The sun warmed me from behind as I picked my way down the rocky trail. The air was filled with bird song and the smell of sage and alyssum, and empty of the sounds of man.
Looking down, I could see my shadow moving ahead of me on the rocks. To those rocks, which have existed long before me and will continue long past my earth lifetime, my passing over them was a shadow in time.
I felt like a shadow, transparent, weightless, and free, because in that moment I was not my stuff and my stories. In that moment I experienced what we all really are, the same substance as the sun, wind, sage, and rocks.
Perhaps this is what is meant by being absent from the body and present with the lord.
Then I started thinking again and I was back into stories and stuff.
Instead of a transparent holy thing, I was once again a bag of stories.
Stories—we all have stories. We tell them all day long to ourselves and to anyone else who will listen. Sometimes we even tell them to people who would prefer not to listen.
They could be the big stories, like stuff from our childhood, or little stories like a non-working computer. We tell stories about how the scales show too much weight and the bank shows too little funds. We tell stories about heredity, illness, age, and love.
It’s easy to imagine ourselves stuffed with stories. So stuffed with stories there is no place for light to shine through.
To add to the weight, we gather stuff with stories.