Realities we don’t wish to acknowledge have a way of relentlessly annoying us like mosquitoes buzzing around our heart. Often the person we think ourselves to be and the person others see us to be are at odds! That discrepancy should at least cause us to wonder about ourselves. And then I woke up in the recovery room! Oh, right… I’d just had the joint of my left big toe sliced, diced and fused to the foot! Not wanting the pain that I knew was coming I closed my eyes and tried to embrace that peace-filled and restful sleep that I’d been chemically put in but against my will the reality of beeping monitors pulled me back into the recovery room!
On Sunday nights in the monastery a few of us brothers played the board-game called “Risk.” It was often the same four of us playing and it was the same brother who usually won. The two of us had a close friendship but during the week following his “win” he would needle me not about his winning but about my losing! One evening, upon losing once again and seeing “that look” in his eyes I got up, picked up the board and playing pieces, went out into the backyard and tossed it all off the cliff! So much for the maturity and wisdom that I thought I had a handle on! It seems no matter how much you know there’s always even more to know about your own heart! Helen Keller is often quoted responding to “Is it hard being blind?” by saying, “It would be if I had no vision.” The nearest quote I have found is “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” The vision of which she spoke is deeper and more encompassing than what one sees with the eyes. Helen was speaking not so much about sight but about insight!
Just because we see trees and sunsets and the faces of others does not mean that we see into our own heart! Before tossing the board-game off the cliff I thought of myself as so mature and wise. Once it flew from my hands I saw that my own heart was a bit more of a mystery to me than I had suspected! Just because we gather degrees like collectables or we can quote famous authors does not mean that we are wise. Real wisdom has to do with the inner-seeing of which Ms. Keller spoke. That kind of ability is available to everyone, from the poorest to the richest, from the blind visionary to the blind monk!