But one had forgotten, in the account, how the Disciples are quibbling about who is the greatest of them, which one. Then he stoops to do the dirty necessary job of cleaning feet that have walked through city street, which will be close to the low table of the Passover meal, a task of the lowest servant.
There is something universal about going to the city. There is rejection, there is torment. He is not a conventional guy. Everyone in the city is basically trying to compete. One-upmanship. How quickly people change, as if the urban location forced them to show, as much to themselves, 'who I am, look at me.' I'm a great stock broker; I can afford to live here and in style. Farmers aren't so much like that.
How quickly did they forget. He looks over at them. They seem to have forgotten the lessons of the road, the fresh vision. Was it too mind-blowing for them.
Looking back now, you could just say, 'it wasn't meant to be.' There was too much work to do. All of it of an unknown nature, the science of it, the discovery taking a mortally long time. He had to harness the genie of humility, had begun to practice it even then. The rejection, well, it was just something that happened. No one meant it to happen, it just did happen. There was no way to revoke it, somehow, who knows why. Maybe too much baggage, no way to wipe the slate clean, after all the disappointments back and forth between them, him and her. She had her perspective, which, yes, was that of the city, and he had his, which, yes, was that of the country side and smaller towns and open spaces. She had city society as a great teacher, of style and variety and sophistication, and he had his deep scholarly father teaching him the higher meaning of life, the essence of nature. Her time was measured in appointments, movie times, cultural events, things to do, and his time was of seasons, of slowly but surely dawning revelations that came as they came. Just one of those things.
Yes, the rejection hurt. It hurt worse that it was all perfectly his own fault, time after time. It was included along with the torments he would find when he came to the city himself. It went along with sitting in a ninth floor office surrounded by shelves with files on them, unhappy people, computers, constantly ringing phones, stale coffee, little to break the monotony, the bus ride to the night shift. Which he endured, until he moved on, working at night, which was a different kind of torment, particularly as the years marched on, but at least spiritually alive.
A job which allowed him to pursue the stranger aspects of higher consciousness. Stone that the builders rejected. No wonder he'd had difficulty in school the last year or two. He had already begun the strange journey, already heard the biddings of the desert places, the communing with the spiritual world. That kind of a thing would never have fitted in with contemporary scholarship and its nitpicking and drawing lots. Yes, you could look like a pretty big idiot when you came back from that (and all its solitary wanderings) into the society of a crowd of young smart confident people who were headed out to take their own city life; where would you fit in? How about nowhere.
But the physician must cure himself, and so he needs to make a diagnosis, to understand, at least conjecturally, what the apparent problem is all about. And so, he consults one of the oldest medical journals known the race, which is, you know, called scripture, or the Torah, or the Old Testament, or the New, or as the Bible, but still it's really a book rich in diagnoses. Cancer was secondary; the issues of health were spiritual. He consults, and looks for a pattern, hmmm, much like we do today on the internet, and maybe finds something speaking to his condition. There are other journals, and they are good too sometimes. They all point in the same direction. How could they not?
It would have been the last thing he would have wanted to do, screwing it up with her. But it seemed to be unpreventable, given who people were, he supposed. He could only hope that one day, after it all got figured out, that there might be some form of reconciliation or redemption, or agreement, or some sort of communication of lasting earthly friendship. But who knows? It's up to God to see if such things are to happen or not. Truly.
And one can only keep up his practice, as strange and almost psychedelic in its own little spiritual way as it is. But in the meantime, yes, he had discovered the Cross and its sufferings, the torment at the hands of the authorities, before passed on to the soldier crew for additional roughing up, as if they were trying to dissuade a man from being insane as he cannot help being, an oddball, the one who wanted to turn over all forms of conventional wisdom except that which had been forgotten about. Belonging as they do, of course they are going to rough up the geeky outsider, as much to show that they themselves still belong as much as anything, which is why they laugh, taking it all as a big joke.
That wouldn't have happened out on the road. The road allows people to open up, to bring forward their problems and their illnesses, to receive and take in words of wisdom. The road is not the city, and the city not the road, that's how it is. Towns are places of learning, each with their own little center, positive, eager to teach and learn, different from the ossified pecking order of the city's temple.
But it was always hard, crossing that Hamlet line of inaction, to take that step. Here, Ophelia, take my hand, I won't play crazy any more. So hard to act in this world. You can only act by being you, who you really are, in the end. I'm sorry, but this is who I am. I come to a strange world I know nothing about, dropped in every two thousand years or so, having to figure it out all over again. This strange thing, consciousness, the light in our heads, what to do with it. Be gentle.
No one has any confidence here, she told him, that first night, when they walked back to campus, the only time they made out, regrettably, very much so. Is that it? That question would turn and be turned in his mind, for years. What is confidence? Wasn't quite fair, but you see what she meant, reflecting on an instant or two where you should have just taken charge and put her up against the garage door there. Oh, you hate me, huh. But I guess I'm not like that, so much, though, I could well have just as easily, but that means going shoulda woulda coulda in the mind, which is not the best practice.
Confidence... what would that look like? Of course, his example. Whoever he was. Translate the Cross into doing yoga, inner breath, chakras, having actual humility as a daily practice. Continue to suffer the mind's creativity. The strange profession. The unconventional thoughts of time and space, of self.
It all may have seemed strange, even to him. What is this hallucination I am living in?
Light a stick of incense, take the socks out of the dryer, take a shower, do some dishes, now that you've written out some of the weird that happens to honest people.
But of course we torment ourselves through the instrument of our minds. This is why we like to occupy ourselves with work, why we place ourselves around other human beings. Writers are amongst the few who put themselves through such torments on a daily basis, somehow thinking it's good for them, and it's a good thing that God invented yoga and that society can endorse things like mediation, having read the numbers of how many people actually don't feel so mentally great enough hours of the day to warrant attention. How sad one can feel sometimes, a mute voice, plea-ing for something, not knowing exactly what, maybe for something just to simply go away. Get thee behind me, Satan. Leaveth me alone.
Creativity is overrated. The night takes over the Son of Man sometimes, holds him in the depths of the earth, and he must rise to the light. His own light. No matter how fucked up he feels. It will pass.
Such a darn fool... how could I figure out anything anyway? Let alone Jesus.
Yes, true, but when you've turned a corner you sort of realize it. Understanding finally the relationship between man and woman, truly a thing with spiritual purposes, a high seance of yoga energies, every meeting provoking the spirit to rise higher. That's why that woman breaks the bank and brings him spikenard and pours it lovingly over his hair and then tends to his basic lower chakra parts, his feet. It's going to be worth it, the communion. It's like everything else, the kaleidoscope of reality leading on to see the spiritual realities in everything, so that you know the ground on which people walk, thus able to clearly see them, their behavior.
Who else would write of Jesus but the son of a botany professor who misses his talks with his old man. And at fifty, as much of the world has realized, you are not dead, so why not go on with life, find that one particular adept woman you're meant to bound with in the incarnated world. Continue on with your quiet meditations in the safety of your own apartment.