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Image for Purple
"Purple Bubbles" © Petria Follet

Purple

Imagine that the tiniest bug can speak and knows the word “sun” . . . but what would be the connection between this bug and the sun itself?

The bug doesn’t even see the sun. The bug’s world includes only things at a short distance around it. The sun is not hiding; quite the opposite—its beams caress the bug, just like they touch the tallest tree, or the roses in the garden, or the running antelopes; the sun fills up and shelters the bug, but the little creature doesn’t notice. Its eyes are too small and can’t even see above the top of a grass blade. So if the bug uses the word, it’s only because it feels something vague, incomprehensible, but at the same time so tangible for its skin that not inventing a name for it is impossible.

And the bug makes up the word: s-u-n, sun . . .

If the bug writes poetry, perhaps many of the verses would be about the warm presence in the infinity. It would wonder if that was only imagination, or reality, or madness.

We experience similar presence, something like spiritual sun that radiates love, realization, soft warmth; and although it would be hard to translate it into any of the languages on Earth, it’s not impossible.
                                                        . . . And I have felt
                    A presence that disturbs me with the joy
                    Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
                    Of something far more deeply interfused,
                    Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
                    And the round ocean and the living air . . .

                                                        — William Wordsworth

In contrast to the little prisoner of the grass labyrinth, we can realize the limitations of our world and believe that the most beautiful is invisible to the eye. And as soon as we open the cell of perception this way, even as we are opening it, we see a long road in front of us.

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Somehow you “remember” that the road leads to the Sun—to the something far more deeply interfused that is beyond the visible. You haven’t been on this road before, but because of some silent insight, you know where it leads you.

And you walk day and night, across towns and villages, states, deserts, mountains, and woods; go around castles, abandoned houses; see loud fairs. If it weren’t for this feeling of where you are headed, it would look like some usual road. And it would make no difference if you go forward or backward, or even if you stop somewhere and settle there for the rest of your life, or take another road.

But you feel the Sun—stronger and stronger, that’s why everything is different. And one day—it has happened to some people while still living on this earth—you stand in front of it.

You sit by the “strand” and tell yourself that it was worth it, and that’s your last thought because by that moment your thoughts are too insignificant. And the huge thing welcomes your return, takes you back, you—the little particle that lived in that exciting journey. The thing was also excited along the way, because only through you could it experience the journey. It is actually coming close and moving apart at the same time, (re)discovering your spiritual self and spreading it to the dimension of the shapes.

All of us have our own paths. Strangely enough they are not wide roads—they are rather narrow, just enough for you to pass—but give you the biggest feeling of space. I don’t know why that is; maybe because of the freedom of being ourselves when we get on these paths.

Or maybe they are our traces in the world, not the road we didn’t go on, not the mirages or the beaten track, but the crystal threads beyond any delusion, mistake, or weariness. And somehow they . . . sink into the future. It’s believed that everything that happened and will happen already exists somewhere. I don’t believe that. Our spiritual paths create a world the way we want it. And it’s possible it never existed before.

The freedom of not being predicted—it’s inspiring.

From birth we carry something like wedding rings in our souls; that’s why we are unique. And when we play our notes, not somebody else’s, even gods stop and listen. The sky holds its breath when it hears this melody—innocent and pure, and that means possible after all.

It’s been said we came to this world to learn, but I think we are here to enchant the world, to shower it with our melodies, just like bees that don’t gather honey, but spread it instead. And if we have a gray and boring life, it’s because we have lost our faith in ourselves. And when this faith is dead, we sound fake, a lot of sorrow is left, and even light hurts the eyes. It’s like when the goldfish has to fulfill its wishes, though locked forever in a fish tank. It wouldn’t be possible, even if the fish wanted it to be.

