On a very dark and desolate night

When no other creatures

Would venture out into such despair,

Gratitude finds her way through

Shadowy murkiness and obscurity

and knocks at the locked, rusty door

Of Victim’s house.

Knock, knock, knock.

“May I come in?” Gratitude asks.

She persists,

Knocking and waiting—

Knock, knock, knock.

Victim hears the intrusive interruption.

She is afraid.

Indeed, the knocking seems

Incessant, tireless and annoying,

Even judgmental in its persistence.

Gratitude calls out,

“Let me in. I am your faithful friend,”

but her words sound perverted;

to Victim they translate as

judgmental and imposing.

Knock, knock, knock,

Gentle and consistent

Gratitude continues in

Her modest visitation.

Fed up and overwhelmed

With stubborn self-will,

Victim rushes to the door,

Opens it and screams,

“Why do you torture me

with your trash talk?

Why don’t you go away

And leave me in peace?!”

Diatribes explode through her lips,

As poisonous arrows split the air.

At last, in the exasperated silence

There is space and time.

Gratitude quietly speaks.

“Dear one,

I knock on your door

because I am a Witness.

“I witness your hunger,

I see your illusion of separateness,

I hear your heartcries of your emptiness,

I feel the frantic pulsebeat

Of your overwhelmed life.”

Victim replies,

“How dare you!?”

You have everything you want;

I have nothing.

You can’t understand my poverty,

My deep pain, my broken hopes,

My severed ties, my smashed opportunities,

My depth of depravity.”

“You have it made.

You have friends, a good job and

Money, and a stable life.

Life has always worked your way.

You don’t have to worry

About getting your paycheck

Or paying for your rent

Or buying what you need.

Your life is goddamn fucking easy;

My life is a bed of thorns.”

Gratitude listens.

And listens.

And listens.

For hours and days and

Nights and weeks

And months and years

Gratitude listens

And listens

And listens…..

Finally, after three

Hundred and twenty-five years,

Six months and two weeks,

At precisely 6:41 on another dark morning,

Victim exasperates her list

Of woes and problems.

Finally, there is nothing more

To complain about,

Nothing more to say.

Ever so patiently,

Gratitude wipes years of tears

And listening

From her eyes,

And without wise words

or redeeming responses,

Without offering

Practical wisdom or timely answers,

She says to Victim,

“My Precious One,

It is now time for me to go.

I leave you with the

Pearl of Great Price, the

Greatest gift given to humankind—

I give you your own inborn wisdom,

Intrinsically available to you,

Hidden until you awaken,

In the revealing consequences

Of all your choices

That now shape your journey.”

Gratitude continues:

“Victim, I leave with you

the grateful truth that

every detour can lead Home

to your Pearl Self.

I leave you with the knowledge

That you can change, and

That you can always choose, and

That only you

Have abandoned yourself,

And that only you

Have the power

To actualize your wisdom

From within.”

I say, “Goodbye to you,”

Gratefully aware

That when you are ready

To receive yourself,

You shall invite me again

Into your house

Of New Choices.

Hal Edwards

August 23, 2014

Wauconda, IL

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