Meeting Halfway

The dragonfly comes into the classroom with mysterious fanfare blaring from invisible trumpets. Before he reaches his desk to transform into our teacher the question confronts him.

 “Teacher,” the irreverent student says, rubbing the back of his neck. “I have been faithful and patient. Why do good things never happen to me?”

 The dragonfly circles my classmate. “You are impatient, my child.”

 “No, sir, I am VERY patient. I have been waiting and praying and I come here every week, but nothing good ever happens to me. It’s always everyone else who gets good news.”

 The teacher flutters to his area, a small stage topped by a desk in front of a pristine chalkboard, and becomes the man we know him to be, tall and lanky with a baseball cap set at a rakish angle. “Good morning, my children,” he says, hooking his thumbs through the loops of his faded blue jeans. He turns to our irreverent classmate. “You are impatient, my son.”

 The student straightens as if to argue again.

 Teacher raises a palm toward him. “Please sit, for now. I will explain.”

 In defiance of his normal temperament, our classmate kneels and waits, his eyes begging. It actually creeps me out a bit at first, then I remember story-time in elementary school and I join him, sitting cross-legged in front of the stage.

Teacher takes a seat on the steps to his area. “Good things are always happening to us, you included. It is perception that keeps our eyes closed.”

Irreverent Student prepares to argue, but teacher won’t pause long enough to allow him a way into the discussion.

“How long were you waiting to join my class?”

We all know the answer. The waiting list is long. Many of us waited years. Our classmate, however, was allowed admission within a few months of application.

Again, teacher doesn’t allow time for a response, only for understanding. “You weren’t forced to wait nearly as long as others.”

Awed, our classmate finally jumps in, “Why is that, teacher?”

“Because you approached; most students typically wait.” Teacher steps to the chalkboard. Then, pressing a thin, white piece of chalk between his fingers, he begins to draw shapes and twists. “The things that happen to us are always good. It is our perception that imagines them to be anything but. The good news is that as we get closer to the Source of all that is, our insight becomes more clear.”

The random lines and loops he has drawn begin to take form. He is drawing a dragonfly, complete with the colors of the wings our teacher sports as that creature.

“This is me,” he says. “You come to me for guidance toward Source.”

My classmates and I, captivated by what seems to be an honest, direct answer, nod.

“I cannot find you, so coming to me is the first move. You must want to learn.” He glances toward the irreverent student before drawing a football. “Let’s say this is you. Firm, focused, deliberate.” He shakes his head. “But, no, you are not inanimate. You are the quarterback, represented by a football.” 

Sometimes teacher seems to be grasping at straws in the dark.

 

“Let’s say you are not a very good quarterback.”

The classroom erupts in chuckles.

“You say you are not lucky, I say you just miss the mark, at times. But, always, the ball advances. Sometimes you hand it to a teammate who moves it for you. Sometimes you tuck the ball under an arm and run it in. And, as you advance, you get closer to your answers and more good things happen for you.”

Our teacher walks toward us again, marking his steps with his words. “You asked about bad things. I propose that bad things do not happen to you. As you continue the lessons, that lesson will become more clear to you.”

He stops in front of the original questioner, kneeling in front of Irreverent. “As you continue your evolution as a student, the answers will flow more clearly. You will understand that good things have always been within your grasp.”

He rests a hand on the classmate’s shoulder, using the leverage to prop himself back to his feet. He returns to the stage, setting into motion the pictures on the blackboard: The quarterback leads his team down the field. The whistles and crowd cheers of a championship game surround us from invisible speakers as the team advances toward the dragonfly, which hovers over yellow goal posts.

“This quarter you may not be winning, but your team is advancing. Have faith that the goal line is within your reach and Source will work with you. You only need to make an effort to meet Him half way.”

He swipes a hand through the air and the chalkboard erases, to be replaced by directions for our next project.

“That is all, dear ones. I leave you to work on the assignment.”

