Four Walls

by bkajlich

Hilarious.  This was my FAVORITE movie as a kid.  I just spent an hour searching for a video link to it that didn’t involve a techno remix of the theme song or a rock video montage.  People have waaaaay too much time on their hands.

I was obsessed with unicorns as a kid.  I believed that there was a magical place tucked away in some far corner of the earth where they truly existed.  My girlfriends and I(don’t worry I won’t name any of you, it’s enough that I am implicating myself)would pretend that we were unicorns at recess and fly all over the playground.  It’s interesting because the origin of the unicorn is hard to pin down.  It seems that most early civilizations had some version of the mythical creature… from the Orient where it is said that a unicorn appeared at the birth of Confucious, to the first western account written by a Greek historian name Ctesia.  Also noteworthy is that the Unicorn seems to be the one mythological creature that wasn’t conceived out of human fears.  That got me thinking about all the fantasies and stories that we have created to explain or perhaps to help us even just approach the parts of life that we don’t understand. My teachers like to call this “Building our Castle”.

After my sit today, I was reminded of how differently I see things since I started meditating four years ago.  Back then, I had spent most of my life building what amounted to be a bitch of a castle sitting on a hilltop protected on all four sides by the moat of all moats(and I have seen some moats in my day).  Sometimes, when reality is too difficult for us to comprehend, our minds get pretty clever finding ways to redesign how we view things. Hence, the building of a fantasy, aka “the castle”(I mean, if medieval ain’t your thing then it can be any building of your choosing. Tower, mansion, studio apartment).  And when you meditate, and meditate regularly… the walls that have been built up over time come crashing down.  It’s pretty significant when the first one goes, but the thing about walls is that once one is gone, it’s only a matter of time before the other three are toast.  And then look out… the real shocker is once the dust settles and you realize that you have been locked up inside of something that you thought was the real deal. Suddenly; MOUNTAINS! VALLEYS! THE SEA! THE SKY! ANYTHING! EVERYTHING!  It reminds me of when I quit smoking, and a month in my sense of taste and smell returned.  I hadn’t even noticed they’d gone missing!  It’s a bunch of bull honkey that you gain weight because you need to occupy your hands… you gain weight because everything tastes so good!!!…. but as always, I digress….

Do any of you remember The Last Unicorn? You’ll get brownie points for admitting it here. If so, do you remember Mommy Fortuna and her Midnight Carnival? Animals kept in her cages seemed to be terrible mythical creatures, but were in fact under Mommy Fortuna’s spell.  The Manticore; man’s head, lions body, scorpions tail, was just an old lion. The Satyr was just a scared chimp with a hurt foot.  And so on.  One of the characters, the magician Schmenderick comments; “Its a very rare person who is taken for what he truly is”.

As Plato said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”  And it’s hard, life is hard and then you come up against people that make it feel even harder. But sometimes, all it takes is revealing a shaky wall of your own to allow someone else to see theirs.  xx