Blues and grays, browns, oranges and gold, the “pupil” stares up at me from the center of the shell. There is no blinking. It seems completely aware. It is focused and still.
The Shark Eye Shell beckons one to go inward in order to clearly see.
“Margaret, you look at the world through rose colored glasses!” she said with irritation and scorn. It was the last time I would see Cora, yet she left me something to contemplate for years to come.
A tendency to look for the best in others and to look at the world with eyes of wonder, is a gift which has served me well. Having been raised where I knew so many, I had always felt safe.Life was full of magic and beauty. My childhood was full of joy.
A career would take me far away from my home for many years to come. Adventures would abound and I was never physically hurt, though there were many situations I put myself in where I am surprised I was not.
Before the days of cell phones I drove joyfully with a friend through the desert and over the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in a dilapidated rental. God knows what would have happened to the beautiful young woman that was me, should we have broken down in that remote area of the Arab world back in 1981.
The modeling career that took me to New York, Paris and Milan was full of the scum that prey upon beautiful girls. Cocaine and Studio 54, flamboyant parties and decadence, it was the epitome of materialism, self-centeredness and greed. Yet with all the compromising situations I found myself in, I came out of that career unharmed and with my integrity intact.
I have often wondered why.
Could it be that my looking at the world with eyes of wonder kept me safe? Coming from the sheltered world of my childhood, surrounded by people with the priorities of honestly and love, somehow developed in me an inability, or perhaps an unwillingness, to see all the darkness that is a part of this world.
The pain and heartache would come later.
Twenty years of giving love with so little of it returned. Rejection, loneliness and neglect were the norm. Having been taught to stick it out, make it work and take the high road, the years went by. My spirit was fading away. I remember a lifelong friend of mine crying out “The Margaret we love is fading away!” It was time to let go. I had to love myself enough to move on.
Returning to my home in the Deep South after 30 years away was a dream come true. Yet even here I was not always welcome. Family and lifelong friends I found were not necessarily the flawless people I had idealized them to be, in my mind. They have their weaknesses too.
In a variety of ways we all exhibit our own version of unkindness and self-centeredness. It was time to take off the rose colored glasses. It was time to clearly see.
The Shark Eye Shell beckons me to view people with love and to focus on their gifts, all the while understanding their weaknesses, just as I hope they will do for me. To understand and accept the shame, drudgery, pain and weaknesses that make up this world and to still see the beauty. To be a part of the world, to be involved, to give while seeing clearly who and what people are.
People are selfish and unkind at times, just as I am.
Yet we are all at our core, inherently good. We are all loving, infinite souls.
To see clearly, and to still live in a state of loving-kindness; this is the challenge.
One day at a time.