He nods toward me and fades into his alter ego, leaving me as his TA for today’s lesson. I will share the homework once I understand it.

Be well, my friends,

The Dragonfly’s Student

All About the Roommates

“I don’t get why we can’t remember,” Irreverent Student says, referring to Teacher’s explanation of the human transition from spirit body to the 3D world. He scrunches up the sheet Teacher had printed out for us, aiming for the garbage can across the room. The paper ball drops dead center in the bin. “Three points,” he says, no emotion in his voice.

“This plane of existence, what you enter when you are born on Earth, is heavy.” Teacher walks down to us, gingerly placing his purple disco shoes on each step and teetering slightly on the heels. His brightly colored bell-bottom pants riding low on hips that sport an indigo sash. His garb is completed by a matching disco shirt opened so low Teacher’s peace medallion shines from the center of his bony, hairless chest. On the last step, he begins to fall toward Irreverent’s lap.

Irreverent jumps up and out of the way, but Teacher steadies himself and catches Irreverent’s arm.

“You cannot escape the gravity of this planet. It weighs down your body. It weighs down your mind. It weighs down your spirit. It weighs down your soul.”

Teacher releases Irreverent and steps back to address us all.

“So your mind, your conscience, makes the call, like a quarterback working on the perfect Hail Mary play. He tells your soul, the part of you you call your heart, the part of you that cries, to tuck in, fake a hand-off and run.”

“A football analogy?” Irreverent groans.

“Shh, it’s football season,” I say, my attention never leaving the lesson.

Teacher continues as if nothing had been said.

“The physical part of you, the part that walks and talks, is told to block, because the true star of the play is the Wide Receiver – Spiritual you. Your spirit remembers every play ever designed. The rest of the players need only do their part. It’ll come together in the end zone.”

As the lesson sinks in, Teacher plods back up the steps toward the white board.

“So are those the four roommates you were talking about the other day?” I ask, remembering the last class where he promised an explanation at a later time. “Spirit, Mind, Body, and Heart. Are those the roommates we have to work with?”

Teacher picks up a purple marker and transcribes my question.

“Spirit, Mind, Body, Heart,” he says as each word is written. Then he draws a circle around the words, marking it like a compass. “The North, South, East, and West of the life form that is you.”

He places the pen on its tray and turns to us. Suddenly, the lights in the room dim, making way for red, yellow, and blue strobe lights that shine off the new disco ball hanging overhead.

“It is the dawning, my students.”

A crackle awakens speakers scattered around the classroom. Suddenly, a song from my childhood blares from the speakers and the strobe lights flash.

Standing in the middle of the classroom, Teacher claps.

I scramble quickly to get on my feet as the student desks disappear. We’re on a dance floor now.

“Dance with me, my dears.”

Teacher raises a finger toward the sky then dips across his body back toward the ground, repeating the action as the song plays: “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Aquarius.”

The song continues, but Teacher stops.

“You are not dancing? Don’t you understand what this means? We are no longer dawning. We are approaching the tops of the trees. We are literally fully engaged in the next great age of reasoning. The next great age in our evolution. Embrace it. Live it. Love it.”

No one seems to be sure of what to do. Teacher approaches each of us before clapping his hands again. Replacing the dance floor and the disco lights, brightly colored cushions appear around what looks like a purple and blue bong. The attached hose is long enough to reach each pillow. Someone mutters the word hookah with a shocked gasp.

“Chill, kids. Life is about one thing only. Once you understand that, once you trust your gut and follow your heart, everything will be fine. Once you understand and embrace this new reality, synchronicity will take over. Everything will work out.”

He leads each of us to a pillow. When even Irreverent is sitting, Teacher takes a puff off the bong and hands the hose to me, signaling I should follow suit. I take a small puff that sends me into a vicious coughing fit.

He laughs after slowly exhaling his own puff.

The hose goes around the circle of pillows before anyone speaks again.

“You said life is about only one thing,” Irreverent says, still trying to hold onto his puff.