We are sky’s messengers. We carry our songs to the earth and offer them like bait so there wouldn’t be any shells. We are here to dig up the ground, to silver the soil, just like a painter gives his individuality to the house that he draws. And then it’s not just a house, but the other world rushed in without paying attention to color and shape. There is perfection dripping from the Sun, like blood drips from a loving heart. Faith makes us sensitive so we can feel it. And thus, unfolding the world from inside, we don’t wander aimlessly, but create perfection instead. Otherwise we turn into clocks that measure nothing. If we break the sky thread, the show ends, the stage is closed, and there is only decor left by accident. The no-thing doesn’t give us con-fi-dence and doesn’t measure our rhythm. We are lost in it. If it weren’t like that, we would know it.

When we do something with love, we exhale it into our world. It’s the same when we make love. And the world starts radiating. But unfortunately, love gets diluted and goes away, it’s unhappy and short. Because we are rarely faithful to each other. The unique thirst grows cold, and sorrow settles in the air instead, an endless blues of all our unrealized steps.

Sorrow is the ripple of un-leafed lives. Perhaps our planet looks sad-blue from afar. Dry leaves that were never green fall to the ground. If you lock deeply in your heart the feeling that makes it a heart, then what’s left? Maybe the desire to scream or e-ver sub-si-ding beats?

When we lose sense of direction, we are like birds that can’t fly south or come back. And that’s exactly what is considered normal, rather than the opposite. The country of faith is boundless, but I don’t think it’s densely populated. Somehow it’s easier to live outside of it, break it to pieces, and harness it. But will the heart still beat if we break it into pieces? And what is a heart—its anatomic secrets? In fact, our hearts, like everything else, are what we chose for ourselves.

I have to admit that for a long time I disagreed with the following lines of the Upanishads:

“Others, however, say that the self is identified with desire alone. As is its desire, so is its resolution; and as is its resolution, so is its deed; and whatever deed it does, that it reaps.”

I was thinking: Was it possible that the moments when I didn’t like my life were my innermost desire? Was it possible I caused the bad things myself? Life is what is happening to you and that’s it, it’s just fate. But in fact, it is so, and at the same time it’s not.

The truth is, our innermost thrills are completely different from the oppressive influences of the swamp. And if the world is confused, that’s because we don’t listen to ourselves. The black is not necessary, but without the invisible downpour, the melody is fake and the dance is a parody.

It’s not possible that the magic wasn’t destined to us. The magic crumbles the cords and melts them, and the candle of life sheds silent, constrained droplets like verses. It draws magic.

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Eternal is the tale about Faith and the road, but this appeal is not easy. As difficult as the clock that has to measure timelessness, dividing it into seconds, minutes, portions. Is it even possible?

Will God show up sometimes completely through us in a new, exciting way? Morgan Scott Peck said: “The point is to become God while preserving consciousness. . . . then God will have assumed [through us - author’s note, M.P.] a new life form. . . . We will have become God’s agents, his arm, so to speak, and therefore part of Him. And insofar as we might then through our conscious decisions be able to influence the world according to His will, our lives themselves will become the agents of God’s grace.”

Our separate paths shouldn’t be given a moral, or any other kind of, judgment. They just have one sign that has to be observed—we shouldn’t violate the sacred right of everybody to have his or her own path.

And they are like the wind . . .

Imagine that all of a sudden, the wind becomes colored and we can trace its direction. We will be able to see the absolutely elating calm at the moment before the wind unleashes. Or the light—let’s say light purple streams, or deep purple hurricanes, crashing, passing by one another, piling up. Frozen wind doesn’t exist.

We can’t grasp our zeal, possess love, or squeeze silence into formulas. All this is pouring out of the core of the Universe and flies with its unleashed whirls. It doesn’t stand cages. It’s lost when changed. Freedom is the heart of every dream.

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The man was walking. His throat was dry, his legs and arms—everything hurt. He was tired, but was planning to rest later. He asked himself if he was happy. Not really. The woman he loved was somewhere behind.

At times, when he almost fainted from the heat, he whispered her name. He looked back and it seemed he could see her coming, but then it turned out to be a mirage. At moments of despondency he was wondering if he had made a mistake leaving her and moving on. She told him that he was making the biggest mistake of his life. She told him to think about this when the feeling of loneliness was very strong. Her voice stayed with him like an arrow that entered his heart slowly, very slowly.

