But when we sit together, close,’ said Bernard, ‘we melt into each other with phrases. We are edged with mist. We make an unsubstantial territory.
How joyful to be together, aloneas when we first were joinedin our little house by the riverlong ago, except that now we knoweach other, as we did not then;and now instead of two stories fumblingto meet, we belong to one storythat the two, joining, made. And nowwe touch each other with the tendernessof mortals, who know themselves
We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.
I don't know why we stopped reading together, but gradually we were not doing it regularly, and then without realizing it was happening we were reading different books, and gradually we came not to care about the book the other one was reading, because it was not the book we were reading, and we became bored and drifted off when the other one talked about his book. What we were doing, reading different books, was furnishing different rooms, constructing separate worlds almost, in which we could sit and be ourselves again. Of course those were rooms in which we each sat alone, and we gradually spent more and more time in them and less and less in the house we lived in together.
We are so close to putting it all together and I still believe in the talent on this team and our ability to get it done against anyone. We have all the components but really need to start playing smarter, understanding certain situations better and becoming more proficient at playing to our strengths.
But we have, if not our understanding, our own experience, and it feels to me sealed, inviolable, ours. We have a last, deep week together, because Wally is not on morphine yet, because he has just enough awareness, just enough ability to communicate with me. I’m with him almost all day and night- little breaks, for swimming, for walking the dogs. Outside it snows and snows, deeper and deeper; we seem to live in a circle of lamplight. I rub his feet, make him hot cider. All week I feel like we’re taking one another in, looking and looking. I tell him I love him and he says I love you, babe, and then when it’s too hard for him to speak he smiles back at me with the little crooked smile he can manage now, and I know what it means. I play music for him, the most encompassing and quiet I can find: Couperin, Vivaldi, the British soprano Lesley Garret singing arias he loved, especially the duet from Lakme: music of freedom, diving, floating. How can this be written? Shouldn’t these sentences simply be smithereened apart, broken in a hurricane?All that afternoon he looks out at us though a little space in his eyes, but I know he sees and registers: I know that he’s loving us, actively; if I know nothing else about this man, after nearly thirteen years, I know that. I bring all the animals, and then I sit there myself, all afternoon, the lamps on. The afternoon’s so quiet and deep it seems almost to ring, like chimes, a cold, struck bell. I sit into the evening, when he closes his eyes.There is an inaudible roaring, a rush beneath the surface of things, beneath the surface of Wally, who has now almost no surface- as if I could see into him, into the great hurrying current, that energy, that forward motion which is life going on. I was never this close to anyone in my life. His living’s so deep and absolute that it pulls me close to that interior current, so far inside his life. And my own. I know I am going to be more afraid than I have ever been, but right now I am not afraid. I am face to face with the deepest movement in the world, the point of my love’s deepest reality- where he is most himself, even if that self empties out into no one, swift river hurrying into the tumble of rivers, out of individuality, into the great rushing whirlwind of currents. All the love in the world goes with you.
Promise me we'll stay together, okay?" His eyes are once again the clear blue of a perfectly transparent pool. They are eyes to swim in, to float in, forever. "You and me.""I promise," I say.Behind us the door creaks open, and I turn around, expecting Raven, just as a voice cuts through the air: "Don't believe her."The whole world closes around me, like an eyelid: For a moment, everything goes dark.I am falling. My ears are full of rushing; I have been sucked into a tunnel, a place of pleasure and chaos. My head is about to explode.He looks different. He is much thinner, and a scar runs from his eyebrow all the way down to his jaw. On his neck, just behind his left ear, a small tattooed number curves around the three-pronged scar that fooled me, for so long, into believing he was cured. His eyes-once a sweet, melted brown, like syrup-have hardened. Now they are stony, impenetrable.Only his hair is the same: that auburn crown, like leaves in autumn.Impossible. I close my eyes and reopen them: the boy from a dream, from a different lifetime. A boy brought back from the dead.Alex.
You and I, under the moonlight, together until the stars don't shine any more... The world slips away as we dance in the fire as we had never yet danced...in anticipation of the red flame, that melts an iron will. Void of touch, eyes closed, hearts alive. Spirits flying, the senses aching to feast, souls embracing one another. Entwined together they're joyfully singing. Control no longer of a reality... A powerful union... Luminating us, innocently calling, erupting from within, & spreading infinitely a timeless passion... Eternal Love never known before...
