I am what I am

“To be really who we are, we need to subtract from ourselves, not add,” Franciscan Sister Norma Rocklage explains. “Our true self is to get rid of whatever we have piled on ourselves that gets in the way.”
I am more than the sum of my experiences; there is something else; the real me wanting to be known. I live in my own narrow, limited world, commanded by associations from all my subjective impressions. This is the prison Pat wrote about in her Poem “Mark 10:17 – 25” (January 21, 1972)

I live in the soft prison of my desires,
Home of all my comforts.
There is no other tenant,
And nothing breaks the silence.

Outside, in clarity of sun and wind, 
God’s voice reaches men
As well as angels, 
Hands touch, 
And eyes look out for love.

I am a prisoner,
Reaching no hands outward,
Having withdrawn self to self.
Accustomed to my prison now,
I love it, fear to leave it.

The real me is not thought or felt. The real me is remembered from the memory of that love deep within, from my love for Pat. I love; therefore I am. God is love and must be present for me to exist, for me to be “I am.” I must feel the primordial vibration of God’s Love to be truly “I am” and one with my beloved. God and she are the life within me. There is an “I am” experiencing the One God made Pat and I in marriage. It is our soul and it shall never die! She is still within me; she is the one knowing our self. Our soul is who we are; the “I am” of us.
Yes, Pat is still here with me the point of her poem “In Prison with you” (October 1992)” last two verses:

I am still here
But now I can 
get out
any time I like.

What stops me is 
The fact
That you won’t come
And I know
You would be lonely.

We seek to approach God, to open the door to what is hidden in us and pass beyond. It is necessary to submit entirely to the Kingdom of Heaven within; to feeling the divine, to feel the sacred in us, for each to love each other and Love. God is found within. Truth, the only truth, is in consciousness. The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is how Pat “hypnotized the guards” and set us free.

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Inward Reaching

Most the time when reaching deep within yourself searching for the ends of your being and your departed beloved spouse, you find only the memories. Memories with all the love, feelings and reality of when they occurred – a video playing in your mind.  But this isn’t the presence you are looking for. That requires going deeper into yourself and then somehow in surprise reaching into the void that is both in you and outside you. You feel almost dizzy, looking at the world outside you through a frosted glass.  At the same time, you are both inside yourself and outside your self – looking at yourself and your beloved.  You feel rather than see, you feel great comfort, peace and awe.  And you feel all the love and sadness you have ever felt. Yes, it is two spirits touching. You have found the very real presence of your departed beloved spouse. NO! you are not going mad; it is how it is in the Kingdom of Heaven. There is no time or space you just exist as one with your beloved. You are not going mad. You have caught the great white whale. Doesn’t last long but it lasts long enough to give you peace. You know when your time comes, she will be there holding your hand, comforting you. This is what soulmate love is all about.

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Love is forever!

Our physical lives are the wick and tallow for the flame revealing the Kingdom of God. Only God can be a burning bush in the wilderness burning but never consumed. “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” (Rabindranath Tagore) Our soul during our time on earth is the candle flame inside us, seeking the Kingdom of God. After our physical death we discover that all along we have been inside it – not God with in but us within God, part of the Great “I am” – a ripple in the Ocean spiralling outward to become the wave bursting over the shore. We are the sum total of all we have thought and felt and done and LOVED.  God is Love.  I don’t fear death so much as I fear its prologues: loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation, depression, senility. But then I realize my beloved is there within me she lights the darkness, sees the dawn for me until I too will see the dawn. ‘Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.’  As Pat wrote: “… beneath the grass and stone intertwined their roots have grown so intimately webbed together, neither one can tell his own. And so with us… “We are entwined with God and still with each other. Love is forever.

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January 7, 2017 is like no other day! Pat died this day!

Who ever Pat was, she still is! I am one with Pat; Pat is one with me. We still are the One God made us when He joined us together in marriage. Death is not an end but a beginning; death is the ultimate consciousness of God. We become members of Christ’ transfigured body. We find our way to Him through the body and blood of the sacrament Christ instituted when he commanded us to “Do this in remembrance of me.” The Mass is proof of continuity of personality beyond physical death, your departed beloved is their kneeling beside thee! The essence of us does not die when the physical body dies; it lives on in Christ, in the love that has been, is and ever shall be.  Hear the words of Christ: “1. Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14 1-4

I continue to meet my beloved Patricia, not in mournful grief as a fading memory of what once was, but in the ecstasy and joy of her living presence in God and me! Love is stronger than death.   For our first Christmas I mimicked Omar Khayyam in my present to her little knowing it was to be true forever.