At this moment he was feeling completely alone. And where the hell was he going? Was he going somewhere at all? He felt silent despair and for a moment everything lost its contours. He fell into an abyss. It was something like a nightmare. Her tender fingers reached him, glided over his chapped lips, and her eyes stared at him. The man felt that she didn’t forgive him—there was anger in her eyes. She didn’t understand why he left her, and she had such a hard time coping with all this confusion he left her in.

. . . Sometimes at night the man looked at the stars. So what—stars like stars! He would light cigarette after cigarette and would look at the sky, but somehow . . . with his eyes closed. And all of a sudden he would feel some wild beauty filling him, some celestial tenderness enveloping him. At moments like those, he wanted so much that she were there, that he could share all this with her, kiss her, tell her that those stars look like washed by the morning rain and that for him she was the same—a star that didn’t go away even at daytime; he could always see that star and nothing could shine more . . . shine stronger than her.

Often he would talk to her—as if they were still together. He knew she was looking for security. But he had lost the path many times and had seen how at those moments, love went away. The only way to preserve it was to move on, otherwise everything was becoming somehow petty and silly—it wasn’t love anymore.

Where was he going? The stars somehow told him what he was going to discover. Something was pulling him forward and was tearing him inside. He was missing her—probably he had lost her and wouldn’t see her anymore. He hurt her and did it because he loved her, in order to not lose her. But was he able to plant in her heart the stalks that had sprouted in his heart long ago? The man didn’t know . . .

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I know it’s hard to not try stopping the wind and not try fitting it into ideas. I realize that it’s almost impossible to merge your life, so well arranged with rules and responsibilities, with somebody else’s. But I also believe no journey is more beautiful than that.

As soon as you manage to take the next step, no matter how many wrong ones you have taken, you have the feeling you have climbed a high peak. And there, at the top, there is no snow, cold or rarefied air, just coziness and warmth instead. But one truth reveals to you more clearly, and it hurts because you understand even more equivocally—the Sun hasn’t been hiding from you. The same way it doesn’t hide from the bug. Yes, you couldn’t directly see it, but the reflections were always before your eyes! It hurts when you realize how many years you have lost . . . somehow in a preface. Instead of living the loving dance of your mind and heart, more sincere than a dying wish, waiting for you like unstirred embers.

. . . The snow covers everything with uniform whiteness, but every single snowflake is different from the others; tears can be from joy or pain; it’s spring and new leaves grow, but a memory dies . . . the point is to find the wholeness . . . the path erases boundaries and connects difficulties. But it’s lonely on this path, just like the country of love is not densely inhabited. The wider the world gets, the more the number of people decreases.

Because it’s unbearable to feel that the sun’s rays enlighten every corner of you and to realize your pitiful reactions—your normal reply to the world. It’s a hard choice to stop going with the flow and change the direction and then keep the new one.

But the opposite is only a preface.

Copyright © 2008 by Maria Pavlova

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Maria Pavlova

Maria writes:
I spent the whole summer of 2005 in a small house located in a mountain village. A beautiful nature around me and a complete chaos within me. Burning questions . . . I was asking myself why is all this. And that’s exactly when I started writing something like contemporary tales about faith. “Purple” was created much later, after I had reached that peace of mind. Writing helped me to better understand that the Big Journey passes through my most ordinary days and that the daily round is the truest thing, at least for me.

Maria Pavlova lives in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She has a degree in Slavic Studies from the University of Plovdiv and has worked as a journalist for numerous newspapers. Now she is doing graphic design. When she started writing her first book, The Rival, telling a story about a blind girl, Maria quit work and devoted herself to writing for more than a year. Her essays, poetry, and short stories have been published in the press. Now she is working on her second book, The Dual Life of a Witch. She can be reached via email at: mariapav@abv.bg.


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