I don’t know a lot.
Years ago–exactly at age eleven, sprawled out on the scratchy orange and black upholstered chair in our family room–I remember thinking very assuredly, “I know everything there is to know.”
That little preteen really thought she knew everything. This 55-year-old mama, however, sitting on this velvet green upholstered computer chair, is more and more convinced that she knows very little.
She is convinced she knows one thing. Well, she’s fairly convinced she knows one thing. She’s almost certain that it’s true from what she’s glimpsed in deep meditation and when yellow and blue symphony skies steal breath from the heart.
All of life is holy, my friend. All of life is holy. All of life is whole.
All of life is holy, even many of the parts that we disdain, that we analyze between here and sunrise. Our confusion is even holy. Our not-knowing is holy. Even our messy inconvenient mistakes are holy, yes they are, although the internal judge is already sentencing us to a lifetime of hell for believing that last messy inconvenient thought.
I do not say all of life is wonderful, joyful, perfect, dazzling, preferable. I did not say all of life is what our mind ordinarily assumes as “good”. I suggest all of life is holy–as in “wholey”. All of life is whole, complete, revealing itself as it is, whether we like it or not.
This kind of wholeyness does not have an opposite. It embraces the fullness of our life in all its positive and negative, in all its shining glory and deep disappointment.
Holy is even someone murmuring, “All life is not holy.” That’s how encompassing the wholeyness of life is.
The reason your blogger is only *fairly* sure that all of life is holy is because some acts seem too terrible to classify in the holy department. She can’t type that rape and murder and pushing a fellow in the subway are holy. She can’t go that far, even though she’s suspicious that her view is still somehow too limited, too narrow to understand the Largest Perspective. But she can say “all life is wholey.” Why? Because it exists.
When we’re viewing life from a much wider lens, a wider angle than our personal stories, it’s funny, isn’t it, dear reader, how so much ordinariness shines with the most beautiful holiness, the wholeness of it all?
They say when we die we’ll look back in a flash as our life passes before us and we’ll see the holiness of offering a friend blue plums. The blue plums themselves shine with holiness, as do our blue-stained fingernails, as do the purple gratitude shining from our friend’s eyes.
We’ll see holiness in a pool game in Scot’s Bar in 1983, the way the bar lights gleamed off the rainbow-colored balls. The way the bar smelled of stale beer. The way the drunk on the bar stool fell off, the way the people laughed, the way the waitress knelt tenderly beside him, brushing the stray lock of gray hair off his face, willing him to resurrect.
We’ll see holiness in the most ordinary of our actions. The times Grandpa bounced us on his knee and crooned (off-key) Sing a Song of Cities and you felt more loved than anyone on the planet until you were thirteen years old and he announced you too old to bounce upon his knee and you locked the bathroom door and flooded cities with the tears of your weeping song.
We’ll see holiness in the time we wrestled on the carpeted floor with our younger brother, and the way you wanted to kill him, you truly did, you hated him with every precious ounce of your six-year-old self. But somehow holiness shines through and embraces that memory and allows it and shines its light upon it.
Even the grunting and passion reveals itself as so precious that you want to weep at the beauty of this life which has been so full, so full of ripe sweet strawberries and deep maroon wineglass of Merlot and the smell of fresh-laundered sheets drying like sails in the wind outside your kitchen window.
We miss it, don’t we, we miss it far too often. Our mind labels something “ordinary” and the magic of it becomes dead to us. Or our minds don’t know how to truly hold our heart’s tears or appreciation and we forget, we forget, oh how we forget.
The holiness is not honored, not decked in laurel crowns of green and red holly, not delighted, not sung at family gatherings, not knelt before like the Christ child.
I don’t know how to make the holy ordinariness the sacred altar of this life. The eleven year old child might have known, she who knew everything. Every last bit of my energy kindles an inner flame that wants to sing “holy, holy, holy” when you comment here at this doorstep, when you read and shake your head in ambivalence, when you dance away and share your next moment of holiness with another sacred moment.
And yet, so often I seem to fail. I do not notice the holiness of these typing fingers. I do not notice the holiness of your wrinkled faces and hands, your kindness, your disdain, your next movement, your pink angel wings gleaming in the sunlight of your days.
Perhaps that is holy, too. Even our not noticing the patter of freezing ice-rain as the Universe’s gift to this moment of our wild and precious lives.
Even our blindness is perhaps endearing, forcing us to develop other senses of perception. Even our confusion is song. Even the way we don’t know whether to turn left or right, move up or down, stand up or be still.
Maybe it’s OK that we don’t know. Maybe–in our not knowing–in our allowing ourselves to not know–Life in its preciousness moves through us like the “Ho Ho Ho” of Santa’s deep belly laugh reminding us “Holy, Holy, Holy” as we turn our cheeks toward the present of the next moment and open it fully with tears of gratitude blessing the soil of this open-armed green and blue earth.
P.S. Please, my friends, if you have seven minutes of your life to celebrate the holy, please watch this YouTube video. It sparked my heart into deeper holiness this morning as I wept in joy at this sacred sharing. Don’t stop after one minute, or two. Allow your heart to be broken open with what love wants to reveal to you: