A lone figure in a hallway, with arms thrown towards the sky, displaying movement that speaks of a carefree spirit. It was positioned perfectly at the end of a long hallway at the entrance and exit of a hospital. I could not help but stare at this bronze beauty every day. When I came in and when I left I could feel the heaviness of wanting to be her. Oh, how I want her spirit, her happiness, her joy, and her freedom of expression of letting go. She is my idol. She is my dream.
A bronze statue of a dancing girl became my daily reminder that there are joys to be had in life. Seeing her made me reflect on the things that steal joy. Getting a speeding ticket, car trouble, financial issues, death, illness, gossip – especially when it’s about you, losing a friend, feeling alone, not fitting in, and the list goes on. What I found as the most devastating loss was living a life where the opportunity for joy was there but, it was lost because of allowing it to be stolen.
I finished my clinical pastoral education course. It was difficult. There was, and still is, a lot to learn about pastoral care. The funny irony, the ones that spend so much time giving the care are sometimes the worst at giving it to themselves or accepting someone else giving it to them. It is always easier to see someone else’s issues. Well, I spent a lot of time having my issues examined and I can say, I learned a few things. Whether it was truly beneficial to my growth, spiritually, I am still discerning.
When I first started taking classes to finish my undergraduate degree, I took a world history class at a local university to get core class credits. While taking this class, I ended up watching a documentary on prehistoric findings of human bones. The Ice Man was one that was of particular interest to me. I am not so fascinated with how the arrow went into his shoulder and he laid there and bled to death. I am also not so interested in how the scientists could pull DNA from his nicely preserved bones. What I found interesting was that this lonely caveman character was walking along, foraging for his next meal, and before he knew what hit him, he was laying on the ground dying. Why? Well, apparently, he trespassed on someone else’s territory.
Humanity has not evolved into a higher spirituality. No. Humanity has evolved, definitely. We know how to start a fire much more efficiently now. We know how to kill more efficiently, too. What gets me about the Ice Man is that there was a huge expanse of land around him. It’s not like he was walking down the wrong alley in New York City. He was killed for trespassing on land where no one had a “legal” claim. Was there a legal and binding document that said it was ok for the other guy to kill this guy for looking for his next meal? No, but, the other guy was there first, supposedly. I guess that gave him the right.
Jealousy and greed are the roots of all wickedness. At the root of both is a lack of knowing God. Many of the books of the Bible contain stories of jealousy. As a matter of fact, you can start at the beginning, with Genesis 4. I saw that in the Ice Man’s story. It’s not the science that is intriguing but, the human perception. As humans, we don’t own anything when we come into this world and we won’t own anything when we leave but, while we are here, we will let everyone know what is ours. In some cases, we don’t even care if we know that it’s not ours, we will take it anyway because well, it is owed to us. People trample other people in so many ways in life. People want to “get ahead” so they try to learn more by doing more, and taking more opportunities to do more while, in the midst, they step on those who are also in line to learn more. Well, not all people are important. Right? It would seem this way. This happens in racism but, it also happens among those within the same race. Jealousy and greed really have no boundaries.
Jealousy and greed will remain in the human race. It will remain among people. It will remain in relatives. It will become more obvious in people you thought were friends. Once someone sees another’s joy, it must be stolen. Of course, because having joy is a precious commodity. I believe this is why holding onto one’s joy is the one territory that is worth fighting for.
Each time I look at the different angles of this beautiful statue, I see another piece, another aspect, another fragment of what I hope to learn how to grasp. I would love to see this statue again. I would love to find another one like it, just as a reminder. As I continue growing and trying to manage to learn so many new things, I hope to stop and simply dance once in a while. Life is short and there is only so much time to dance.
Those are my thoughts, for now.