Cars sped down Main Street, leaving rubber scars on asphalt wearing under the tearing of the inexplicable race of people who had no ability, or sense, to better pace themselves for the sake of their own health and well-being, apparently not seeing the destruction of such flurry and hurry upon themselves as well as others. Ma’at leaned close as she screened the pointless madness and carefully preened her boy-love appropriately for such reckless scene.
She, too, was dressed for the time and scene, and I was no less impressed. Ma’at was overwhelming in magnificence with no need for extravagance nor any grandiloquence; she could simple be and anyone could clearly see her stunning beauty. “Ah, look!” She pointed to an elderly Greek priest, so obviously humble and meek. “Theophilus, venerable Theophilus! Old now but never cold; his name means ‘lover of God,’ and thus his claim to local fame, but he could just as well be named Faroqh, meaning ‘truth,’ for above all he loves Dyēus of truth and love, yet in all truth Theophilus loves love above all, for truth and love call to one another, and bind themselves together in unbreakable bond in Dyēus. And so this is Theophilus, truly heaven-sent, now bent with age, this wizened sage.”
Walking deliberately with careful gait, Father Theophilus did not long wait at the thick-wooden, double doors to step inside onto sheen marble floor of the gold-domed building with sharp cross atop that seemed to prop the very sky. “Yes, my pup, you would do well to drink of his cup, for he learned long ago to walk the Noble Path in sacred silence, with talk of only what is sound and pure, profound and sure. But in learning the burning pain of this world, he was enlightened to the truth that these clouds of pain are what give rain of joy.”
She wove her arm in my arm, and talked while we walked. “And in dispossessing himself of all, he found himself in possession of all, and so in dying to the lying of worldly pleasure, he was reborn to adorn the world with heavenly treasure. And so in him death took its last breath, which freed him from the endless cycle of futility to live forever in happy humility, and more, to live to give grace in every case and place to every face. In this, he travelled further along the Noble Road toward celestial abode, though Buddha of long ago, flowed freely, and showed in his day the higher way, and glowed with radiance without variance of truth.” We continued walking down the side walk, bustling with people hustling here and there and everywhere but seemingly nowhere, past a pair of drunks sharing a park bench with stench of alcohol. “There is trouble everywhere; you don’t live in a bubble… What would Lao Tzu do here and now, and how?” Question. Hesitation.
“Did not Maftet show you the tower built for power, sitting in the blow of snow and ice, place of all evil and vice?” I nodded. “Look around you; here is a profusion of towers of confusion, and what would Jesú say today? The might of light penetrates the darkness, which cannot harness its brightness. And for all the people scurrying and hurrying in and out, about their business worries, those buildings loom large in the city like empty tombs. But watch! There is an intricate nautch of goodness, flowing throughout the frenzied madness, celestial dance envied by angels. The old woman selling her flowers is herself a tower of joy, and the boy with the papers, too. The middle-aged man opening his bistro is a veritable maestro of generosity and honesty, as well as the street sweep, who keeps in his heart more gold than the old banks along these streets so replete with greed. And look at the little girl meeting the need of the homeless man; she’s not rich like the bitch passing by with irritated sigh. That small angel is giving in silence her whole allowance today, what she was going to use to pay for a tea-party tray. She comes from a healthy family, though by no means wealthy. She simply loves and gives because that’s how she’s been taught to live, brought up in the way of virtue from day to day.”
Ma’at turned me to the right, holding me tight. “And look there at the precious boy with golden hair. They call him cripple, but I tell you he stands tall and walks through life with longer strides, stronger than most anyone with legs that hurry and scurry. He has no money at all to give, like the angel-girl, but he can hurl more treasure from the depth of his soul with pleasure, blessing all life around, even the least of beast, with yeast of kindness and hope, mildness and wide scope of happiness that drives away all loneliness.” Her eyes were sparkling and dancing as she turned me to face her again. “You see! Don’t be so sad! Yes, there is bad in the world and you see it abound all around you, but if you’re not careful you’ll miss the bliss of heaven that leavens even this district that evil would otherwise constrict. Look around you, and you’ll see goodness in bloom and plenty of room for more; only open the door of your heart, my love, and let it flow like a river of silver and gold of untold worth … all you were given from birth.”
One long, strong kiss and … home again.