Is There A Superior Way?
"So where do you think you have arrived?" asked the Wise Woman.
"Err .... here," I replied.
"And do you know where 'here' is?" she asked, waving her hand to indicate she meant something more than the tent we were sitting in.
I pointed downward and then looked up and gazed around the tent. I smelled the desert outside and thought of the forest where I had first met her.
"I don't know where I am coming from or where I am going. But I do know I am where I am supposed to be, maybe for the first time in my life." I said, wondering as the words flowed out from me how they could be so true and yet I never consciously had felt this way before.
She smiled and looked into my eyes. And I saw her for the first time.
"You are at the beginning of the Superior Way. Not a place in itself. You won't find it on any map. And yet people find their way here. It is a most curious place. Don't you agree?"
All I wanted to do was look in her eyes and laugh. Instead, I found the desert mouse had climbed onto the cushion before me and was stretching itself up. I found myself gazing into its deep eyes and seeing a bit of myself reflected there.
"It is a most curious place," I agreed. I found myself wanting to say more, but wordless. No words would flow. My mind, for the first time, was still. And I liked the stillness. I could hear the Wise Woman talking, but the sounds made no sense. Like a child's alphabet blocks tossed at random.
My body blinked my eyes and I was back, moving across a foggy landscape of ideas ... and I shook my head to clear it.
"Are you okay?" she asked gently.
"Yeah," I replied. "I just ..." my voice trailed off.
"Stopped to tie your shoe?" she asked. "It happens. Your body and mind need to sync up with your heart and your ... let's just call it energy. So you stop for a moment, and let it happen. That's fine. Just let it go when it is ready. If you need to use effort to hold onto it, it can not be held. Whatever world you are in, the same thing applies," she said.
"Whatever world? Are there different ones?" I asked, growing more curious as the mind fog dissipated.
"Let's talk more about The Way, shall we?" was her only reply. At my reluctant nod, she continued, "The Way has many names. Yet it remains undefined and always present. Go to any culture, any century, and you will find those who have found it and followed it. Many even try to share the insights they have gained from traveling it, to help those who seek it."
"Like the Hermit on the Hill?" I asked.
"Just so. And where ever you step in the world, there it is all around you. But few see it. It is a nothing .. a no thing ... that harmonizes paradoxes, guides the balancing of opposites and manifests everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. Words can not touch it, and yet ... the Hermit that grasps nothing holds it very dear," she explained.
"There is more in there than I understand right now, isn't there?" I asked, sure of the answer. I was not disappointed.
"Yes. There are hidden meanings ... layers of meaning ... and as you grasp and understand more of the green language that much of the world's wisdom is written in, you will understand more. Like a song made of many instruments playing different notes ... so the words carry different meanings based on how you listen to them. Most people just focus on the brass section, which is the loudest, and that drowns out the rest of what is being passed on. They think there is only one right annsir**, one way to vu** something, one Way and no Other." She paused and looked at me closely.
"And would they be wrong or right?" I asked.
""Both .... because the Way harmonizes the paradox. or 'pair of docks' if you prefer." She smiled at me again.
I laughed. "I get it! No words can touch it ... but can words touch anything?" I asked, very curious to hear her reply.
"You are starting to get it. Well done! Fancy another date?" she replied moving the tray of dates almost out of my reach.
"Dates .... dates ... time .... it does something in time. But how can a nothing do anything in time, or out of it?" I asked.
"Are we out of time already?" the Wise Woman asked. "Pity, and we were just getting started. But time flies ..." she trailed off waiting for me to finish.
" ... like a banana, fruit flies like an arrow. I know ... time to head back to the real world." I got up and started moving towards the door.
"But I want to learn more ..." I said over my shoulder as the tent closed behind me and disappeared from my view ...