“Yeah, it is, man.” Teacher flows his legs into a lotus position, placing one hand gently on each knee as if in meditation. “It’s about love. Living it, loving it, making it.”

He looks toward me, flashing a peace sign, “Peace, Love, and Happiness, my dear Writer.”

This was a weird class.

Until next time, dear classmates, I remain

The Dragonfly’s Student

Are we ever really alone?

“What do you think happens when we die?” Teacher asks, roaming around the scattered seats in our classroom. “Do we disappear? Poof! Never to be seen again?”

He’s wearing blue jeans today. His tucked-in purple T-shirt makes him look like he’s just one of us.

“Well, I’ve heard it’s beautiful,” Hope says. “I hear we leave our bodies behind and enter this wonderful place where the prevailing feeling is deep, unconditional love.”

Clyde raises his hand and immediately jumps in when Teacher nods toward him. “I hear we become part of Source, like some big Sci-Fi collective of light beings where you can talk to anyone just by thinking of them.”

“Unh, unh,” Irreverent shakes his head and drops down in his seat. “That’s too fucking weird. Let me stay here. I don’t want someone in my head.”

As Irreverent talks, Teacher returns to his desk on his stage.

“And some of you woo-woo guru types started talking about how these beings we call our guardians are really just parts of ourselves. That’s just crap. So in Heaven we’re one of a collective, but here in this 3D experience we’re all alone with the many parts of ourselves? This is bullshit!”

His chair scrapes across the floor when he shoots up out of it.

“Now, Irreverent.” Teacher puts his hand out and it seems to be working to keep our classmate from leaving. “Hear me out.”

Hands clasp behind his back, Teacher strolls around the stage. “I understand how you can feel alone, Irreverent. In this 3D experience, even if you’re part of a huge family, you’re never as bonded as you are back Home. But, don’t be confused. If we want to be alone, all we need to do is disconnect. The phone may ring, but we do not need to pick it up. We are not one massive Borg Collective like in Star Trek. We’re more like an ant farm on 3D Earth. We work together for similar causes, but we can still be alone.”

He skips down the steps and pulls me from my seat. He twirls me in a music-less tango then turns me to face the class, one hand still holding mine, the other still on my hip.

“If I wanted to talk to Writer alone, I would essentially be alone. No one else would be able to tap into our conversation unless one of us invited them.”

Irreverent grumbles and drops back into his seat. I still have questions.

Grabbing his hand from my hip, I twist myself out of his grasp, turning so we’re face-to-face.

“What about that part where we’re alone here? Where we’re only talking to ourselves.”

“You are never alone, dear Writer,” he says in a soft voice. His eyes, clear and a blue so rich it’s like I’m swimming in the Caribbean ocean, lock with mine for a moment that seems like forever.

When he remember we’re not alone, he turns to the class again, “There are parts of you that share this existence with you. You know them in this world as your Id, your Ego and your Super-Ego. The fourth one is simply the part of your Spirit that was born into this physical world. There are four of you living in this one body.”

Groans greet this piece of information, but he waves off the complaints.

“You’ve all heard this before. Freud told you about it. So, it’s real, but he forgot the fourth one.” Teacher skips back up the steps and write the four words on the board, then he draws a purple circle around the word Ego. “This guy wants all the attention, he wants you to succeed, so he’s going to kick a fuss to make sure you don’t forget that.”

He faces us again.

“But that doesn’t answer your question.” He opens his arms wide in one, big hug. “You are never alone. The same beings that are part of our collective, the same ones that have been or will one day be like you in this existence, are concerned with your progress on Earth. They do not leave you alone, even though you seem alone in Earth terms.

“Your guardian is still with you, as are your friends and those who have passed on before you. We watch you like you watch The Kardashians on television, except we can call in and, if you’re listening, we can help you keep from making mistakes.”

He turns to Irreverent. “Is that a little more clear?”

Irreverent shrugs. “Yeah, but what were you going to tell us about the four parts of ourselves?”