A BOOK of Verses underneath the Bough,  
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou  
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—  
O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

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The Reality of Being

I had a revelation last night. I realized just what Descartes did when he reasoned “I think therefore I am.” The “I am” is all important; when you say “I am” you are saying you exist, you are real, you are aware of yourself. God names Himself to Moses in Exodus “I am” and God is telling Moses this is MY name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.
Julian of Norwich expanded on this:
“I am he, the power and goodness of fatherhood; I am he , the wisdom and lovingness of motherhood; I am he, the light and grace which is all blessed love; I am he, the Trinity; I am he , the unity; I am he, the supreme goodness of every kind of thing; I am he who makes you to love; I am he who makes you to long; I am he, the endless fulfilling of all true desires.”
“I am”, there is great power in these two simple words. They were there at the beginning and will be there forever. Our existence, our being, is revealed in our own personal “I am.” We are created in the image of God. God is love. Patricia and I are one in God. I am who I am. I am in Pat; Pat is in me: We are one in God. We know the heart, soul and mind doing the looking and the loving from deep within us. We live in a world of love.
And yet there is Despair as in Pat’s poem;
Fragments: Despair
by Patricia A. Bow Nov 1982

The world turns, turns 
into darkness. 
All the bright cities 
slide into shadow, 
the sweet green fields 
turn grey, leprous.

We perceive the light 
only as it fades. 
We listen for the children 
after hearing of their murder.

Where are the ones who sleep their days 
in silent, healing harmonies, 
balm to our wounds?

Where are the ones who measure out 
the poetry of secret prayer, 
who link the shattered times 
with perfect rhymes?

Where are the blessed? 
All dead centuries ago?

Mother Theresa, have I gone blind, 
or have the furies blown 
your candle out?

And so, the world ends in grief, not with a bang but a whimper. The Big Bang is only for in the beginning. We are all Hollow Man waiting to be comforted, to be filled with the love of God and to rejoin our loved ones in Heaven.

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The Tree of Life

Last night I saw a Tree of Life diagram you had created matching my special life moments with yours. It was based on the wonderful; evolutionary relationships of our life in union as One. I was on the Gospel side you on the Epistle side and in the middle between was text, scripture noting how important the event line was to our journey into one. My eyes were dim, I could not see clearly what was written therein. I knew what was written there in Scripture deep within and understood. It is us our united One.
In the beginning, I was alone searching for you. Found you, united as one with the body and blood. We loved with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength. Brought forth another. We loved and mattered to God and each other. You died and were reborn. I am alone again but not alone I am here, you are there. Still united as one by God! WE still grow in love, reaching for the ends of being. There is a light at the end of the dark tunnel. Is it you going or coming? Still united as one forever.

12th Anniversary Poem (fragments) 1981 by Patricia A. Bow

I know the scent and shape of you: 
I know you all, yet not at all.
I linger with a connoisseur’s delight 
over a contour of bone, a texture of skin,
gloating over treasures of silk and ivory 
that are mine alone, 
and yet no-one’s but yours.

For you and I are so entwined 
that we can read each other’s mind 
at times, a simple exercize. 
Then comes the stumble of surprise 
when, reaching out in haste, I find 
the stranger self behind your eyes.

Far apart upon the lawn, 
two tall trees confront each other 
never to touch, ever alone: 
yet beneath the grass and stone 
intertwined their roots have grown, 
so intimately webbed together, 
neither one can tell his own.

So with us: which flatly proves 
futility of arguments 
On which is which, and whose is whose.

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The love within

Bidden or unbidden, God suddenly appears, and mind suddenly stares into the void and sees. There is a light of recognition that shines deep within that suddenly appears at the end of the tunnel of darkness. When you empty your mind in meditation, welcoming the darkness, you suddenly see there is something still there. It is the “I” of the “I am therefore I exist”. It is that which is aware, you know yourself. Being “aware” is existence, how we came into existence. Love is being aware of another, a pure flash of consciousness, the “big bang” of creation itself. Creation emerges from within. You don’t find love, it is in you all the time. This is what Augustine of Hippo (354-430) meant when he wrote: “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you, they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.” 
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – ― Rumi

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