I am currently trying to lead, teach, maybe head a conversation would be more accurate; on the gospels. This exchange of ideas through spoken words takes place at our church. I don’t know what to call what I do, but I am aware that my remarks too often fall short of their mission. I am not a teacher, I lack the knowledge. I am more of an explorer asking people to join me on my journey of discovery. This is an expedition in search of understanding. We have no ship to help us travel to the island where wisdom sits about, still, for all to grasp. We have no shovels to find the meaning buried beneath. This pilgrimage requires us to step outside our current space/time and experience through words and inspiration a very different place and existence. Meaning cannot be taught; instead it must rise up almost on his own accord and is revealed, found through personal experience. If my message does not touch, not in the same way, but in some way the members of our merry band; I have failed. It must become an occurrence before it can become a point of reference. Meaning once captured will not remain hidden; it will shine through our actions and even our thoughts. Meaning is external only in its visible effects because it resides internally, like an organ, no, a compass that alway points north. If used properly it can help the lost find their direction.
Before I scurry to far from the path let me get back to the point. How do I convey a message? I come to this task, first, as a little child finding wonder in the familiar, also as an adult endeavoring to make the strange familiar. I doubt less my purpose or selection of ideas, no friends, it is my presentation. My words lack vitality, they do not stir the imagination without which we are bound to a short distance; we cannot travel far. Perhaps, I have yet to escape my own confines. There may remain remnants of scales clouding my vision. I will continue to look for the narrative, its setting and the people within each gospel. That’s where meaning is found. Yet, even if I gain deeper understanding, I might still be a too flawed messenger.
I am a cancer survivor. I know because I have a hat and tee shirt that says so. Actually, the shirtsays, me 1, cancer 0. The hat says, “My to do List: beat cancer, conquer the world,” cancer is checked, conquer the world isnot. It will remain unchecked. I have no desire to conquer, only make my little space a tad better. It has been less than a year since my last treatment so It might be a little early to call the game. I still fight fatigue and other effects that stem from the treatment more than the disease. I don’t feel like a winner, I feel like a survivor. Most days I have a new appreciation for life. My lack of wealth and status seem like such a small thing now. Overall, it is easier to be happy. I worry less about the things I can’t give my kids and more about what I can. I love my wife again and I think, just maybe, she loves me. Othertimes I want to,sometimes I do cry for the people who didn’t make it and the ones I know who suffer now. My perception has changed and I have a clearer understanding. Certain words are no longer concepts, but have a reality, a presence. These words have many faces. While, they may take different forms; they evoke similar responses inthose they have an intimate relationship with. Words such as fear, death, suffering, mercy and maybe God? Like many, if not most survivors I feel a need. This need is new only in its intensity and quality, not in itsexistence. Itis driven not only by the words mention, but through the awareness that life is lived in the moment and thosemoments are limited. At first, I wondered why me? But that is a dead-endstreet. The question is,“What now Grey Seal“? I think this question is what fueled the greatest generation and canevenhelpa guy like me findmeaning in the life I have left. I have an ear and I will listen, maybe that is why I am here.