 That is for another lesson, dear classmates.

Sincerely,

The Dragonfly’s Student

Home Learning and Harmony

This is not a class, friends, so feel free to skip this. I’m just working on what Teacher called very important homework.

I’ve always hated homework.

Teacher says the work we do on our own will get us farther than anything we can do in class. I beg to differ. How could anything I do on my own be as glorious as that day he took me to the place where the golden light enveloped me?

He says it’s time. We’ve been studying for so long, but many of us are too scared. I don’t think I am. Then again, I haven’t been faced with anything I can’t handle. Not for a very long time.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this old poem. It’s been my favorite since I learned it in high school.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,/And sorry I could not travel both/And be one traveler, long I stood/And looked down one as far as I could/To where it bent in the undergrowth…”

Robert Frost talked about walking in the forest and choosing between two roads. One was worn and well-traveled, the other was grassy and hadn’t been used very much. I always identified with the traveler. I’ve always tried to take the road less traveled by, the grassy one that holds surprises not many have discovered yet.

Why does Teacher make me think of that poem?

I honestly have no clue. Except, maybe, that leaving my old life behind to follow him to this university is kind of like the less traveled path. I don’t know how I’ll feel or if I’ll ever wish I’d taken the other road.

I strongly believe, though, that this was the right thing.

Maybe it’s the true happiness I’ve been able to find more often since I met Teacher. Maybe it’s the hope I have now that everything is working out just the way it’s supposed to. Maybe it’s that I feel like I’ve been waiting for this since I strolled with the butterflies through the Key Lime grove in my childhood backyard.

Maybe it’s that I feel he saved me from the drab grayness of a life with no purple and blue.

In today’s meditation, I run through a field then I drop onto the soft, brilliant green grass and stare at the warm, golden sun overhead. I know, the way you know when something’s perfect, that what I’m doing now is right.

Then Teacher blocks the sun.

“Having fun?” he says, his fluffy, hatless head throws a shadow over me.

The joy I’ve been feeling today can’t be fazed. “Yeah, actually. I’m having a beautiful day.”

“Good, good.” He plops down next to me, allowing me to bask in the sun again.

Then a question I’ve never had before pops into my head.

“Why are you a purple and blue dragonfly, sir?”

“Those are the highest colors. Well, the highest masculine colors. I wanted you to have a goal to work toward, I mean, really, some dragonflies are red. Isn’t red like the root chakra? That’s such a blah color.”

I give him a crooked eye, “Is this really your answer? Red is blah?”

He shrugs, looking at me for a very long time before answering, his voice soft with concern, “Dear Writer, I am here because of you.” He holds my hands gently in his. “You needed me to be purple. You were in a dark place. You needed an escape. Purple is the color of escaping into a world of inspiration and creativity. It is the color of harmony and balance.”

“So you’re what you are because of me?”

He nods slowly. “You’d been searching for harmony in your soul for years. I came as the answer to your unspoken questions.”

I don’t know what to say, but then I realize how right he is. I’ve been searching for harmony so urgently that I’d even gotten tattoos of that very idea of harmony.

“Have I found it yet, Teacher?”

“What do you think?”

“I think I have, but it’s not a battle that can be won and then it’s over. Everything that happens in my life threatens to throw me off kilter.” I sit up to face him. “I’m working on it, you know. Always working on it.”

“I know.” Then the teacher who is a man is replaced by my blue and purple dragonfly. “And until you don’t need me, I will continue to be here for you.”

Until next class, dear classmates, because I know there will be other classes as I continue to walk this path least traveled by in my search for harmony.

Sincerely,

The Dragonfly’s Student

Just Breathe

“Breathe.” Teacher’s voice, warm like chocolate, soothes us into a meditation he’s leading today. After kicking off his worn purple Jordan’s, he pads around us in his funky blue and purple spotted socks, checking to make sure we’ve all closed our eyes. I haven’t.

“Writer.”

BUSTED.

