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A Five Part Lenten Reflection
Part 5: The Unveiling
By Dick Donnenwirth

Over a decade has passed since I last penned my spiritual journey. Loved ones have moved in and out of my life. But love itself remains. Its strength allowed me to let go of him from whose seed I came. I shall forever remember those four long months of silent, paralyzed agony. The haunting look in his eyes told me that, after forty-five years, he finally understood many things.

In pondering the movement of the season within me and outside me, the image of a huge spiral comes to mind. As I have wound my way through actions, reflections, decisions, and more actions, I have passed through different houses of religion, more new enchantments, more disillusionments, and many celebrations. The dance goes on with new dancers and a new coach. So again during the season of insearch I await the integrating of the past and the unveiling of the future.

Having been constellated for the better part of two decades with an aquarian, the sea has become a rich symbol for me. So it was no surprise when my Kafkaesque metamorphosis occurred as it did. The changes came slowly, barely noticeable except in retrospect. The joints stiffened. The claws protruded. The outer shell hardened. I had become a giant crab. I was locked in an angry power struggle with one of similar nature. Then suddenly, as if my mutual understanding to avoid the coming mutual annihilation, we released our vice-like grips. Immediately, I felt called forth from the cave which I had come to know as the tomb of the living dead. The voice was that of the Great Crab who ruled over the sea. 

Once out of the cave I waved my antennae and flexed my claws. Other creatures of the sea gave me a wide berth as if afraid of my power. I smiled to myself for I was very aware of my vulnerability. I must also confess, however, a secret glee concerning my impact on those around me. At one point a little goldfish darted away as the great sperm whale loomed into view. Only later did I think that I should have warned the goldfish of the tiger sharks and octopuses nearby. But what's a goldfish doing this far from a backyard lily pond anyways?

A sojourn out of water along the shore brought me into contact with a wide variety of creatures--scorpions, lions, rams, and many others. I came to new appreciations of differences and strangeness. As I sunned myself on a rock, many strangers approached to learn what I knew of the sea which stretched before us. Some touched tentacles to my antennae. Some beat on my shell. Some wished to be embraced by my claws, Several found their way under the shell. All learned more about themselves. I also learned much about them, about life and, to my surprise, about myself. I felt another change coming on.

I was being called out again. This time it was out of my shell. "But how can this be," I protested. "My shell is me." "No," came the reply, "your shell is not you, it is an important but temporary representation of you." "But I'm not ready yet." "You will never be ready--you will always be ready." "But I won't recognize others or be recognized." "Trust me," said the voice. And then as if to others, "Unbind him and let him go." Ready or not, it happened. I was out of my body. Looking around I perceived others having the same experience--the goldfish, the whale, the lion, the ram, almost everyone. One final unveiling--the spiral was not mine alone. It was common to all. It became a tunnel. I believe there was a distant light. For now the essential meaning was clear to me. In spite of very distinct representations, there is a basic spiritual unity. It doesn't have to be created. It's already present.

(April 1979)





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