We can each sit and wait to die, from the very day of our births. Those of us who do not do so, choose to ask--and to answer--the two questions that define every conscious creature: What do I want? and What will I do to get it? Which are, finally, only one question: What is my will? Caine teaches us that the answer is always found within our own experience; our lives provide the structure of the question, and a properly phrased question contains its own answer
Helen, you would just have to sit still, close your eyes and think of me, and I would turn the universe inside out to find you. I would go anywhere and fight anything to get to you—witches, dragons, and even pirates. If I have to pass through a hundred lifetimes, I will do it to find you. I may be an old man and you may be an old woman. You may not even recognize me by the time it happens, but you will know and I will know, because nothing can separate us. We will always be together. I promise you. Now stop worrying.
So that’s how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal theloss, no matter how important the thing that's stolen from us - that'ssnatched right out of our hands - even if we are left completelychanged, with only the outer layer of skin from before, we continue toplay out our lives this way, in silence. We draw ever nearer to theend of our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails offbehind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. Leaving behind a feeling of insurmountable emptiness...Maybe, in some distant place, everything is already, quietly, lost.Or at least there exists a silent place where everything candisappear, melting together in a single, overlapping figure. And aswe live our lives we discover - drawing toward us the thin threadsattached to each - what has been lost. I closed my eyes and tried tobring to mind as many beautiful lost things as I could. Drawing themcloser, holding on to them. Knowing all the while that their livesare fleeting.
When you get that close and then you hear the other team, the other fans celebrating to 'Simply The Best' and 'We Are The Champions', that hurt. It hurt a lot. We didn't know who was holding the Cup, but each time someone else took it, you could hear the fans go nuts. We're just sitting there, soaking all of this in and imagining what it would feel like ... if it was us.
When we began researching the film on behalf of Channel 4, which had commissioned and paid for it, the response from individual child protection workers inside and outside Cleveland was universally positive. Everyone we met wanted what they saw as the true (and hidden) story of Cleveland to be told at last: the story of how very young children - many of them pre-verbal - had been abused, first sexually by an adult, then systemically by courts and lawyers who returned them to abusive families. Each of these workers had knowledge of individual children from the crisis. Some were still working in the Middlesbrough area. Yet none had any contact with the families, none had been allowed to retain documentation and none knew of any official child protection agency that had tracked what happened to the children after the three fraught summer months of 1987.The key to resolving the puzzle of Cleveland was the children. What had actually happened to them? Had they been abused - or had the paediatricians and social workers (as public opinion held) been over-zealous and plain wrong? Curiously — particularly given its high profile, year-long sittings and £5 million cost — this was the one central issue never addressed by the Butler-Sloss judicial testimony and sifting of internal evidence, the inquiry's remit did not require it to answer the main question. Ten years after the crisis, my colleagues and I set about reconstructing the records of the 121 children at its heart to determine exactly what had happened to them.(p19)In the film we dealt with several of these cases. One case concerned one of the first families to be ‘reunited’ — the word, the very loaded word, used by all newspapers and television covering the case — with their children. Yet the social services file not apparently considered by the courts — makes very uncomfortable reading. It shows that the family — mother, father and three children — had been known to social services for some time prior to the 1987 crisis. • All three children were said to have behavioural problems - including an incident in which they dug up the floorboards and set fire to the family home. • They were listed as having an alarming number of bruises and scars on their young bodies. • All were seriously underweight. • They had contact with a close family relation who was recorded as having abused other children as an adolescent. • One of the children had drawn a picture for a National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) officer working with him — a picture of an adult man apparently buggering a boy. • At least one of the three children had expressed extreme reluctance to return home. This information and the risk to those children it implies was never properly tested in court. Faced with the juggernaut of press reporting and public opinion, the protection of children took a back seat. (p21)
He looked up and I realised how close we were, both of us leaning in together. I blinked a few times, suddenly light-headed, but not like before when I'd passed out. Being so close to the smooth dark skin of his face, getting lost in the shifting shades of his green eyes, it felt like my insides were fluttering and melting.
When we sit in meditation, we are closer than usual to the world as it is. By simply bringing body, breath, and mind together in the present moment, we touch Buddha; we touch reality, and we are in the world as it is. Most people’s experience in this state is peaceful and rejuvenating.