For the past year, I’ve been adding dimension and characters to a story entitled, The Town of Obligation. This began as a piece of inner work to explore in a very different manner my relationship to Responsibility — and as “responsibility” came to me with a capital letter, I began to imagine her as a person … in a town … called Obligation.
At some point, I discovered that the town was under an illusion and delusion about “Worthiness.” It was clear that worthiness was not a character, a person, in this play, but rather a stream running through the town, a source from which anyone could drink. But at some point in their history, the inhabitants began to solidify and pass down the misinformation that only certain people could drink from this wellspring.
Worthiness was only for some.
Well, now. I knew this to be bullshit, so I sent my meditating, imagined self over to that wellspring — by now in a different land than Obligation, a forest of different imagination. I arrived at this pool of Worthiness, this golden viscous fluid, shining and beckoning, Midas’s own pond. I knelt to drink.
But I could not. I attempted to drink it through cupped hands, but that didn’t feel right. It wouldn’t cross my lips. … Okay, how about a wooden scoop? No, still it won’t cross my lips, fill my mouth, warm the insides of my chest. Uh, okay. Maybe I’m supposed to swim in it? I dive in. Splashing around in the golden water, it still doesn’t feel right. What the F?
I come out of the meditation, nonplussed. I talk to my mentor. I go back to the pond later, and try again. What’s the matter? Do I not feel worthy? Have I become so deluded by living in Obligation that I, too, have come to think only certain people are allowed to have it?
And so I try again. I ask: How, Worthiness, am I to receive you?
The pond spills forth a rivulet. The liquid flows into a pool within which a tree begins to sprout. It’s a redwood, growing rapidly up and up. … The tree is pulling the flaxen liquid up through its center, its bark glistening with succor, pregnant and laden with the stuff.
Up the massive, newly-grown pine, Worthiness glides, and then down across the boughs into waving branches and flickering leaves themselves. Til Worthiness pulses out the stems, out the infinite pine needles, and begins to rain.
Standing, in my mind’s eye, beneath the canopy, I begin to be showered, lathed, bathed with the honeyed gold. I begin to laugh, like a child caught in a sunshower — that sudden and miraculous moment of sun-warmth and chaotic drenching.
Under and inside the falling droplets of Worthiness, I laugh and dance and stomp. I begin to feel filled and owned and embodied by the sense. This storm of esteem inhabits me, fosters me, seems never to end its reign.
And –as yet– it hasn’t.