Teacher tones his voice back to its mesmerizing charm, then, “Please close your eyes. How are you going to be able to concentrate inward if you’re still outward?”

With the smile that admits my guilt, I close my eyes again, focusing on the soothing ocean sounds coming from a seaside that’s never been there before.

“Breathe, my students. Concentrate on the flow of the tide as it washes onto the beach. Slowly.”

A tide rolls in, splashes with a roar, then pulls back timidly.

“Now, breathe.”

“What’s the point of all this, Teach?” Our trustworthy Irreverent Student breaks the deathly-still silence. Some of our classmates shush him.

Across the room, Teacher releases a long breath as if to keep himself steady, then he says nothing, letting the ocean take control of the moment.

“Let yourself match the vibration of the ocean, of the earth.” His voice continues slow and methodical, as if trying to seduce us with his words. “We are one with our planet, with the animals and the plants, with the ocean and the streams. We are never alone now. Feel the vibration of the earth pulsating through you.”

His voice moves around the room. Chairs move, classmates shuffle. I wonder what’s going on, but I do what I’ve been told. I focus on my breath.

“Now, breathe, again. This time, hold your breath, one –

“Two, –

“Three, and release, slowly until there is no air left and you have to breathe again,” he holds us like that, then, “Now, breathe.”

From the seat next to me, Irreverent’s patience is waning again. “What’s this all about, sir?”

I hear a soft whisper, then a hand reaches for mine and joins it with Irreverent’s before moving on around the room.

“Please continue holding hands as I talk,” Teachers says. He leads us into a world than is neither here nor there then, when he’s satisfied, he brings us back, retracing our steps until, finally, “You can open your eyes now.”

Around the room, not a person is alone, even Clyde who, as the newbie, likes to sit all the way in the back. Teacher moved Hope’s chair closer to him.

“Now, I want you all to surrender to the moment. You are not nervous, you are not uncomfortable, you are not alone. You have just been at the beach, my dears. Continue that peace.” Teacher walks closer to me and Irreverent. “And before you ask, my dear Irreverent, by surrender I mean let yourself go. Release the headaches of this world. Forget about due dates and expectations. Forget about shoulda’s, too, as in ‘I shoulda done that’.”

As he walks by me, he runs a hands over my shoulder and his touch revives me like a jolt of electricity shorts a charging cell phone.

“There is no place for self-doubt here. Believe in yourself as much as I believe in you. You have matched Earth’s vibrations. Unlike before, I know that inside, you’re no longer a danger to yourself. You are free to move along, to move ahead, to transition. But you must have faith. Because, without faith, you are your own worst enemy.

“Understand?”

A smattering of yesses rolls around the room, but I can’t lie.

“No, sir. I’m confused. How do we know that what we’re doing in meditation, the things we hope will help us move forward and closer to our goal. How do we know we’re doing it right?”

“Oh, my dear Writer.” He shuffles as he walks toward me, dribbling a purple basketball that just appeared. “You need to get your head out of the game. That’s what’s holding you back.”

As he explains, he bounces the ball from one hand to the next, then he dribbles it again.

“What did I tell you to do before you opened your eyes?”

Then, with no warning, he shoots the basketball toward me, but it’s not shooting. Time has slowed and the ball is moving frame by frame like an 8mm home movie.

I have time to think.

What did he say? The ball’s headed right at my face. I should catch it, but he said not to let go of Irreverent’s hand, didn’t he? Yes, he did. But I probably won’t be able to dodge the ball. It’ll smack me in the nose. Flatten it. I know it will.

Stop.

I have to get my head out of the game, he said. What part of all of this is because of my over-thinking? What am I supposed to do? Well, if this were real-time, I would have tried to catch the ball because that’s that natural self-preservation thing. That’s a shoulda.

Instead, I stare the ball down.

A loud clap stops the ball an inch from my nose.

“Why are you not catching it?” Teacher asks after my classmates’ gasps have settled down.

