Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Streams are symbolic of so many different things. In Buddhism, when Lord Buddha was crossing a stream, the current washed away the final vestiges of his life as a prince, his “essentials”, and freed him of his earthy goods allowing him to reach omniscience. For the rest of his life, he wandered among the poor and downtrodden teaching of hope and spirituality.
For me, streams have always been a connection with my own personal spirituality. Although I do not subscribe to any particular religion or church, I am nonetheless a highly spiritual person with a great connection with God. That connection seems strongest in a wooded area near a small gurgling brook.
When I speak of fate, I often refer to streams. We, you and I, have a relationship, even if we had never met. People usually equate relationship with sexuality or romance, but in reality, a relationship is simply the connection between any two people of any kind. Every person you pass while shopping has a relationship with you, even if it is very minor and fleeting. As you read this work, you and I are having a relationship as I am expressing my views to you, and you are considering whether or not you agree. It’s a form of disconnected interaction, and it is indeed a relationship.
What twist of fate has brought us together? It’s always different. Some of my readers are very good friends with whom I interact outside of my blog, some more often than others. When I think of their own streams of fate that have brought them to merge with mine, the tales are always interesting. My young lover, a college dropout with whom I had a brief physical relationship has become such a dear friend and is soon to complete her bachelor’s degree with plans to continue to graduate school. Her stream has had many twists and turns, a stream she self-guided to better and better things.
Just as her stream feeds mine, the stream of all of those that have merged and feed my own add increasing richness. My stream is fuller, healthier, happier and far more interesting with them than it could have ever been without. They keep my stream rich, flowing and full of life. Without them, it would have dried up and died many years ago.
Perhaps its appropriate that I think of the fates that brought my friends into my life in an analogous fashion as I find my own personal spirituality. You don’t have to believe in God, but I find it difficult to believe that this, all of this, is just coincidence. I’m told that Einstein simply believed that God is the sum total of all physical laws (known and unknown) that has brought us to this point. I can respect that opinion, but honestly, if you read his writings, it becomes clear that he was a very humble man with a deep belief and trust in some form of God. It’s honestly okay to believe in a God that you do not and cannot understand. Religion is an attempt to explain the nature of God, which is perhaps why I do not subscribe to any religion. I don’t understand God, and that’s okay. I don’t know what happens once our stream of existence comes to an end here, but I have faith that whatever is supposed to happen will. It’s okay, my afterlife is in Her hands.
If you are thinking about the people who are important to you, considering how and when they came into your life, that’s a good thing. There are also those whose streams eventually went on their own way and out of yours. These can be good or bad. I’ve had many people whose entrance into my life brought sludge, toxins and other bad things, and it’s better that they’ve moved on. There are also some who brought rich waters into my stream, and their loss has greatly diminished my own. Still, with these friends, their interaction with me and involvement in my life has, even if they are now gone, left me richer and fuller than I would have been without them. Some of these are friends that simply drifted away, and some had their streams come to an end in the inevitable flow of time.
The stream of time pushes all of our fates, and there is no way around it. Our own demise is inevitable. It’s not a question of what we will do if we die, but rather, what had we done as we lived. A friend of mine recently had a loss in her life, and we were discussing some form of service for him. I suggested, rather than a memorial service, going with a life celebration. Spend the event with his favorite foods instead of the usual funeral deli choices, and let people speak on the good times with him rather than remembering what a great person he was. We should celebrate each other. When I go, I don’t want people to mourn their loss, but rather celebrate their gain in whatever joy and happiness I brought to them. Then cremate me and spread my ashes over my ex-wife.