A long time ago, before the camera and I were companions, I went back to Lebanon with a very good friend who loved to follow the unknown. We were near the top of one of Lebanon’s two mountain ranges when we spotted a phenomenon. On a bright and sunny day, a lone cloud on top of the mountain was dancing in circles as the wind spun it round and round and round again. My friend suggested we follow that cloud and so we did. After hiking to the top of that mountain where if you stretched your arm up high you can pass it through the spinning cloud, we met an old shepherd named “Abou Akram”. In his aging eyes we met the essence of kindess and her sister wisdom. He lived in a stone hut alone for 9 months of the year and tended to his goats and sheep comforted by the occasional visits from his wife who lived with the rest of his big family down in the valley. Abou Akram invited us to a cup of tea that he cooked on a small fire and he spoke to us of his life. He said he had read all that needed to be read, heard all the stories that needed to be told and ate all the delicacies that needed to be eaten. Now, he can only find his peace here on top of the mountain. He said people seek him out to ask him questions about their future, because you see, his mind became so clear that he could now see. “I am a seer” he said. When I looked around me and all I could see were hills, clouds, sky, grass and rocks, I asked the seer how he could bear being alone. He then looked at me with eyes overcome by tenderness and filled with tears and he said: “alone? I am never alone? Don’t you see him? Can’t you see God? He is in ground, in the air, in the sky, in the rocks, in the very air I breathe! Love is flooding my heart and I all I can be is thankful. With this kind of love you are simply never alone…”
At a certain point in our lives, our bodies grow to maximum capacity and from that point on, they begin to deteriorate. The only part of the human that continues to evolve is the head, the spirit and soul that drive it, and what lives in it and around it. That is the only place out of which a human can make a breakthrough, isn’t it? Humans evolve through their mental development, their art, their creativity, their revelations, their connections.. and if these are trained correctly and well invested in, then the greatest reward of all, wisdom and human development can occur. Which begs the question, why are we humans so obsessed with the outward looks of our bodies and why do we fear the signs of aging instead of looking inward as we are meant to do when we get older?
Have you ever had days when all seems to be going exactly the opposite of what you have planned? When the universe seems to be having a laugh at your expense? On days like this, I remember a very simple and old Arabic saying that has echoed in my ears though out my childhood years in Lebanon: “Do not hate anything lest it is meant to be good for you”. So simple, so direct, so wise, so good to remember on such days.
All is well!