I talk too much.
With my words I’ve drawn a circle around myself.
It’s like a noose, and it tightens, defining who it is that I think I am, and who I think that others are.
More and more is excluded as the circle draws in, draws closer, becomes more defined.
What is inside the circle becomes frozen as what is outside is excluded.
What is lost, what can no longer find an entrance, is compassion.
Without compassion I sit in my circle of pain, disappointment, anger, and watch as the light in the world fades.
The others are like distant candles, allowed to grow faint, to waver, and soon they are extinguished.
I am alone. I can no longer serve this world that is drowning in pain. The pain has become my own.
My words having turned to dust, I look out at the devastation helplessly.
Turning within (there is nowhere else to turn),I find beneath the ice and ashes a light that endures.
The subtle glow that remains, no matter how tight the noose, how deep the darkness, responds to my attention.
I give to the light, my eyes, my breath, my senses, my thoughts, and it begins to grow, turning the ice to flame and the ashes to earth.
The circle is never broken. It grows wider, bringing more of the world inside itself.
Like a starved vessel the circle fills with long abandoned hopes, forgiveness, atonement.
Soon perhaps I will be a able to look upon my enemies, those who out of fear have sealed themselves away, and feel something beyond my own fear, my own hatred and defensiveness.
Perhaps the biggest miracle is to witness a change within my own circle of attention, from contempt to compassion.
This is my challenge.