A Handbook....

Let me start off by sharing the significance of this book. When I was twelve my parents did a variety of odd jobs for Billy Graham. No, not the evangelist but Billy Graham of Billy Graham Presentations..... Don't worry, not many would know the meaning behind this. Billy Graham presented the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd concerts. Because of this I had a colorful childhood and was exposed to more than most small children.

I've gotten off track. So it just so happened that Pink Floyd was at Cal-Expo in Sacramento in 1988 and my parents were able to find some odd jobs with the show. My parents spent the day in the arena putting up chairs and doing a variety of tasks and I was required to spend the day in the van in the parking lot alone. This may sound crazy but let me follow this up with the fact that the van I'm speaking of doubled as our home. I told you my childhood was colorful!

My mother was one who let me read and watch just about anything I wanted. There were no "grown up" books in our household. So it was on this particular day that as my mother was leaving she parted with some clever words. "you can read anything you want, but I don't think you should read this one, you probably wouldn't understand it." Well, you know what I did as soon as she left the van. I cracked the cover of that book and began reading. I was certain that there must be something very forbidden hidden within it's pages. After awhile I forgot that I was supposed to be looking for some very adult passages and became absorbed into the story of the Reluctant Messiah.

I read this book every year and sometimes twice a year. Each and every time I finish it, I think to myself that I will not forget. Each and every time I do. I must be reminded over and over again. I must be surprised by it's meaning and wrapped in it's words each and every time. I come to this book to heal, to learn and to remember NOT TO CLING TO THE ROCKS! I know that I will find what I am looking for hidden within it's pages and each time I come to it reluctantly. I know the story by heart, I know the meaning, I KNOW. Yet, I come eventually to the one story that defines me and reminds me of where I came from and who I am. What I hold true and what I value. These things are true. These things are good. These things I will keep.

I must part with these words in the hope that you too might let go of the rocks;

11. The Master answered and said, "Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.
12. the current of the river swept silently over them all-young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.
13. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of live, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.
14. But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."
15. The other creatures laughed and said, 'fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!'
16. But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

 17. Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

18. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "see a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!"

19. And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is the voyage, this adventure."
20. "But they cried the more, 'savior!' all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a savior."

Written By Richard Bach, Illusions.


Amery said...

D- it'll be the next book I read, sounds inspiring.

Canadian Rockies Art - Nathalie Girard said...

I too had the chance of reading this book as a young child, and I still have my original copy and I've read it countless times throughout my life (it's a French translation, not the original version).

It has traveled with me and keeps on following me to this day.

I often think of the messages within that book. It's a must read.