In the movie Papillion, Steve McQueen's portrayal of the scoundrel and thief, Henri Charriere, hits home for me in one scene; that moment in which, for attempting escape, he's held in solitary confinement to the point of death from starvationand hallucinates the walk on the lonely road, in an endless desert. Before him appears an incarnation of judgment and he is sentenced for the crime of a wasted life.
The irony of the constant attempt to escape certain death, at the risk of death, to certain damnation, has always bothered me. Although sentenced to Devils Island (an effective and appropriate backdrop) for murder, he was apparently only guilty of a lifetime of selfishness; that is, keeping for himself what was a great heart, to have his humanity ruined by constant grappling with the shadows of quiet desperation. His capacity for the gifts of love to the world squandered in repeated vain attempts to escape from himself.
In my own moments of quiet desperation, the search for a perfect understanding of my purpose in this life, at this time, has often crippled the answers apparent.
When walking along the beach looking for the perfect shell it's easy to be disappointed and give up, because for the most part they are all broken and worn and seemingly worthless. Upon closer inspection however, the obvious beauty and individuality of the survivors of the oceans constant beating stands out, and the unpremeditated art of nature becomes astoundingly apparent.
It has occurred to me that it is the same with human beings, with their struggles against the unstoppable currents and pounding waves of the great ocean of the universe. In the shadows of their personalities and with their physical and emotional scars is the potential for a perfect balance of mercy and acceptance. In their vulnerability and weakness is their key for a greater understanding of their place in the equation, and what part of their heart belongs to the world, and then what it means to escape to instead of from. In effect, in imperfection lies perfection, and the unspeakable name of the ONE called simply 'I Am that I Am' speaks to our collective hearts. It is worth a quiet ponder don't you think?