Stars, Boats and a Childlike Heart

Kids Block Party
Flood Party © Christina You

Last night, I stuck a pack of glowing stars on my bedroom ceiling. And since it’s a pretty high ceiling, I had to jump on the bed while doing it, handling each star one by one. I tried to draw few constellations here and there but didn’t do justice to our Big Dipper, to which I apologized. Overall, the whole exercise felt great. I caught myself smiling as each little piece was finding its place in the sky. With the lights off, as I returned to bed, I couldn’t stop starring at my ‘shining friends’. I fell asleep giggling, knowing that the sparkles will not fade until the sun rises the next morning. Those tiny things that can revive a childlike heart…

It reminded me of the first time I encountered the sea. By that I mean the very first time I went on a boat and sailed. It was in Brittany with my 5th grade classmates. The instructors had put us by group of three, and we had to navigate in a catamaran in order to win ‘the race’. Each kid had to wear a tough, bright orange life-jacket over a tight black wetsuit, all covered with sea salt. I remember feeling cold, ugly and itchy, wondering how I would make it to the end of the day without being able to scratch or pee when I felt like so. Seen from above, the scene must have been epic: dozens of little red dots dancing back and forth over big white squares dancing back and forth over the sea.

Launching the boat was the easiest part. Once on the water, my task was to steer the ship. From my seat I would listen to the confusion coming from every corners, each kid yelling his strategy to the other. There was something exhilarating about not knowing how we would reach the end of the line. Luckily, after innumerable attempts, my team and I eventually figured out how the machine could, given a good wind, march at a reasonable pace. I would never forget the way my fingers on the helm seemed to put our engine into motion. Stirring the winds on my vehicle, I was the Christopher Columbus of a brand-new world. The sense of freedom and dominion that sprung in my chest, that day, is still indescribable. All that I knew, by that time, was that I would sail until the day I die.

Indeed, the experience felt delightful, even after the mast of the sail hit my forehead and knocked me down for the rest of the contest. And though my team lost the race, I had won a place among the mightiest pirates of the ages. It was then easy to forgive myself for this unfortunate error of navigation for I had seen the blue covering the horizon, as far as my eyes could behold. I had given myself to the sea, to the point of unconsciousness, and the sea had given a part of itself to me.

I felt both content and dizzy when we reached the ground. The school nurse, who welcomed us, wanted to make sure I was okay. I told her I was sad it was over and wished we could go back immediately. She looked at me, puzzled, and rubbed some balm on my swollen forehead. I was sent to bed after that. That night, I dreamt that I was the captain of a vessel made of wood and of sails so tall they could reach the stars.

These stars are now covering my bedroom ceiling and remind me of the child I once was, of the dreams I once dreamt and will never forget.

One day, I promise, I’ll be me.


With A Little Help From My Friend

Love saves.

Walking the Earth, believing that we are separate from each other, trusting only what we see, hear and touch, leads to confusion and sadness. A despair so deep that calls for resistance, dis-ease and death.

We believe that we are a wave apart from the ocean, a branch apart from the tree, and death becomes the only outcome. What else could this picture bring?

We must question the reality of this picture. We must inquire in order to lift the veil surrounding it. We must have the courage to dismiss our sensory reality for awhile, however real it may appear. Ultimately, we must throw away the belief that a branch can actually grow apart from the tree, that a wave can be separate from the ocean. We must abandon the sense of an egotic self, with an existence apart from the whole, disconnected, at war with other selves, and at war with its environment.

Love saves.

There is a voice that one can hear in the silence. An inner voice that reminds us of a song long forgotten. A voice so small that it requires a willingness to forget about the noise of the world and listen.

Once the voice is heard, it brings a confidence, a joy and a peace beyond words. It is the voice of Love uttering Itself to Itself.

In silence, it whispers : “I Am” and, in silence, we realize that we are. We are that spark of light, that ray of consciousness. A light that was never born, a consciousness that will never die. We are the light, the consciousness of the Universe forever expressing Itself in perfect ways.

In this realization, the past is forgiven, the future becomes an everlasting present. There’s nothing to gain, nothing to achieve, nothing to accomplish to be worthy. It is a rest from the strain of the world.

At this very moment, we are innocent, at one with the Universe. The presence of an invisible Life forever sustaining, supporting, and guiding us enlightens our path.

Love is.

Without worries, without stories, without thoughts, in silence, we realize that we are, forever.

This inner voice is a friend, a lover, a mother, a child. It is all, in all.

It is what I am, what you are.

Morning Talk

As I sit on this chair by the window, I can see the snow rushing from the sky: fragile snowflakes of all sizes lifted by the blizzard. Some even seem to rise up in the air as if aspired by an invisible mouth.

The snow is getting bigger now, it is plunging faster.

And as I sit on this chair, I notice that the red brick wall in my living room is smiling at me, sending me calming thoughts. It is saying : “I love you and I protect you from the snow”. Dear little wall, thank you.

And as I sit on this chair, the white roses in the vase in front of me gently sing their song. It is a song of beauty and hope. They are whispering : “We love you and are glad to blossom with you, away from the snow”. Dear little roses, I love you too.

And as I sit on this chair, Louis and Ella inside their silver frame play for me. The grey of the picture has not altered the colors of their soul. They are speaking to me too. Their words, in silence, echo an : “Life’s a sweet lullaby, a warm symphony. We love you and will keep on inspiring you, through the rain and the snow”.  Thank you, Ella, thank you, Louis.

Till next time.