December 25th, 2012.
The first thought as I surfaced into wakefulness this morning: “I want to see dolphins.” As it turned out, I received one of the best gifts I could wish for: to see whales off the coast of Oahu. I got a cup of peppermint mocha coffee from Starbucks and drove out to the cliffs of Portlock Point. I walked to where the waves washed in and exploded in a rocky culvert and gazed out to sea. As I turned to retrace my steps, I noticed all the trash and cigarette butts littering the cliff-side, and began collecting it. Two divers climbed out of the ocean.
One exclaimed, “Wow … completely out of the water !”
“It is like an upside down cathedral isn’t it ?” I said, not getting what he meant.
“Didn’t you see it ?” He asked, “Just right there where the green turns to blue.” His diving partner had not seen it either.
“You mean, a whale ?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said, “It leaped completely out of the water, right there,” Pointing to a spot not fifty yards away from the edge where we stood.”
“Darn, I was picking up trash and missed it.”
Pretty soon an attractive young couple approached, the girl dove in the water.
“Did you see the whale ?” I asked them.
“Yes,” the man said, “There are a bunch of them out there.”
“How could I have missed them !” I said feeling a bit frustrated now.
“We thought you evoked them,” the girl said, struggling to climb up the slippery cliff as the huge swells washed by. “The way you were gazing out to right where that one breached.”
“Maybe I was,” I said, “Or maybe you were !”
The girl stretched her arms towards the sea, “I call the whales ! The ocean, it feels so alive this morning… I feel so many living things in there.” She exclaimed.
A turtle surfaced, and we cheered.
I went back to where I had been sitting, and for the first time noticed the large mossy letters that had been gouged into the lava rock years ago, “C-H-R-I-S-T”. What is the meaning here ? I mused, other than a “kodak moment for the season. A wave coiled a clear liquid arm over the edge of the cliff and filled in the letters.
What if Christ were a whale ? I thought. And then I sat in wonderment of the nature of the great religions, how so many have been enslaved, tortured and murdered simply for believing that their prophet in a particular time -whether 2,000 years ago, or yet to appear in our time – was to be the keeper of all that is holy for all humanity and for all time. The notion that “when” a great teacher was to appear mattered so much to religious communities that they would wish to murder each other loomed so hugely ludicrous in that moment for me, as huge and beyond my gaze as the leviathan that had just breached upon my rocky doorstep moments ago.
Was it any less important that I had not seen him ? Did it not matter in significance just as much that it had occurred, whether in my awareness or no ? What if “a Christ” existed in the form of cetacean right now, and humankind was not entitled to ever gaze upon him ? Would that make his existence any less significant or profound ?
What if (as I know in the bones of my soul) “the Christ” is an energetic presence that surrounds each and everyone of us for all time and space whether we wish to acknowledge it and access it, or not ? It is what Jehovah, Allah, Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Yahweh, the Great Spirit, the Universe in all it’s knowing; it is the gift they all have given to us FOR US to contain freely. It is not a thing to kill for, it is a force to live for in peace with each other.
This thought passed through me like a brisk ocean breeze. The I saw the spout. “There they are !” I called to the young couple.
The girl threw out her arms and called out to them, “We are your allies !”
Yes we are. I thought. “Namaste !” I called, too.