The answer is so obvious. “You told me not to let go of Irreverent’s hand.”

“Hmm.” He strokes his imaginary goatee. “Why did you think that was the right answer?”

“You told us to match the vibration, to get our head out of the way, and to forget about the shoulda’s. So I did.” I look at the ball, still menacingly close. “And you stopped it.”

He nods, covering his mouth with his hand as he walks around the room. “You think it was the correct thing to do because –”

“Because my first reaction to everything is always wrong, as far as your lessons are concerned.”

“Everything? I beg to differ.”

“No, I mean.” I breathe deeply again, trying to find a way to explain. “I was raised to always do what was expected of me. But, right now, I did what I would never do. I let go of the shoulda’s.” I didn’t think I had the answer, but now I can’t stop explaining. “I believe in you, Teacher, and, more than that, I believe in myself. You’ve taught me to trust that little part of me that is never based on logic or facts. I knew that no matter what happened I would be fine because inside, in my gut, it was the right thing to do.”

I move my head to look for my teacher. His eyes lock onto mine and I see something I’ve never noticed before – eyes so crystal blue and spellbinding that I forget where I am.

I’m no longer in the classroom. I’m in a place that cannot be described, and there’s a warm, golden energy wrapping itself around me.

“I was right.” My voice is hushed when he nods.

 

Until next time, my friends. Namaste.

 The Dragonfly’s Student

The Dragon and the Phoenix

It’s been a crazy two weeks. I’m going for a swim.

I walk to the edge of campus, near the forest that borders it, and set my things down on the grass before standing atop the three steps that lead down into the natural spring pool. I’ve never been here before so I approach gingerly, awaiting the chill of a cool mountain spring.

Step one. Breathe, it’s going to be okay. Step two is easier, albeit still a little tentative. Step three is accompanied by a nearby splash that forces a wake that chills me as the water laps up onto my feet.

“Come on in, silly,” Teacher says. “The water’s fine.”

I usually don’t do this, but I’m inspired to take a leap. The water isn’t cold. I explore the depths of this natural pond, feeling a golden warmth envelop me, tingling at the top of my head. I swim deeper and, surprisingly, don’t run out of air. I open my eyes and find that the water, unlike seawater, doesn’t sting. It’s also almost as clear as day.

Chasing a school of goldfish, I swim deeper in this seemingly bottomless pond. Two of the goldfish break from the school and swim around me.  I tread water to watch them perform a beautiful ballet as they swim around each other. Round and round. The dance becomes a sort of whirling dervish kind of dance, then the goldfish aren’t fish at all. Suddenly, one has transformed into a blue miniature dragon, the second looks like a red phoenix.

Their small dance floor seems to be getting smaller, and they shoot up to the surface. I follow.

Gasping for the air I hadn’t needed moments before, I watch as the two creatures expand until the dragon is the size of a small elephant and the phoenix is as big as an eagle.

I am mesmerized by this vision as the two creatures fly around each other until their colors are a blur and the blur becomes something familiar that I can’t identify. Then they disappear into the form of my teacher’s blue and purple dragonfly.

A long moment later, the shock wears off, but the tingling warmth at the top of my head continues. Thinking it’s an infection, I scratch.

“You are not coming down with anything, Writer.” Teacher says in the heavily accented English of an elderly Chinese man. He is still Teacher, but he is older and dressed in a silk robe covered with images of blue phoenix feathers. A purple Chinese skull cap completes Teacher’s costume. “You have indeed triggered something.”

“What, and why the Chinese dude?”

“That’s my question. What did you see?”

“Well, I saw two goldfish turn into a dragon and a phoenix then fly around each other until …” I try to put a name to what I saw, but it’s hard. “They were flying so fast that I lost sight of which was which. It just became, I don’t know, something I recognized but then I didn’t, then it became one blob of color, and then it became you.”

He nods. “You recognized something before it became me?”

“Yeah.” I think about it. The blue dragon and the red phoenix, two opposite creatures. They chased each other head-to-tail until it looked like they were one ball. One purple ball.

