This being Human…

” be grateful for whoever comes “

One of the many sayings we have at work is “leave your ego in the carpark”. I did so, and it got nicked.

That’s a light-hearted take on the fact that my new pride and joy, that I saved for years for, was stolen in broad daylight this week. Ripped from its highly secured refuge by someone with no conscience, morals or seemingly no sense of right and wrong. Yes, deep down I am still very angry.

I could go on about my bike and #cycletowork but to what end?…

Where I work we have a canon of poetry that we champion. One of the perhaps trickier poems to stomach is The Guest House’ by Rumi.

Before the week’s costly malevolence, I’d discussed this poem with various colleagues. It’s not an easy poem to take on board.

But after the offensive events this week, perhaps the shadows in this poem might be seen as shade from life’s glare. Perhaps we can allow the haze of the poem’s truth to melt the stony anger.

This being human is a guest house.
​Joy, depression, meanness… violent sorrow… dark thoughts, shame, malice…
Be grateful for whoever comes?

That is the reality of humanity, it’s not fair, it’s messy, and that’s the way it is…

Yes, there’s the guest in room 54 that’s spoiled things for the rest, but there’s numerous other rooms… Perhaps after the inevitable messy guests leave, we might delight and appreciate the other guests in our lives. Those that have resided with us for months or years, and those we see daily in passing. Every morning we might greet the familiar guests. We might delight in the frequent guests that pop in and out… There are so many regulars, that perhaps we don’t appreciate the richness of our guesthouse’s joyful community.

As Sara Cox muppetry sings ‘Life’s a Happy Song’ “We’ve got everything that we need, right in front of us…”

As the Greatest Showman sings “It’s everything you ever need… it’s here right in front of you” “From now on…”

Or as the poet wrote… ‘ be grateful for whoever comes ‘.

I’m still not sure about the last two lines… but who knows – Don’t try to understand it, feel it?

I admit, I could wish a perpetual sharp stone in the shoes of the unblessed miscreants, but perhaps the truer, harder wish is to wish them peace? Perhaps that’s what they, and we, struggle to realise, and I sense that’s what’s truly missing from their angry, turmoiled, desperate lives.

It’s not easy but, to misquote Julian of Norwich ‘all manner of things might be well’.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

​A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

And, here’s another poem we consider at work…

By julesprichards

Anchoring in the shire, with family, friends, coffee and cheese… always looking…