Once I was 10 years old and I used to sing about making a little heaven down here. Then it was easy. Then it was just a song. Then heaven was magic; stuff of pleasant dreams. Today dear diary, on my way back to school, these words of that dear childhood song blossomed into a smile. For a few hours today, I was in heaven. The vapors of my childhood dreams had crystallized into reality.
See, dear diary, my life once made sense. It had structure and an infinite axis to spin about. Everything was smooth. I had God. At that moment the world was my oyster. Then I lost faith. I lost my heaven to the flames of hell.
Dear diary, we are born islands, looking for an isle to belong to. Like dandelion seeds we float about searching for a purpose. Once in awhile we are lucky enough to find fertile soils upon which we can sprout into beautiful flowery fields. I had found mine in God. I was to remind children that they had a right to dream. I was to write books. I was to write poetry about my wife, 3 kids and our white home. I was to be the favorite parent. I was to affect our nation’s policies. I was to travel the world. I was to spend time soaking Italian culture. I had dreams. I was to make love cool again. Then I lost faith.
The death of faith gave birth to pain and darkness; to an infinite void, devoid of hope. I could no longer assert my will. I walked through life like it was a dream, just trudging on through a tunnel with a crimson sun setting at the end. I was kept alive by cowardice and the dying embers of a belief in an elusive greatness lying somewhere within me.
Anyway, let me spare you the details today. I promise to make my next entry juicier so stay tuned. Remember I said I had found heaven today. Well, dear diary, there is this quote I like about friends. That they are just but universes we have not yet discovered within ourselves. That proved true today.
To many, heaven is blissful. It is utopia promised after our struggles on earth. But to me, and I believe the writer of my dear childhood song, heaven does not have to be that. Heaven is in the music of song birds, in the whispers of a stream navigating rocks, in the smiles of a soul moved by a symphony or the toothless laughter of a toddler, in the scent of soil after a light down poor, in the screams of kids playing at dusk. Heaven is in experiencing the miracle of life.
I experienced heaven today in the presence of a smile that would melt ice, in a conversation that would make utopia of dystopia (sorry I’m a luo that kind of thing was bound to happen). Through her eyes, through her words, between sips of my first cup of cappuccino and bites of cake, I explored this amazing universe within-a universe full of possibility. For a moment, I knew that a man is born at least twice in a lifetime-by his mother and by the woman who breathes and speaks life into him. Then she winked dear diary.
She playfully winked and let fly a playful smile, dear diary, and everything stopped. She grew more beautiful than ever. More than the days when a mere mention of her name sent my heart pacing and the sight of her knocked air out of my lungs. The streets were gone and the mixed race couples at the corner melted into the background. My mind picked up a painting brush, the world became my easel and the moment a canvas upon which I painted this fresco- a fresco of her in a labyrinth of roses. She walked lazily in a toga, with a wreath of flowers upon her head, on emerald pavements bathed in the hues of a rainbow sunset. All along, somewhere at the back of my mind, the song “crossing lines” by John Legend played on and on until my eyes settled upon that bronze ring. The dream stopped.
Dear diary, after coffee and cake, we helped ourselves to hot ginger and honey. Bees paid us a visit .I suppose they wanted their honey back or perhaps the nectar from the flowers in my fresco-now burning in the hearth of reality. Brian ensured that we were comfortable especially because he’d taken a particular liking to my dear friend.
You might be wondering why I was smiling. Yes I had spent the day talking to a beautiful lady. Yes I had spent the day exploring a special mind through her words. Yes I had listened to a lady who quoted books. Yes I had spent the day basking in her warmth-not just towards me but towards the staff, towards life. Dear diary, I was smiling because of the words that played in my mind. “You are not ordinary Ludo,” she had said, “you must fight Ludo”. I was smiling because of Romans 8:38. I was smiling because I was alive and I had finally figured out what that meant.