I glance toward the Chinese version of Teacher, then the lightbulb clicks.

Dragon and Phoenix Yin Yang

“A yin-yang. Red and blue make purple. Were you both of them? Were you the dragon and the phoenix?”

“There are so many aspects to us, don’t you think?” he says, then he smiles. “Can you imagine the power we possess once we learn to accept both?”

And again, the lesson boils down to a self-reflection. May we all learn to love and accept ourselves as much.

Namaste, my friends,

The Dragonfly’s Student

The importance of self love

“Tell me where it hurts,” he says, ushering me into his office, a room that looks more like a butterfly garden. Blues and Monarchs flutter around the bushes in planters around his desk. Behind his desk chair, an open glass door leads to an outdoor garden almost the same size as his office.

I take a seat in the only chair in the room, a stiff-backed aluminum Goodwill type chair that’s probably part of a set with a matching Formica-topped kitchen table. “What are you talking about?”

“Well, the reason you’re here, of course.” He leans so far back in his desk chair that I’m afraid he’s going to fall over. “Tell me what is bugging you.”

One particular blue butterfly taking a tour of the office distracts me.

Teacher clears his throat, “My dear, what’s bothering you?”

“I guess nothing, really.” Standing up, I walk closer to the bushes. “This blue one is beautiful,” I say.

“A Miami Blue,” he says. “They’re almost extinct.”

“Oh.” The realization pulls me back and reminds me of why I came to see my teacher. “You told us to come talk to you if we ever had any problems.”

He nods, remaining quiet. When I don’t say anything, “My dear, your pain gets in the way when you talk to me.” He gets up from his chair and approaches me, palms up. “Talk about it and you will see how putting the pain and judgment out there gets it out of the way. Why hold it in, really? This life it too short to let crap chafe at you.”

In an uncharacteristic teacher-move, he tugs at his pants as if his underwear had slipped out of position.

I hold back a gasp.

“Why clench up?” he says. “How did that make you feel?”

“Really, sir?” When he nods, “um, that was kinda uncomfortable, seeing a teacher tug at his underwear.”

“Uncomfortable, hmm. Thank you for being honest; that’s a great start.” He leans on his desk and continues. “Now, back to the topic. What do you do when something really bothers you?”

“Nothing, I guess. I just set it aside and get past it.”

“How about when it really hurts?”

“Same, I guess.”

“Not good. You need to cry, get it out there, heal it, then let it go.”

“Well, sir, that’s all well and good, but most times it’s not easy, letting go, I mean. Especially when it really hurts.”

He nods, tapping a finger repetitively on his face. “I forget how hard it is to be human. All we can do is encourage you to look past the pain –”

My confusion stops him briefly.

“—but to do that, you have to let yourself feel it.”

I don’t think he understands how traumatic that can be to those of us still living life in this three-dimensional plane.

“Remember that time with me?” The memory cuts so deep I can’t even speak about it. “I tried to get past it. I tried to put it behind me. It didn’t work.”

“Oh no. You’ve never put it behind you. You tried to forget it, but you never let yourself feel it.”

My soul is feeling as chafed as he’d felt earlier. I stand to excuse myself from the room. “I’m sorry I bothered you, sir.”

He puts his hand on my shoulder and pushes me back down.

“This life is all about feeling, my dear. If you hide your feelings, your life becomes as empty as … well, mine was.” He pauses briefly, looking past me as if the memory pulled him away from me.

When I shuffle in my seat, my movement pulls him back to me.

“You need to feel the pain. Cry when the people you love pass this life. Let yourself hurt when people you thought loved you instead hurt you in the worst possible way. Let yourself remember what hurts you most. Only by accepting the hurt will you be able to grow past the pain.”

But this shit in my life is so years-ago, so childish. I’m a grown woman now.

“It still has all of you,” he enters my thoughts. “Don’t make your pain immortal, dear Writer. Learn what it is and work through it. Think about it, really. What hurts you most?”

