Story 12 - Shopping for Glass
Steve paused and looked around the table, at each one present and continued the explanation, turning to me. "It is the light of a beautiful soul that you find so exciting, and so you should, because it is beautiful. So, don't be surprised, Pete, by what you feel. What you feel is natural. Be careful, however, if what you feel appears to be too good to be true, then you are rejecting its reality. What you feel can appear exceptional only in comparison to the background of
the poverty that we have for so long endured. Love and beauty are not exceptional elements on the platform of reality that we have begun to explore. On this platform life is beautiful. On this platform there is no other state possible. Poverty and greed, even hate, are not found on this platform. They do not exist there."
Steve had made quite a speech in response to my question. Afterwards he proposed a toast to the truth that we have discovered about ourselves, about our love, and our world.
Tony also made a speech. In his speech he reminded me of the crabs we had
seen on the beach near the Sand Castle, that knew nothing about nuclear war and human relationships. He reminded me that I had told him how infinitely richer I felt than those crabs. He reminded me that I had felt richer than the crabs in spite of the pain that all the world's horrendous problems caused, which the grabs knew nothing about. He reminded me that I felt richer than they for nothing
other than being aware of this world, a world filled with people like Heather. Tony then extended this notion to include Sylvia, Ushi, Steve, and Ross.
I nodded, saying, "this is infinitely better than any old heaven could be."
"Oh, cut it," said Ross, "that's an ancient cliche."
"But it presents a valid idea," Steve came to the rescue, smiling.
We talked for some time after supper, way past the hour at which the sunset had faded. The air was still comfortably warm. Our day together had been beautiful right from the start. Or should I say, we were beautiful? We had smiled at each other, supported one another, loved one another, and this still continued. Ushi's faintly red-brown hair shimmered in the gas light of one of the many lanterns that lined the edge of the pier. Some strands of her hair were blowing into her face now and then, by the warm gentle breeze. In the background, the water was ablaze with color, a
profusion of reflected beams of light from a multitude of strings of colored lamps that graced the marina across the bay. Sylvia's smile blended with this profusion of light. It was a light that shone by its own right, more brilliant than all the lights put together, more brilliant to me, than the stars in the firmament.
I realized that what had happened to us would have seemed unbelievable just a half a year earlier. Steve was right when he said that the unfolding of love would grow stronger and never stop unfolding once its
infinite principle is discovered and accepted. I had had my doubts then, when he had said this, but he was proven right the very next week when I met Heather. Without Steve's focus on freedom and love I wouldn't have dared to stop for Heather. The loss that this 'tragedy' would have incurred was hard to imagine now. What would our life have been like without the good things Heather had set into motion with her love? Those first days with her had been wonderful days as we shared or lives and our excitement with living all the way through the naval hearing, and
on the way driving back. This meeting of kindred hearts had erupted into a celebration of love and life itself, right from the start. It had been interrupted, but its 'light,' evidently hadn't grown dim.
"Now, just a few months later, we were all together in one place for an even greater celebration of the wonders of love. What we had achieved was far greater than what Erica had hinted at as
being possible, or even than what Ushi had allowed and Steve had thrust into the practical sphere.
Steve had said before we came to Venice that our dancing at the pinnacle of the world would change the
world, and he didn't mean Venice. It had changed us all from within, and now we stood at the threshold of changing the world
from the depth of it on a mission of such magnitude that one almost couldn't
dare hope that it might succeed. Tony and Ross, too, were dancing at this pinnacle in their own
way, for their own reasons. Who knows what their stories entailed? Who could
know what worlds upon worlds their loving had already embraced? We had created a world for ourselves that had never before been created on such a profound
level, and yet this was the minimal platform on which we could possibly succeed.
A single word spoken in the wrong tone could ruin everything. Our presence, and
our actions the next day, unknown to the world, was destined to change the
world. And we felt that we did have a chance.
Perhaps it was because of that, why our world seemed more beautiful now than an heavenly paradise could possibly
be, as we looked at the riches we had within ourselves.