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Journey's End

We stop at the caravansari (a way station for travellers) and sit together in the courtyard as evening lengthens into night. Stories flow, warm and rich as the wine we pass around; as aromatic and fleeting as the smoke rising from the pipes we share. Long past midnight the moon rises in the sky, attended by glittering stars.

A chorus of laughter suddenly, followed by sweet reminiscences of absent fellow travellers, on other roads in this world and beyond. And then a silence comes, settles in among us like a dear grandfather for whom we make room at the table. After a long while, someone asks, “What is this thing we search for? Really. What is this thing we have given our lives to? Does it have a name?”

“Only inadequate names,” someone answers. “Truth, God, Love, The One, The Real… words that only have meaning after you know they have no meaning. What good are names like that?”

“Surely we can simply agree with those who have walked here long before us”, another says quietly. “Surely we can say with them, even if symbolically, that we seek union—the ultimate at one, an harmonic, reverberant, timeless joining.”

“Or we could simply resign ourselves”, another says, “to the impossibility of ever describing the very thing which is doing the describing.” A murmur of assent moves like a breeze around the circle.

Then a woman who has been sitting with her back to the table, gazing steadily at the floating moon says, “For me it is so simple. I want to be alive, fully, freely alive. So alive, so fully present, without the slightest equivocation–like this moon, like that desert willow, like those coyotes singing in the distance—so fully in this moment that I draw blessings from every direction and answer the needs of those around me as naturally as rain falls, as easily as this becomes that.”

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