Remembering the anger I felt toward the man who sat in front of me on the last flight I took, the anger starts to boil again. He reclined his seat all the way, leaving me with barely any room to move. “I hate inconsiderate people,” I say.

“Just inconsiderate?”

“No, I hate people who won’t acknowledge that I’m a person with a soul just like them. I hate people who bury me in the background, who don’t allow me to voice my opinion.”

“Kinda like ‘Putting Baby in a corner?’”

My head shoots up from my pity-me posture at the reference to my favorite movie. “Uh, yeah, exactly. Nobody puts Writer in a corner!”

Teacher smiles, walking away from me, his hand stroking his non-existent beard. “You’re angry at one man from an airplane?” he says. The intrusion into my thoughts doesn’t surprise me anymore. “Is that all?”

“No. I remember the pain of being ignored. Calls not returned. Love not shared. Existence not acknowledged.”

“So, you hate it when your existence is denied?” He holds his hand out and the Miami Blue settles on his wrist as he puts my pain into one simple idea.

“Yeah, I guess. If I give my heart and the love isn’t returned, I guess that means I don’t exist to that person, but it’s not just that. Like the Miami Blue, I hate the thought that I’ll live a full life but no one will remember I was ever here.”

“Hmm,” he says, leaning into a purple leather wingback chair that has appeared in his office.

Suddenly, I’m lying on a matching leather couch.

“How does that make you feel?” he says, his hands scratching furtively onto a notepad. He tucks the pen back into the breast pocket of his brilliantly blue dress shirt.

“It makes me feel like crap.”

He pops the pen back out of his pocket and returns to his secretive writing. “Hmm. So what do you want to do?”

I’ve never been asked that question. Usually, people tell me to get over it. “I want to kick walls and rip through his clothes.”

“You said ‘his,’ is this still the man in the airplane?”

“Uh, no. I guess I was talking about somebody else, about that one guy who ripped my heart and threw me away. Well, two guys did that. The second wants to get back in my life.”

“And that makes you feel ….?” he says in a decidedly German-sounding accent.

Susceptible. Pissed. Hurt. Stupid. … and then I cry because I’ve never cried about it before.

“Say the words, my dear. Acknowledge your feelings.”

“I’ve always tried to make it easier for him. He left me, damn it. Now he wants back in my life. Fuck him. Let him fuck up his own life. Leave me alone.”

“Why don’t you tell him?”

“Because I loved him once, and it’s not right to be that angry. I mean the goal is to love everyone, right? I remember what he did for me once, saved me from another bad relationship, but then he just repeated it in his own way.”

This line of conversation is too uncomfortable.

“Hey, weren’t we talking about something else?”

“We were talking about being human. About living your life. So, this guy, what bothers you about this recent development?”

Behind me, his pencil scratches away at his notepad. “He won’t let me live my life my way. I am who I’ve become after all of these years, but he still thinks I’m the girl he left.”

“So he’s not acknowledging your individuality?”

“Yeah.”

“So, why don’t you tell him that. Face-to-face. Tell him what you really want.”

Turning on my side, facing the wall away from the garden and the butterflies, “Because, what if he stops liking me?”

“I am confused. Do you want him back in your life?”

“No.”

“Then why do you care if he stops liking you?”

My answer is so soft and hidden so well against my arm that I have to repeat it for him. “I don’t know, sir.”

I hear something being thrown onto the desk then the chair rocks as if it’s empty. The next thing I know, Teacher is sitting behind me on the couch, his hand on my shoulder. “I think there’s a hole in your heart that still needs mending,” he says softly. “Until you heal yourself, heal your true light, you will be unable to see the light in others.”

Slowly, my tears fall onto the couch.

“Live your life, my dear. It’s too short to let others fuck with it.”

The counseling session continued for several days. I’m much better now.

Namaste, my friends. Always yours,

 

The Dragonfly’s Student